31 May 2013

The Turning of a Page

Today is my high school graduation!

It is absolutely insane to think back four years to my freshman year and just how much has changed. High school houses some of your most life-changing moments: first finals, getting your driver's license, prom and homecoming, the sports, the friends, and oh my- the drama! But, for better or worse, I've grown to love my school and all of the kids in my class. People always say that you'll leave in a better place than you started. That couldn't be more true. I've lost some people, but gained even more! 

I've gained responsibility, friendships. and mentors. I've learned what it's like to work a part-time job (an even better incentive to go to college!) on top of school work. I've learned what it takes to be a real friend... and what to look for in a friend. I've made some of the greatest memories and some of the biggest mistakes. I've traveled and learned. I've dug deeper and am on the path of really being the person that I'm capable of being, and it's crazy to think that I may have to do it all over again!

These upcoming years are going to be even more soul-searching and developing into the woman that I can become. I'll learn so much about myself, others, and my field of study. I've got college athletics, greek life, and internships  to look forward to. I couldn't be more excited!

As an official high school graduate, here I go. Into the world of college!

Top 5: May 2013

Another month has come and passed and it is finally summer!
Today is graduation and tomorrow begins grad party madness! The slowing down of school along with me just not caring as much anymore has led to me getting into all kinds of cool, random things! I'm sorry if this "Top 5" post seems random. It probably is!

5. YouTube Beauty/ Lifestyle Videos
So, instead of watching a tv show or movie, I've been really into watching YouTube videos. I feel like I learn such awesome tips about beauty and just life from them! Some of my favorites include Sarah Belle, Bethany, and of course Carly! I'm not sure what makes them so entertaining, but I'm not the only one who does this because all of these ladies have millions of views!

4. Etsy!
Hello, online shopping addiction! I'd heard of etsy before and had been on their website, but I'd never really spent any amount of time on it. Let me just tell you, their monogram selection is wonderful! I've been looking for stickers and desk supplies for college, and the selection and prices on etsy are awesome. I haven't made an order yet, but I'm sure I will soon. 

3. Colored Lip Stuff
I said "stuff" because it varies from lipstick, to gloss, to balm. With less focus on my face and eyes in my summer makeup routine, fun lips are an easy way to brighten up my face without looking too overdone! I still haven't gotten into the lipstick on a daily basis, but I'm loving Baby Lips in Pink for day-to-day funness! 

2. The New Lilly Agendas
A "Top 5" wouldn't be complete without some Lilly! When the new agendas were released, I think I might have cried. They're so so so adorable! I am in love with the Tusk in Sun print (unfortunately, it ships after I leave for college so I'm not sure about that) as well as LuLu and Let's Cha Cha. Can I buy all 3? No seriously. I almost can't wait for school to be in session so that I can use one of them! The hard part is going to be deciding which one to get.

1. Acrylic Desk Accessories
I know... kindof a weird #1 for the month. But I've become obsessed. From Design Darling's Acrylic and monogrammed Collection to Etsy and the Container Store, I can't wait to be all decked out in acrylic accessories! It's a bit retro, but I'm also a fan of clean lines and classy-but-still-functional furniture. 

I warned you that this list was going to be random and weird! I've done a lot of dorm and college shopping, which is probably why these are my favorites for the month. 

Hopefully June will be more exciting!

30 May 2013


Not sure how you guys feel about color and wearing certain colors...
But I'm not really a huge fan of black.

While Black can be chic and trendy, I'm much more of a navy blue girl. I think that the dark color (but still a color) is a good staple to have. I assure you that I am extremely guilty of buying all navy blue. But black, black is just too much! It makes me feel old and sophisticated. I guess that's not always bad, but I like to have fun and be happy; black, to me, is not happy. 

Now, that's not to say that I'm opposed to a fabulous lbd. I think black boots are great and versatile. And a black car is a great car. I'm just saying that when it comes to day-to-day outfit choices, black is too drab.

Maybe it's just a summer vs. winter thing.

What colors do you veer towards or away from?

28 May 2013

The Bucket List

I've never really been one to make a list of things that I want to do or see...
I guess the one thing I'm a bit spontaneous about in my life is my planning. I know, it makes no sense. But I just pick something or someplace randomly and plan from there! 

Then I got to thinking: if I don't think about the things I want to do and see, I may never be organized enough to see them all!

Enter, the bucket list. I'm working on a more extensive one, but I've got a few things though up to start with (in no particular order)

1. Go on a ridiculous shopping spree after my first big paycheck
2. Spend a summer with friends at the beach
3. Take a winter trip to Switzerland
4. Go to the Kentucky Derby... and the Carolina Cup and the Breeder's Cup
5. Do a day in the life of Blair Waldorf and visit the NYC spots that she frequents
6. Move South!
7. Spend every weekend of one summer at a different amusement park
8. Buy an ungodly amount of books to put in my home library I will someday have
9. Cook a bunch of meals and hand them out to the homeless people in the city
10. Visit D.C. in the spring
11. Take a EuroTrip all over eastern Europe
12. Watch all the Harry Potter movies in a row

To be continued...

