Thursday, May 29, 2014

Friday Fives

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Happy Friday y'all! This week flew by. Weeks that start on Tuesday instead of Monday are always pleasant, but I do admit that my schedule does get a bit funky. My Memorial Day (and birthday) weekend were great and full love friends, family, laughter, and lots of cake (not complaining). Coming back to school on the other hand was difficult: the end(ish) of the quarter always makes me feel like I'm swamped with school work. This quarter has been especially tough and has demanded much of my attention. I'm so ready for this weekend and for Chris' formal tomorrow, in Canada! Follow my Instagram to see what I'm wearing before it gets blogged and to follow my life outside of this blog! Here are my favorite links this week:

Honestly, DIYs are my favorite. If I had more time during the school year to commit, I'd have a new project every week. This one is on the top of my to-do list - personalized pillows are always a yes!

Lemon is the flavor of summer. One of my favorite gelato flavors is lemon, hands down. This ice cream recipe looks absolutely delicious.

Maya Angelou wrote a poem that has helped me through some rough times in my life. "Still I Rise" will forever be a favorite of mine, written by such an amazing woman. Rest in peace, Maya.

I love lists. If I can make a list, I will (did you see my 20 Habits list?). This list of "Things to Do Instead of Spending Money" is perfect for anyone at any age, and has great date or hangout alternatives!

I'm sure everyone has already seen this article that's been circulating like crazy on Facebook. My best friend sent it to me thinking I'd really like it, which I definitely did. Whatever someone's view on sex may be, this article is very interesting and highlights some points that are important to consider. Let me know what you think!

Happy Friday, everyone! What are your weekend plans?


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

20 Habits We Should All (try to) Make

Let's be real: there are a lot of things that we should do, but don't. Sometimes, making small lifestyle changes, as simple as saying "thank you" or carrying a water bottle, can be difficult! Making, or breaking, a habit can take as little as 18 days, but ranges all the way to almost a year. Even though "habit" typically has a negative connotation, I compiled a list of 20 habits that we should all make an effort to make!
  1. Saying “please” and “thank you” to everyone who are kind to you.
  2. Holding the doors open for others (and other small acts of kindness).
  3. Asking someone how their day is going, how they are, and being genuine about it.
  4. Smiling! Smiling truly is contagious.
  5. Dressing nice and comfortable for yourself – it can truly make you feel like a million bucks.
  6. Doing a little bit of stretching or yoga to start the day.
  7. Don’t be a part of girl-hate (or any hate) – spread the love.
  8. Eating breakfast! Delicious and important.
  9. Cracking cheesy jokes just for the giggles.
  10. Reminding loved ones how special they are to you.
  11. Journaling a bit to yourself and rereading those journals years later.
  12. Making DIY face masks, body scrubs, and hair masks.
  13. Hugging, kissing, or high five-ing someone – physical interactions release positive chemicals in the brain (how cool!).
  14. Carrying a water bottle with you and drinking plenty from it.
  15. Listening to songs that bring back positive memories.
  16. Not saying negative things about someone, but genuinely complimenting them – reinforce their strengths!
  17. Going for a walk and looking at cute houses, creeks, fields, tall buildings, or whatever. Get out for a bit.
  18. Bake or cook for yourself. It can be so satisfying and fill you with pride.
  19. Keeping secrets – and that doesn’t mean sharing it with one person, and one person only.
  20. Trying to get  at least eight and a half hours of sleep every night – or maybe just twice a week.
Are there are habits that you need to make or break? Let me know! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Spring Playlist

Spring is (slowly) coming to a close. When that'd typically break my heart, I've never been more ready for summer than I am this year! This time of year is always beautiful: flowers are in full bloom, the sky is bright blue, the grass as green as can be, and the temperatures are warm yet comfortable. Like anyone, I love listening to music (how cliche is that phrase?) and have a habit of making many playlists throughout the year. This is my current playlist, featuring Lorde, Smallpools (my current fav), and One Direction. It really gets me in the mood for the warm weather, the bright days, and ready for the day! Let me know what you think!

What are your current favorite songs?


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Must Have Swimsuits!

