Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Casual Summers

Hooded Sweater (similar)  ||  Shorts  ||  Flip Flops

One of the greatest parts of summer is laying around in the hot weather and doing whatever you please! As a college student, it's such a relief to no longer have so much homework to do during the summer months. Since I was just lounging around, I threw on this hooded sweater that my sister bought, a pair of simple white shorts, and some flip flops. Though it doesn't look like it, it was hot out! This sweater is perfect: it's thin and pretty see-through (although it doesn't look like it), so wearing a bralette, bandeau, or swimsuit underneath creates an easy look and while keeping you cool in this hot weather.

I hope everyone's summer is going great!

Monday, June 23, 2014

The 5 Best Uses for Coconut Oil

If you haven't jumped in on the coconut oil bandwagon, then what are you doing? Coconut oil is one of the most useful items I own. Aside from the endless culinary opportunities that the oil has to offer, it does wonders for skin and hair. With it's anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, it's the perfect oil to use on your skin to moisturize, remove makeup, and even use in the shower! But remember: with coconut oil, a little goes a long way.

Makeup Remover  ||  Coconut oil, like many oils, breaks down both face and eye makeup, making it the perfect makeup remover. I put a little bit on my fingers and rub it all over my face, focusing on my eyes. Using a damp washcloth, I wipe my face clean! It's so easy, fast, and won't clog any pores. 

Body Scrubs  ||  I absolutely love homemade body scrubs (I have a post coming soon featuring my favorite scrub + mask recipes!). Using coconut oil as a base creates such a moisturizing scrub. I like to mix a little bit of coconut oil with brown sugar and rub it all over my body, even my face. It washes off so easily and leaves your skin feeling silky soft!

Oil Pulling  ||  Have you heard of oil pulling? I've been doing it off and on for awhile now. Here's the breakdown: you take a tablespoon of coconut oil and put it in your mouth, swishing it around for 20 minutes, first thing in the morning. Make sure not to swallow any of it and to spit it out in the garbage when the 20 minutes is over! The oil "pulls" out toxins and bad bacteria from your body through your mouth, leaving you feeling fresh! This has many health benefits, including prevention of bad breath, strengthening of teeth, gums, and jaw, healthier skin and hair, better sleeping habits, and making people just feel overall better. Do this before you brush your teeth and while you get ready in the morning!

Moisturizer  ||  Like I mentioned, coconut oil is so moisturizing! I love rubbing it all over my freshly shaven legs and using it on my face before I go to sleep. It locks in moisture and makes my skin feel so soft.

Hair Masks  ||  Hair masks are not only vital to hair health, but so much fun! Put a little bit of coconut oil on the ends of your hair and sleeping with it in overnight. To prevent your hair from being oily and stringy the next day, shampoo with your hair dry. That's right - shampoo your hair before you get it wet! This will make sure that you get all the oil out and leave your hair feeling just as soft and clean as ever!

Do you have any favorite coconut oil uses?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Instagram Recap


Are you following me on Instagram? It's safe to say I'm always scrolling through my feed. There are just too many great photos that I don't want to miss! Send me your links - I'd love to find more fun accounts to follow!

I hope you're all having a wonderful Tuesday. I work tonight until 10 and know I'm going to be exhausted after a trip into Seattle for a meeting, plus a 5 hour shift. At least I can snack on the infamous Auntie Anne's pretzels during my lunch break, right?


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fin, Year 1

"And just like that, my freshmen year of college is over." Wait... What? Let me back track a little. My freshmen year of college ended today and let me tell you: I am ready. I have to admit that this year has been the hardest year I've ever dealt with. Between my own insecurities and worries, my fear of not being able to make friends or build any new relationships, my inability to sit down and focus on school work for an adequate amount of time, and all the mental breakdowns and internal struggles, this has been a long year. I didn't get the greatest grades, I didn't do a lot of exploration in this city or school, and I didn't truly feel like a part of the community here, but I did make a lot of great memories. I met people that I really love and click with. I learned what it's like to walk all the way across campus in a hurry to get to my midterm, I re-discovered why going to house parties of people I don't know makes me uncomfortable, and I learned to love dining hall food (most of the time). I've met people who have taught me a lot about themselves and about myself, who have taught me how to learn from their mistakes and how to open myself up to a new idea or lifestyle. I also made it through my first year of college, and like all things, including the small victories, that is something to celebrate. 

For a long time, I debated coming to my university. I debated staying at home and attending a community college so I could have a better chance at attending my first choice school and having the college experience I wanted. I felt at war with myself and very conflicted and, in the end, I decided I would beat myself up for the rest of my life (probably not) if I felt like I was missing out on a "real" freshmen year of college. All through my senior year I felt very pressured to attend a four year right out of high school, which is absurd. I do believe that college is important and, for me, vital, but going straight to a four year isn't always the right route for everyone. Going to a community college or taking a small break can be just as encouraging, insightful, and powerful for an individual as attending a four year university right away. Every college experience and approach varies from each person to the next, and there is no right or wrong. I believed I needed to go to a four year right away, and in some ways, I almost regret that decision. I thought I would be looked down upon and wouldn't be as successful if I waited to go to a four year, versus going right away. There are many days I wake up wishing I waited so I could have gone to the university I actually want to attend. But, on other mornings, I'm very thankful I decided to be a Viking, knowing I met some really incredible people.