27 May 2013

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day from one prep to another.
Enjoy the cookouts, the family, the friends...

And, most importantly, the freedom!

26 May 2013

Sparkle Bright!

Memorial Day Weekend is always spent with family, food, and lots of pool time. Of course, my very near graduation has been a frequent subject at family gatherings and I expect no less for the following days. Today, my aunt was talking to me about my plans and just college life in general and I came to a very odd (for me) realization:

I need to make certain that what I do in college sets me up for my future.

A lot of times, college is talked about as a fun time or a time that all adults wish they could go back to. But, the thing is, college is a serious resume- building time. It's the time where you make your greatest friends, reach a great mental capacity, and hopefully have fun doing so! The collegiate world has so many opportunities and activities to offer and I can't wait to find my niche and to grow through those activities. 

I am a type-A planner, who has to make sure that everything happens just right. But, I'm not the type who "sells" myself very well. That's got to change in college. Whether it's interviewing for a school, leadership position, internship, or job, I've got to be able to set myself apart. I need to be a diamond in the rough... or at least a diamond amongst gems. This is something that is hard for me, but it'll surely be something that I'll be working on! 

sparkle in Kate Spade

I find it extremely challenging to set myself on a pedestal and essentially make myself better than others, but I 100% understand the need for it in the corporate world. 

So, here's to the new Sarah

24 May 2013

Guilty Pleasure: Nicholas Sparks

I'm a reader. 
If that wasn't obvious then I don't know what is.
And I love literature that covers great social and psychological questions. I love a book where you can tell that the author really worked to make the novel a thinker. I don't just read mindless novels. I like symbolism and the confrontation of questions that humans have wondered throughout time.

For example, my favorite authors are Fitzgerald and Hemingway, and I absolutely love the beginner of the women's movement: Jane Austen. But, sometimes I just want a fairy tale. I want mindless reading that fulfills fantasy and hope. That's when I look to Nicholas Sparks. 

The Longest Ride comes out in August

Yes, I know most of his books have similar basic plots and are predictable. I know that they aren't deep and don't really make the reader think or engage them in any pondering of human nature. But, for a beach read, Nicholas Sparks is perfect. For a mindless read, he's perfect. For when you just want to fall in love, pick up one of his books.

Nicholas Sparks novels are 100% a guilty pleasure of mine. I don't really like to admit that I read the books and I often criticize people if his books are the only ones they read. I mean, it's not real literature. He writes for money and movie deals, but sometimes you just need to live vicariously through someone else's love stories. Since his book are usually based in the South, they're especially good for the beach or any fantasy of being south and falling in love.

Yes, I'm ashamed of my love, but I'll keep on reading because I'm a hopeless romantic

23 May 2013

Summer Lilly FWP!

In case you didn't know, The Lilly Pulitzer Free With Purchase sale is currently going on and will continue until Sunday!

Gifts include beach towels, beach blankets, a makeup bag or a sunglass case!!

Go, go, go and get geared up for a very Lilly summer!

The Cure...

This couldn't be more true. I'll pass on the tears, 

but I will gladly take the sea. 

22 May 2013


I had no idea what to write until the perfect opportunity presented itself: 
I came home from a long day and the first thing my dad does is force all of his frustrations on me. This confrontation scared me, made me feel guilty, and left me wanting nothing else than a dark room and music. So, that's exactly where I went. I went up to my room and got comfy. Then I realized that I always run for the hills when anyone confronts me or I ever have to confront something myself.

This can be anything from an unfaithful friend to talking to my counselor about a bad grade. I want everything to be peachy- even when things aren't, I try to pretend as if they are (that avoidance thing again). I hate confronting problems or people. It makes me shaky and bright red! And, though I'm not an emotional person, the tears start to flow at the simplest thing.
I don't know what it is that causes me to be so... paralyzed. Even when I'm congratulating someone or someone comes up to me with a compliment, I lose it! We all have this image in our heads of how the world is and what we are to the world. I'm very much a romanticist when it comes to the bad of life; I'm a realist when it comes to the good. This makes my view of the world just like everyone else's view: very, very skewed. 
When someone, or myself, brings up an alternate view, I start to freak out! I feel very small and insignificant, and like I was very wrong. I don't lack self confidence, I just lack a proper view of who I am to some people. Because of this, I'm left with a terrible fear of confrontation and coming off as different than I expect to. 
This whole problem is something that I need to, well, confront and conquer. My whole life I'm going to be missing my goals and the goals of others as well as exceeding said goals. There are going to be confrontations (hopefully without raised voices) and there are going to be things at stake. There's not always going to be a bedroom and headphones or a book to escape to. And, honestly, talking through the confrontation is probably better... especially since that way I can come out right instead of a coward :)

I've done a lot of finding who I am lately, which I love!