It's (unofficially) swimsuit season again! Even though I'm still in school, I am so ready to lounge by my best friend's pool all day and spend the days at the beach. Finding the perfect swimsuit, however, can be a challenge, and swimsuit shopping can be a really annoying and frustrating trip. It took me until last year to find a swimsuit top that I actually felt confident in! Because everyone's bodies are so different, it makes designing and finding a swimsuit difficult. Personally, I've come to love bandeau tops - they're very flattering for my small chest! - and I (secretly love) push up tops, too. As someone who doesn't have a whole lot going on on top, it's nice to have that little confidence boost! 

Looking online, I found a handful of swimsuits that I really liked. Triangl swimswear has exploded this year - it's as though everyone owns something from them! Victoria's Secret is always a great place to shop, too, but Target will always be #1 in my heart. This one piece, crochet overlay suit is absolutely beautiful, and perfect for wanting to cover up a bit. 

Tell me, where are your favorite places to shop for swimsuits?


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Introducing Chris

Starting sophomore year of high school, I never thought I’d end up falling in love with a boy (cheesy, but true) that I’d still be with over three years later. Chris and I started dating December of 2010 and have been happy together ever since! In the almost three and a half years we’ve been dating, we’ve experienced a lot (of great things): going on band festival trips, him being accepted to college and graduating high school, making memories at the fair, in basements, at parks, shopping, celebrating many birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions together, me going to college, and overall intertwining our lives. Since he has had yet to make a special appearance on the blog, I thought it was only appropriate to introduce him, interview style ;) Meet Chris!

What were you most nervous about when you asked me to be your girlfriend?
I wasn’t worried that you would say no…. I could tell you were into me, haha. I was mostly worried I would look stupid, which I totally did.
Do you have a favorite date of ours? What is it?
I don’t have a favorite date. I enjoy anything we get to experience together for the first time.

What was our first kiss like – awkward? Perfect? In between?
Our first kiss was super awkward. You weren’t expecting it and you had hair in your mouth (haha).

How would you describe your style?
My style is very “IDGAF.” I just wear what I think looks sick and is comfortable. I like a lot of random shit.

What do you do in your free time? Hobbies?
I snowboard in the winter, play drums, long board, and have recently gotten into mixing (music). Also, Pokémon.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Some days I want to be a PhD scientist, other days I want to be a drop out musician. I’ll probably end up somewhere between those two things.

So, this is Chris! I hope it was fun to take a little peep into who Chris is and our relationship. He’s a major part of my life and sharing him with you has been a lot of fun!

Tell me, was your first kiss really awkward? Do you have a favorite date?


Monday, May 19, 2014

Trend Watch: Peplum

Peplum is making its way into everyone's closet this spring. With all the bright colors, fun patterns, and great fabrics to choose from, it's the perfect top for spring! Peplum has always been a favorite of mine; I bought a top featured in this post while in high school and fell in love! It lead me to purchase another top, featured in this recent post.  Brands everywhere, from C. Wonder, to Nasty Gal, to Lilly Pulitzer are coming out with their own take on the popular trend. It's so flattering on all body types and creates an easy, fun look. Not to mention they come in every price range! What more could you ask for?

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{link - Danielle wears a lot of peplum! 123}

Here are my favorite picks for this spring:

Are you following the peplum trend?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Frives

I couldn't be happier that it's Friday... This has been a busy week! On top of all my school work, I made a special little trip down to Chris' fraternity on Tuesday for Greek Week and brought a few friends along. My week has gone fast, but I get to make another little trip down to Seattle and spend the night with Chris! Tomorrow we're coming back up to my school and celebrating the weekend on campus, enjoying an event filled campus weekend. There are going to be some local bands performing, a barbecue, and some other fun things, like a zipline! Here are my five links that I'm loving this week.

Did you see the recipe from PopCosmo? It's their Raw Chocolate Pudding! You need to peep it!

I'm sure everyone's posted this link, but these scalloped sandals are perfect for this summer.

This striped dress is just calling my name... It's only $14.29 (what?!) and I can definitely see myself walking through Seattle this summer wearing it.

How cute is this super easy DIY paper flower garland? High Walls really nailed it for the perfect spring DIY!

Natasha's Kitchen has the perfect summer cupcake recipe (I'm really into summer recipes right now!). These hydrangea cupcakes not only look delicious, they're almost too cute to eat!