The people I've met here are people that need to be celebrated. I've become so close to people that come from all over, from Portland, to San Francisco, to Cincinnati. I have friends who I realized only live 20 minutes from my hometown, or live right across the river from me. I've met people who are transfers, who are of various religions, who have different diets and different lifestyles than me. College, aside from academics, is really about the people you meet and the memories you make with them. The other students that I've become close with are what made this school year worth it. They're what made the nights I stayed up until 2 am crying, the days I dreaded coming back up from Seattle or home, the days I spent alone convincing myself I had no friends, and the moments I felt I made the worst decision of my life, all worth it. I might not feel like a part of the campus community here, but I feel like I belong with the people I've come to know and love. 

I might not be here next year. I might leave and try to find a "home" elsewhere. I came to this school knowing I didn't want to, knowing I'd rather be somewhere else, and really realized that I wasn't happy here. I wasn't always myself, and that was a thought that scared me. When I spoke with the friends I've met who are absolutely in love with this university, who call this place their home, who are sad to see the year end and are anticipating fall when they can return, I know that this isn't my place. And that is okay. Not everyone finds their place right away. One of my closest friends is a transfer and is in love with it here, unlike her first school. Not everyone jumps into the place they call home. Sometimes it takes a bit more searching, and that's what I plan on doing. I might not be a Viking next year (was I really ever?), and I might not ever come back to this city. Though a beautiful place, an incredible school, and the home to many bright, young, ambitious students, this is not my school, and this is not my home. It took me a long time to understand that this didn't need to be my place. College is about learning, developing, growing, and thinking. It's also about feeling at peace, feeling essential to the community, feeling certain. For some of us, that takes awhile. I expected that I would be the only person feeling lost, confused, and conflicted, but I was wrong. I was not alone, I was never alone, and to anyone else feeling this way: you are not alone

{I sure am going to miss this view}

I am thankful for the time I have spent here. If I come back, I know I can make it through the year. If I don't, I know I am capable of being a strong, young, ambitious, and driven woman who wants to pursue her higher education and receive her hard-earned degree. As for the people I've met, the memories I've made, and the professors I've learned from, I am ready to celebrate.
{The difference just a couple of minutes make}

 I hope that everyone has an incredible summer break and that you all had a memorable school year! I'd love if you shared some great memories with me!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Style Envy: Amber Heard



{via left, right}

{source unknown}

{source unknown}


Amber Heard is currently on my style radar. I've been a fan of her ever since I watched the first (and only) season of Hidden Palms, way back in 2007. Old, right? Since then, she's been featured in a few hits, like Zombieland and The Stepfather, but what really makes her stand out is her look. Her style ranges from the classic "girl next door" to glamour Hollywood, and that's exactly why I love her so much. She creates this effortlessly sexy look, while still being bold and conservative (sometimes). There's nothing not to love about her: that hair is stunning, no matter the color, her eyes are eccentric, she can wear any lip color, and pulls off the "all natural" look beautifully. Seriously though, that hair.

Who's on your style radar?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cooler Painting!

(The gold background and purple writing looks much better in person!)


Phew! I'm finally finished with the cooler I painted for Chris. Let me tell you, it was hard work. I wasn't expecting it to be so hard, but it was also really fun! I'm definitely going to make him another next year. I wanted to share with you all the finished product - it's nowhere near perfect, but for my first cooler, I'm pretty happy! I'm definitely not an artist and sometimes have trouble keeping a steady hand with the paint, but Chris absolutely loves it and that's what matters. We brought it to Canada and everyone was going crazy over it! Cooler painting isn't popular in Washington, so Chris is really one of the only guys in his house who's had a girl paint them a cooler. I'm so relieved they all love it!

If you looking to paint a cooler, for yourself, a friend, a big/little, or whoever else, I recommend joining the Cooler Connection Facebook page! There are plenty of links to help a newbie through the process and a files tab that includes information on anything you could need! Girls also post photos of the coolers they painted, serving as a great place to ask questions and gain inspiration. I also used Sarah's "Fraternity Cooler Painting 101" post to guide me through! 

Here's a simple breakdown on how to paint a cooler!
  1. Pick out your cooler - I bought mine at Walmart! Try to find one that would be easy to paint and doesn't have very many divits or logos to fill in.
  2. Sand, sand, sand! Using an electric sander is so handy. If you don't sand your cooler, it will chip and you might not even finish it because it'll chip before you're done!
  3. Prime all surfaces that you're going to paint! This will help the paint adhere to your cooler and create bright colors.
  4. Paint! Acrylic paint is pretty much what everyone uses. I had to paint multiple layers for my backgrounds - around 4 or 5 layers - so be patient. I Modge Podged between my background and image layers! 
  5. Modge Podge and seal over the finished product! This will help seal the paint, protect it, and make it smooth!
Obviously I'm not the best, but I'm happy with mine. For more in depth directions, visit Sarah's link or the Cooler Connection page!

I hope you enjoy the cooler! I'm pretty proud of it. 
Have you painted a cooler? Send me pictures if you have!

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