21 May 2013


This past weekend I had a chick-flick night with my momma. 
You guessed it- Nicolas Sparks made an appearance in the form of his newest movie Safe Haven. While it was a cute movie with a cute story, I left the viewing a bit confused and frustrated; not only did the movie end with a curve ball completely out of left field, but, looking back on the movie, it was inconsistent and illogical.

That's when it hit me: Inconsistency is my biggest pet peeve!

I'm not saying inconsistency in the way of leaving for work at 7:15 instead of 7:10 or something silly like that (although I am guilty of planning my life down to the minute) but inconsistency in literature or show is so frustrating! I can't be the only one- you know, when something just doesn't seem logically to fit together or wouldn't fit together in real life. 

I find that modern literature really does this a lot. Creative license is used too liberally as an excuse to change something up halfway through a novel and blame it on some ridiculous reason. It's really hard to explain what I mean, but I guess this frustration is the reason I really like just good ole' classic literature and authors. More than anything, the lack of effort put into art is shown in the inconsistency. 

Then I get to thinking about my life and the excuses I make. The inconsistencies in my life. If I were consistent with the people who I said I wanted to spend time with, I'd be much busier than I am. If I were consistent in making the amount of money that I say I want to make, I'd never leave work and never have a day off! Thinking about my frustrations with modern art just reflects the frustrations I have with myself: I'm an inconsistent mess. And, as crazy as it sounds, I think it's my obsessive planning and freaking out about all things that don't fit into my "plan" that leads to me living this mix on consistent and inconsistent life. Where my daily life is the same, but I'm constantly contradicting what I really want to do for fear of getting out of my routine.

A problem, I know. But hopefully summer won't be as regimented and I can be with the people I want to be with and do the things I want to do... 

maybe I'll even get a bit spontaneous!

p.s. I did love this song from the movie. 

20 May 2013

Bittersweet Final Days

via Instagram

Today marks the final Monday that I have to wake up for high school and only 8 remaining days until graduation. It's really starting to hit me that my youth is coming to an end, in a way. Of course, college will still be fun and I'm not looking to grow up quickly by any means. But I will be essentially on my own- a big change for a girl who always has mom and dad there to fix any problems. Also, I've never been away from my family like I will be and it's all getting kind of scary!

I'm really starting to realize what graduation means.

No more 8 hour days in the same building. New people. Intelligent people! New friends. No more being watched over. More hard work. So much to do in so little time.

As exciting as the end is, it's bittersweet. 
So, for now, I'm enjoying my time at home (and in school) knowing that I'll be gone in a few short months. 

19 May 2013

The 1/4 Zip

So, I think I'm always cold.

Seriously, it can be 98 degrees outside and I'll get goosebumps when I go inside. I think it's just the contrast of the extreme heat with the extreme air conditioning, but I get so cold! And don't get me started on summer nights. My trademark phrase is that my "leg hair is growing!"
...because, you know, goosebumps makes it grow?

Vineyard Vines

So, because I hate being cold, I love 1/4 zip pullovers! Whether from Marley Lilly, Lilly Pulitzer, Vineyard Vines, or the local Target, I'll wear it. I love the pullover with shorts and flip flop looks for cooler nights on the beach or boat as well as the ability to wear layers. Plus, these without anything underneath and a scarf instantly adds some color. Wanna dress it up? Wear a polo or button up underneath (and maybe pop the collars?). You've probably picked up that I love versatile pieces. The 1/4 zip is extremely versatile and cute.

Seems like a win-win to me!

18 May 2013

The Future of Education

See a more in-depth video on Apple's Education page

Heading into higher education right now is so exciting! 
Technology is rapidly changing to make information more readily accessible and more interesting to learn. Watching this video about the Essa Academy in the UK literally gave me chills- it's so awesome to see success at such a high level with just a few tweaks. Like the flipped classroom idea, bringing extensive technology to education can drastically increase the success rates of students all over the world! 

Seriously, the ability for a teacher to set up a book of lessons and change it as your focus of study changes is incredible! Even more, the teacher can create their own "textbook" that follows the basic agenda and include multimedia such as movies in it. Talk about lightening a load- an iPad and MacBook and you're good to go? Sign me up!