Do you have any great weekend plans? Let me know what you're up to!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

How Make College Easier

Moving away for school is a big point in someone's life, and a hard one. I've compiled a short list of my top 6 pieces of advice on how to make coming to college a little easier for incoming freshmen, all from first hand experience. As my first year of college is (slowly) coming to an end, I've realized I've learned a lot this year, about myself and the relationships I have. Congrats to anyone making the choice to attend a school next fall - no matter the school - I'm very excited for you!

1  ||  You don't need to buy all your dorm items right away. My school is one of 93 college campuses left still on the quarter system, meaning I don't start classes until late September. I put off buying items for my dorm, like a little ottoman, a bunch of plates, bowls, and cups, and small decor items, until September and bam! Everything was discounted. Places like Target and Fred Meyer that release dorm room specific items will put everything on sale at the end of August. If you can, wait until then to buy what you need.

2  ||  Hand sanitizer is your best friend. Despite wanting to think otherwise, there are people who don't wash their hands. Keeping hand sanitizer in your bag or backpack is handy for those times you accidentally get some sticky coffee on your hands during a lecture or you've been touching door handles, desks, and chairs all day. These Bath and Body Works small sanitizers are my favorite, aren't they everyone's?

3  ||  You will be emotional, and that's okay! Moving away to college, even if it's close to home, is a very emotional experience. You're in a whole new place you've never been before, surrounded by people you've never met! It's natural to feel a little homesick, to cry, and feel out of place at first. Hopefully that will change as your year goes on and you settle in and get comfortable. And if you're not homesick or feel out of place at all, that's great, too! Remember you're never alone in how you're feeling.

4  ||  The perfect phone case can change your life. Seriously. I've had a bad habit of never buying a phone case (oops) until the phone I have right now. That's ended with a lot of broken phones and frustrated feelings. Hands down the best case you could carry with you (as long as you don't lose your phone often) is a wallet case. I bought mine off Amazon, similar to this, and couldn't be happier with it. Walking around campus with a full wallet can be both annoying and can take up a lot of space. This solves that problem! Plus, if you're someone who likes to go out, this is the perfect solution to not carry a purse around all night!

5  ||  You don't need to buy full priced bedding or designer towels. Let's be real: buying full priced bedding for a college dorm is kind of a waste of money. Realistically, we'll all only use our twin-xl bedding for one year if we can help it. It's a financially smarter move to buy bedding or towels from places like TJ Maxx or Marshalls: I bought a Kate Spade comforter for under $50 at TJ Maxx and a Tommy Hilfiger comforter and two sets of Tommy Hilfiger sheets from Ross for under $75! Towels are the same: a towel is a towel, and you can still buy really big, soft, and colorful ones from TJ Maxx for a reasonable price.

6  ||  Try not to be hard on yourself, especially your first quarter/semester. At my school, the only students who aren't put on academic probation for not making a 2.5 GPA are first quarter incoming freshmen. It's known that a student's first quarter or semester can be really rough, being that the students are still adjusting to a college atmosphere and learning how to study. College is a lot different than high school, so it's important to remember that just because you didn't need to study in high school or got really good grades, that could (will most likely) change when you go off to school. Don't be hard on yourself if you don't get a 4.0 your first quarter or semester: so many other students are in your position.

I hope you all found this list useful and enjoyable! College can be really amazing, but like all great things, can have some hard points. Making the transition as easy as possible can really make a difference! 
Do you have any pieces of advice?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Travel Bug: Cities I Need to Visit

I absolutely love to travel. Doesn't everyone? I'm lucky enough to have traveled a good deal in these past 18 (almost 19!) years. I've been to a handful of states along the west coast, and many European countries, but there are still so many cities within the US I'm itching to visit! These are the cities I'm hoping to explore in the next ten or so years!

I have yet to hear anything negative about Boston. All the beautiful historic buildings, little cafes, and attractions makes it the perfect place to spend a low-key vacation. Plus, with all those universities, there's bound to be some fun attractions for young adults! 


Washington, D.C. (again!)
I had the great experience of being flown to a conference in D.C. last April, but I didn't get the opportunity to explore the city the way I wanted to. The conference was incredible, but I wish I could go back and truly take in what D.C. has to offer! I really loved the energy, and even doing all the tourist-y things - it's D.C., you can't not take a photo in front of the White House!