I am hesitant to move to virtual textbooks, though. My class was part of an experiment freshman year where we all had netbooks and used them in our classes. They weren't Apple and the classroom didn't fit together as seamlessly as they would have had all of the technology been made to work together. With that fact out of the way, I hated and I do mean HATED the textbooks online. They were so hard to use as a reference tool because you couldn't just flip through the pages quickly to find an image or reference an idea. In college where you purchase your textbook, a virtual one keeps you from being able to hilight and make notes in the margins. So... I'm still not sure how I feel about virtual books, although I said the same thing about my good ole Kindle and now I'm in love.

Regardless of any bit of hesitance right now, I think that technology is progressing in a great way all over the world. Human culture no longer has to evolve physically; we evolve technologically. We're at a point now where new technology is available at rapid rates and will continue for the whole spectrum, from education to economics to health care. 

I'm so excited to see where we will be in the next 5-10 years.

also, congrats to the Essa Academy! So great to see such progression in a short amount of time.

17 May 2013

Sacrifices and Scapegoats

The last thing I expected to get from a Gossip Girl episode was deep thoughts about life and relationships. It's the episode where Dan reveals to everyone that the book he wrote was not only by him, but about them. The reactions depicted in the show were very real and I'm sure that I'd react similarly to that kind of news. The thing is, he used his creative license to take reality and change it. Dan wrote about the world he lived in, but he emphasized the bad. 

He took a very realistic view of the Upper East Side world.

Obviously, he wrote as he needed to and he took a hit from the exaggerations in his writing. His friends felt betrayed and his father felt as if he were a waste. Blair's engagement was almost ruined and Nate took offense to the fact that he didn't even get a full character in the book. On the surface, this whole episode is full of tense moments and irony. Taking a deeper look, though, I think we can all learn from Dan's experience.

The thing is, there are going to be times in our lives where we're going to have to act as a scapegoat. We are going to have to put ourselves out there to be slaughtered in order to advance who we are. Whether artistically or academically, these moments will show us who are true friends are. They're the ones who will understand that their embarrassment or failure (for lack of better words) in the eyes of someone else is what allows for others to progress. This fact is deep and terrifying, but oh so true.

Just think, even Jesus acted as a scapegoat. He had to be shamed and embarrassed for the continuation of mankind. His sacrifice led to bigger things in the scheme of the world. In the case of Gossip Girl, the superficial Upper East Siders had to be sacrificed for Dan. In the big picture, who they are portrayed as in an artistic book that only a select audience will read, it doesn't really matter. And, that's something I'll have to remember when I'm put in either position: the scapegoat or the killer.

Growing up and advancing in a career or school is something that any person striving for success will have to do. To be on top, someone's got to be taken down. I'm not saying that I'll take personal attacks on people like Dan did, but there will be advances made. American society thrives off of competition and there's no way around it. So, when you are in this situation just remember to think it through. Is the tearing down of one person going to matter in the big scheme of life? Can this be a commensalistic relationship, where one person benefits and the other really doesn't suffer much at all?

I can't tell you how I'll react.
But I pray that it is with grace and poise.

Summer Wish List

Summer means shorts, dresses, sandals, and oh so many bright colors!
As the self-proclaimed shopaholic that I am, I have a mile long list of summer clothes to buy. Bigger paychecks, graduation money, and babysitting all means one thing: shopping! 

I've narrowed my wish list down to a few items that I need in my closet... soon!

So, I used to think that Jack Rogers looked like shoes more fit for my grandma than for myself. But they've really been growing on me and I'm thinking that I might need to buy a pair this summer! I'm still deciding on color, but I'm loving the navy and white, the gold, and the plain white. For my first pair, I really want something versatile and that I can dress up or down. I've put probably more thought into these shoes than necessary, but I really just want the perfect pair!

This dress. Okay so I'd be happy with anything off the Lilly summer line, but this Cambrey Dress is basically the most perfect dress ever. It's so classy and is perfect for nautical summer trips as well as into fall. Even more perfect: I got the summer GWP dates in the mail today... so guess what I'll be buying?

Only I would be the one to add summer reading material to my list of summer wants. But, I'm going to need some good reads for by the beach, laying out at the pool, and traveling. I've got quite a few books that I'm planing to read, a few of which include Mrs. Kennedy and Me, The Freshman 50, and any F. Scott Fitzgerald. I've jumped the gun a bit and started reading This Side of Paradise. You can follow all of my summer reading at my Goodreads page :)

The countdown to summer is now in the single digits, so my motivation is at an all time low.
All I can think about is pool time, beach time, and being with friends! All of the fun colors of summer collections are not helping, and the emails about all the sales going on aren't much help, either. Hopefully I can get through these next days in one piece.

Freedom is just around the corner!

16 May 2013

Marching to a Beat

I absolutely am loving just sitting and listening to music lately! I've got a few favorite songs, but I've got one that really is a great motivator, fun to sing along with, and is optimistic- all the things I want in a great song!

Life in Color by OneRepublic

It's a great reminder to look at the beauty in live, every day :)
Happy Thursday- Tomorrow is Friday, yay!

15 May 2013

Back to the Jazz Age

So, it's not a secret that the Great Gatsby movie has been kindof a big deal.
I mean, the cast and classic story have provided the hype. Companies, though, are cashing in big time on this sudden obsession with everything 1920s and I am absolutely in love!

From Brooks Brothers to Tiffany and CO., I am drooling!

Can we just take a moment to admire this beautiful piece of jewelry? If anyone has a spare $50,000... graduation is coming up and I'll gladly accept this wonderful gift :)

But seriously! In a time where it seems like kids are growing up faster and life is getting trashier, this movement back to the Jazz Time, the time of abundance and freedom, is just what we need. The early 1900s is my absolute favorite time period, with all of the carefree agendas and the flapper fashion! I love that people's eyes are being drawn toward that style rather than super short shorts and crop tops. 

The Great Gatsby epitomizes the idea that "classy girls have more fun"

14 May 2013

A Pat on the Back

I struggle with something that I think most girls struggle with, which is I am way too critical of myself! My personality and absolute need to always be prepared and on time doesn't help, but I definitely find myself constantly feeling disappointed by certain outcomes. And, sometimes, they're even out of my control!

In my recent stint of self-love, I've thought of a few things that I love about myself or that I just absolutely love. Often times, these things are what I get most mad at myself about, but I should really learn to work with it. These "weaknesses" could easily become great strengths!

Firstly, I have the biggest sweet tooth and almost no will power! For someone who is pretty health-conscious, this part of who I am can be really frustrating! I know that, if I didn't eat that candy or cookie or cheesecake, I'd probably progress a lot faster in my diet goals. Being lighter will be easier on my joints, etc. But, you know what? I only have one life. If I want a cookie, I should eat it. In moderation, sweets aren't bad. For guys, it's super easy to get to my heart: always order dessert after dinner. Whenever a friend is breaking down and needs chocolate, I've always got some to share! I've gotten a lot better about moderation and control, but I've also gotten better at not being so hard on myself for indulging... daily. :o

I've never seen myself as graceful or "wonderful". On movies or tv shows, or even at school, there are always those girls who just posses this grace and inner strength. I am completely and utterly the opposite of these girls, and am the awkward one who always seems to have a hair out of place or a shoelace untied. I get so caught up in these girls, but they're so untouchable! They aren't approachable, and their friends aren't really their friends. I, on the other hand, have wonderful, caring friends! I have lots of guy friends and enjoy putting a smile on peoples's faces with my clumsiness. While I may not be full of grace and charm, I'm full of something... Not sure what, but I'll work with it!

Lastly, I've always been one to keep to myself. Whether it's my emotions or thoughts, I'm not very good at expressing them and I like my alone time. My mom always says that, when I was a kid, I'd be content with some crayons and a coloring book for hours! Sometimes I feel kinda dorky at how I like to be in bed early to read or always leave parties early to go to dinner with my family, but then I look at how in touch with my family I am and how much I've learned from reading books and being by myself. I am very independent and very much an individual. While it may seem lame now, my ability to work and grow alone will be a beneficial selling point when it comes to work.

I often feel like society is very much a "me, me, me" society, but looks down on the achievements of others. Those who like who they are a little too much are often looked at as stuck up. It's hard to balance humility with pride and not end up looking like a jerk. I've been searching for this balance as a way to love who I am and who God has made me to be. It's still a work in progress, and I expect it will continue to be. But, I do know one thing:

It starts with loving your little quirks. 

13 May 2013

Hey, It's Okay!

Sometimes I get this feeling that my habits aren't okay.
I'm too this, I'm too that. But, as I thought about it, I thought
"hey, It's okay"

and I made a list of the things that I do that others may think are crazy.

1. wear the same jeans two days in a row because they make you feel skinny... or make your butt look good
2. get Starbucks two times in one day
3. eat ice cream for lunch
4. skip a night with friends for a dinner and movie date by yourself
5. judge someone by the amount of monogrammed items they own (in this case, too much is never enough)
6. cry about the loss of an imaginary relationship while listening to sad country breakup songs
7. refuse to eat at a restaurant because they don't serve sweet tea
8. always want the beach, a good book, and your Ray Bans
9. enjoy a night spent with a good book more than a crazy night out   
10. Stay up all night finishing a book

Kinda crazy. Kinda weird. But, hey, it's okay!
Why? Because, 

they all make me, me.

12 May 2013

Back to Business

via BeFunky

My weekend in the city was wonderful!
It was jam-packed with sights and sounds of Chicago. We shopped, we ate, and we dropped.

Most importantly, we were home in time to be with our moms on Mother's Day. :)
As enjoyable as the weekend was, it's getting to be crunch time in school. The fact that I'm losing all motivation and just want summer isn't helping, either! I am less than 3 weeks away from graduating and moving on to college and all that fun stuff.