Chicago has only been on my radar recently. Did you see this post from Gracey on her trip to Chicago? The tall buildings, the water, and all the museums to visit? Yes please! I absolutely love cities and Chicago, I'm sure, would be no exception.

Do I even need to say it? The Kentucky Derby is something I hope to experience in my near future. I love the excitement, the big hats, and the dresses! I've never been into derbys, but I can see myself attending numerous derbys in my lifetime!

San Francisco
San Francisco has, in my experience, a reputation of being a very relaxed but fun city. One of my close friends at school is from here and hearing the stories he tells of the city makes me want to visit so badly! I love nothing like a big city on the water. I still have yet to visit a beach on the California coast - I want San Francisco to be the first!

Something about North Carolina is so appealing to me. It might be that it's a southern state on the water, and that my aunt lives right in the heart of Raleigh and loves it! Whatever it is, I'm dying to visit and luckily for me, am spending a week in Raleigh this summer before I spend a few nights in New York City. I've only ever heard great things about Raleigh, and can't wait to go shopping at Crabtree Valley Mall and Cameron Village!
New York City
This is a city where I know I don't need to say why it's on my list. Who doesn't want to visit NYC?! There are endless possibilities of how to spend your day, so many restaurants to discover, and neighborhoods to explore. Have you seen Katie from Katie's Bliss' Instagram? She uploaded so many beautiful photos of West Village - I need to see those townhouses for myself!

That pretty much wraps of my list (for now)! I hope traveling becomes somewhat regular for me in my future, but we'll see. If you have any recommendations for NYC or Raleigh, please let me know ;)

Are there any cities you need to visit?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Fives + Exciting News!

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Friday is here yet again (cheers!) and I couldn't be happier. The sun has been shining bright this week and the weather reached 80 yesterday. It felt so nice to wear shorts to class for the first time all year! Unfortunately the rain will come yet again this weekend, but at least I had the chance to spend some time in the sun while it lasted. I'm heading down to Seattle today to visit with my boyfriend and catch up with some friends I haven't seen in awhile - check out my Instagram to keep up with what's not always shared here! 

Before a share my five links, I have some (very) exciting news: I'm visiting NYC this July! My aunt, sister, and I are driving from Raleigh, and I couldn't be more excited. I've only ever been on the east coast once for a conference, but now I have the chance to experience some really amazing places! Though there's Yelp and whatnot, I'd love to hear what kind of recommendations you have for delicious restaurants, the best places to shop, tips on what to pack - I want to hear it all! Leave a comment down with your favorite spots + things to do!

Scallops are huge this year, bigger than before! This dress from Missguided is no exception - it even comes in pink.

Lately I've been resorting to Pinterest for some words of encouragement (and cute photos). My words board is constantly being pinned to and referred to - take a look!

The sunshine is the perfect excuse to pick up a new pair of sunnies. Madewell has this amazing pair in three great colors, though vintage stout would definitely be my pick.

Victoria at vmac+cheese published this post over a year ago with a free download for blog graphics! Pinterest led this to recently resurface and I couldn't be more thankful!

Birthdays are always fun to celebrate, but it's always fun to share gifts with loved ones year round! This birthday gift basket could easily be changed to an anniversary or "just because" gift - I love the idea of cute personalized baskets!

Happy weekend! I wish you all a fun, safe, and relaxing couple of days. Make sure you leave NYC recommendations - I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My College Dorm Desk

Can you believe it's already May?! I can't (oh wait, yes I can). In all honesty, I am ready for this school year to be over. I'm so envious of all the semester schools who are out of school this week and next. I'm still in school until June 12th! I want my summer to start already!

Going through some photos, I realized I never shared these that I took of my desk a little before spring break. I thought that, even though many schools are already getting out, I'd share them anyway! My desk seems pretty busy, but I like it. There's a good balance of practicality, bright colors, and inspiration, all that make it very personalized. The desks that my college offers aren't the greatest, but the do the trick. I hope you like how I keep my desk organized!

If you couldn't tell, I love patterned school supplies!

When do you get out of school?

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