So, here's to the week! Summer is so close.

10 May 2013

Get Out of Town

It's always good to take a break from the busy life at home and just get away.

This weekend, I am doing just that! A group of friends and I are going to take a little road trip to Chicago. We're going to see the sights, eat the food, and shop. Being able to enjoy the city with a few friends is a wonderful way to gear up for these final weeks of high school, including exams and graduation.

So much going on in so little time!
I can't say what I'm most excited about for my little visit, because I haven't been to Chicago in so long!
I think probably the shops and just walking around in a big city. It's my little chance to feel like the midwestern Blair Waldorf. 
All packed and ready to go!

Here's to a great weekend with great friends! 

Oh, Gatsby!

It's finally the day: the release of the Great Gatsby film!
When you read this, I will be watching the movie (midnight release, yes!)

Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of this all is that the media is embracing 
such a fantastic work of literature!

From the NYT's special featuring various forms of cover art to the movie soundtrack, this movie has been made into such a big deal! But, with Tobey Maguire and Leo DeCaprio, how can we not obsess? The time period, the fantasy life, and the actors- they're all lust worthy!

While the book is always better than the movie, in my opinion, I'm oh so excited to escape into the world of Gatsby that I haven't entered since the first time I read the book.

The anticipation is almost unbearable!

p.s. this Kate Spade clutch is to die for!

09 May 2013

Tech Savvy

Is it wrong that I want an iPad just so I can buy cute accessories for it?

definitely lust-worthy

Okay so that's totally not the only reason but seriously! Look how cute this Kate Spade case is!
If you follow the blog, you know that I've been lusting over an iPad. I know, it seems like old news but I really just can not decide if it's worth the money! I just got a beautiful new MacBook, I have an iPhone... I don't really know how much I'll use an iPad. But, at the same time, I know that I'll use it if I get it. 
It'll probably come down to how much money I get for graduation and if I can afford to buy one. And then, if I can... the question is do I get the full size or the mini? 

Apple is killing me with all these choices!

I need help! Would an iPad, mini or full size, be of use to a college student?
Should I go for it?

p.s. is this not the cutest flash drive? and in Purdue colors, no less?

08 May 2013

Confessions of a Neat Freak

Messy surroundings stress me out. 
Flat out- I can't handle them.

I find myself forcing my neat-freak, type-A personality on others and don't appreciate the lack of organization that consumes the lives of most people. I realized this as I was yelling at my sister to clean up her homework spread all over the table, the leftover baking utensils from her after-school snack, and her on-the-side craft. She had so much going on that it had tonrnadoed (yes, I used that as a verb) all over the living area of our house. 

That's the last thing I'd ever want to see as I walk in after a long day of exams.

I came to realize, though, that I can't force my habits on my sister or anyone else. She is who she is: a messy, crazy, free spirit. She does what sounds fun, which is never cleaning. She eats what she wants when she wants, goes for bike rides with friends at 8:30 at night, and is late to school on a regular basis. The lack of organization in any aspect of her life is something that stresses me out; to her, it's just how she is. And after thinking about it, she may be better off.

While I'm busy planning down to the minute to maximize my time, she goes where the wind blows her.
She values social life over work and school, which has provided her with a huge network of friends, something that I can't say I have. I love the life I live, but I struggle to understand that other people don't love order and cleanliness quite so much.

As much as I've always wanted to deny it, I think I might be a freak.
A neat freak.

A Little Bit of Classical

It's exam time.
That means that everyone is busy studying and stressing.
I am no different, but I did discover just how to minimize distractions.

I've read multiple places that listening to classical music while studying is the best thing to listen to.
I could never study with music, because listening to the lyrics is so distracting! At the same time, it's so hard to study in silence because any little noise can cause me to lose focus!

This exam season, I decided I'd see how the classical music worked for me.
Oh. My. Gosh.

It's perfect! The music works perfectly as white noise and I actually find that I'm more focused than I would be without it! This video is the one that I use, because it goes on for 10 hours.
If I ever get to the end of it, I know that I have been hitting the books a little too hard and definitely need to eat, sleep, and take a break!
(I assure you that I have not reached the end and do not plan on it!)

We all have our studying quirks... What's yours?

07 May 2013


I am guilty of possessing the "Avoidance" trait.

Whether it's going out with friends or ending a relationship, I tend to avoid anything that can evoke tense emotion. This isn't always a bad trait; I like to think optimistically and steer away from anger. The problem that has come from this, though, is that I don't deal with problems when they occur. 

In fact, I push anything upsetting or potentially harmful completely out of my life. 
I forget about them and make absolutely sure that what I'm focusing on or doing in life is not impacted by these problems. I don't dwell, I hardly cry, and I surely don't feel sorry for myself.

then, BAM.
All of the sudden, these pent-up avoidances hit me all at once. 
It could be a song, a picture, or just a random memory. But I turn into this depressed, down person that I hate being because so many different, depressing thoughts are going through my mind at any given time. My avoidance is no longer working and I lose all sense of reality.

I've really been struggling with this part of my personality lately. 

This very old song from my childhood sums up exactly what I'm struggling 
with right now.

Probably because I had one of those times where everything hit me at once. I realized how screwed up my life is because of these times where I haven't dealt with the damage. I have to deal with it at a different time, when I really don't want to. Like, for instance, right now. While I should be excited for all of the exciting upcoming senior events- and I AM excited- I constantly have to look at all of the happy relationships and friendships that I am surrounded with and realize that I don't have that because of something that happened two years ago. TWO YEARS! But, when I pushed the pain away then, I pushed away anyone who could take that pain away. This left me with very few remaining people. 

Recently, I've been able to build back up those friendships and get my relationships to a healthy place. But, I hurt myself so much by not just dealing with the problem. And now, when I should be enjoying a happy-go-lucky life, I'm trying to get to know people and show them who I really am! 

Not fun. 

So, goal number.... (I've lost count) of the year: to deal with life in the now. 
Don't push emotions away, but embrace them. Talk about them.
Starting today with my frustration with this habit of mine.

I can't be the only one who struggles with this?

06 May 2013

Graduation Gifts

Today marks 4 weeks (or 19 days) of school left!! 
College kids are finishing up finals or are already home, and high schoolers are nearing their last days! The class of 2013 is entering its final days of high school-
  graduation and open houses are quickly approaching!

Whether you know hundreds of graduates or just 2, there's nothing like commemorating the accomplishment with a perfect gift! While money is always, always appreciated, putting some thought into a gift that your grad will love is so much more heartfelt and gives them a way to take a bit of you away with them!

Hint to your favorite cousin or crush that you want to keep up the correspondence with this adorable Lilly stationery set. This set works for a variety of occasions; she'll hardly be able to resist writing you! I know I wouldn't be able to! No student can have enough pens, and this Lilly one will keep note taking light and pretty! You can never go wrong with Lilly or writing materials. Put the two together and you've made the best gift-giver list!

Whether graduating from college or high school, grads have a whole new world ahead of them. For the avid writer, note-taker, or list-maker (hello, me!) this Kate Spade travel journal commemorates the leaving of one life to the entering of the next. It's cute and fashionable while also completely functional. Since it's technically a travel journal, it has pockets inside, which will work perfectly for any busy girl who needs a place to keep her syllabus, calendar, or just some miscellaneous notes. This is an awesome, inexpensive gift that will make an impact on your grad and keep her thinking of you every time she opens it.

Every girls needs a College Prepster monogrammed bracelet! Marley Lilly has the one, and it is a perfect grad gift! Jewelry is always perfect for the preppy girl, and a monogram makes anything better! This bracelet is the epitome of the preppy girl and will be a great outfit staple for going to class, going out, or meeting with a professor. Stylish, sophisticated, and classic, you can't go wrong with this one. 

For the reader, the funny one, or the guy who's too smart for his own good, That Book about Harvard is a perfect buy! At less than $15, the price is just right. This book will make you laugh at the horrible things poor Eric went through his freshman year at the esteemed Harvard University, though it's lighthearted enough not to instill fear into the incoming college freshmen. I plan on purchasing this book for many of my guy friends. While books aren't always the most exciting gift, encourage your grad to give it a chance. I promise you that they will be hooked after the first page. The laughs will be great and the fact that you provided them will be even better! 

Happy Gift Giving! Don't forget to tell your grad "Congrats!"

05 May 2013

Inspiring Women

It's such a wonderful time to be a woman. Historically, women have not always had the bet hand at life. Women have come into their "glory days" lately and have been embraced by the public as role models. Unfortunately, most of the the women looked to today are anything but a role model. Their morals are shot, their self-image obscure, and their love life nothing to be jealous of.
Then there's Princess Kate.

Kate Middleton has been an absolute favorite of mine since I was a young girl and she and William had started appearing in public together. She is such a class act; a woman of grace, kindness, and happiness. She exudes confidence. She and William are a wonderful pair and have both made sacrifices to be the best Royal Couple that they can be. Although in the spotlight, Kate has never appeared shy or upset with the media. She always has a smile on her face and is dressed to the nines. 

Princess Kate is an inspiration to me and, I'm sure, millions of other women. Who wouldn't want such a fairytale life? Plus that hair and body! Her social work and connection with the public are worth endless praise. Her every step is full of grace- a trait worth desiring. 

It's not often that the Royal Family changes, but my lifetime will be able to see a Royal wedding and birth... if not multiple! I can't wait to see what becomes of the newer, younger, less conservative (but still  traditional) Royal Family. There isn't a woman I'd rather look up to than the beautiful Katherine. The attitude with which she carries herself is one that I hope and pray I will be granted with in the future.

There is truly no one classier than Kate.

04 May 2013

On a Budget

One of the hardest goals I've set for myself is to budget my spending.

I never used to be a big spender. In fact, I was always one to save and save and save until I could buy something really cool! But, then I got a job, a steady flow of money, and discovered the world of online shopping. Enter, my shopping addiction.

My first goal was to begin saving 10% of any amount of money that goes into my bank account. Not a hard goal. Actually, I've been saving more than 10% on average and have allotted this saving to future indulgences... in college. Hey! A stressed girl needs some retail therapy.

I got this app, Mint, which has been so eye opening! It makes pie charts of all categories of spending, allows you to set budgets, and really helps plan for the future! As nerdy as it sounds, It's kinda fun to play the "game" and watch my savings go up while my spending goes down. It's kindof horrible with summer collections coming out... but the waiting and saving and thinking about my purchases has saved me a ton of money. And, I'm happy that I can save money now so that I can "live large" later!

But seriously, this goal hasn't been easy at all. I want so badly to buy some new Jack Rogers or Lillys. The thing is, I can! I just have to wait, budget, and enjoy at a slightly later date. The dresses will still be there in two weeks, and it'll be much warmer so that I can wear them then, too.

While saving and budgeting may seem like something for a 30 year old to do, 
good habits lead to a good future :)

03 May 2013

Put a Ring on It

So, probably not normal but I like to find symbolism in everyday items. 
I wonder what someone's books choice may symbolize about who they are. Or if their mood correlates to a color they frequently wear... little bit of Freudian analysis going on in my daily life. 

One symbol that I absolutely love is the ring finger. 

Sort of really weird, I know. But I love it and all that it stands for!
My initial love for the finger was when I learned why it is used as the finger for the wedding ring, which is because the ring finger is the only finger that has a vein that connects it to the heart. That little bit of knowledge has spurred this liking (read obsession) for this tiny little finger that really doesn't mean a lot to people. In fact, I love this so much that I got a small tattoo on the palm side of my ring finger, to remind me of this finger-heart connection.

I'm not married and don't plan to be for a long while, but the connection still means so much. Symbolically, I see it as a finger of passion. A finger that connects the passions and aptitudes in your heart to a body that can do things and fulfill dreams. When I see that tattoo, I remember what it is that I love doing and where I want to be in the future; what I do each and every day can bring me joy as long as I am reaching the life that I love and am doing what I'm passionate about.

For the future, the ring finger is the weakest of the fingers. It is dependent on the strength of other fingers to move and doesn't have it's own tendons. It cannot act alone. I see this as a symbol for youth into marriage. When we are young, we are dependent on our family. We need help and we get it! But, when that ring is placed there, while the individual finger gets no stronger, there is something there. There is a ring/ person there who has vowed to love and cherish you and your life. 

Why do I love silly things like this so much? I don't know. 
What I do know is that this finger, while weak and dependent, is beautiful and we couldn't function without it. It has a purpose. If looked at the right way, even the most "useless" or dysfunctional aspects can be so wonderful. My Freudian way of viewing the world and its symbols may not be the best way to go about life.... but hey! I'm happy and find joy in the little things.

Even if it is just a finger.

01 May 2013


As a female, it's no secret that we struggle with body image and expectations that society puts on us. These high expectations have diminished the elf confidence of women all over the world. We aren't tall enough, skinny enough, or "pretty" enough. 

I struggle with this. Without a doubt. When I'm getting ready. When I'm around all of my friends and their cute relationships. When I want an ice cream cone but eat yogurt instead. 

It's so hard to be happy and motivated when you're always concerned with your self image and how others are perceiving you. What I've come to realize is that others' perceptions of me are so far from my perception of myself. The past few years, I've spent every chance I've been given with a friendship or relationship pushing that person away. I think to myself that they don't really want to be around me. Or they don't really want to talk to me. I'm an annoyance. 

This warped self image of myself has ruined chances for fantastic friendships... only recently have I been able to gain my self confidence and open up to people. And guess what? It's not that bad! :) I love all of the great friends I've made and the experiences I've had with them. I want nothing else than to continue these habits in college and beyond, because I've truly come to love who I am.

Watch this video. You'll walk away loving who you are.

My cousin posted this video on her Facebook and I cried. I seriously cried. Because it's so true! We are so critical of ourselves- our most beautiful and unique features are the ones that we critique the most. I don't know how I would describe myself, but I hope and pray that I would describe myself to who I really am versus the "ugly" features. And, I wonder what someone else would say when they described me.