28 February 2013

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

At the start of the New Year, I told myself that I wanted to try each day to step out of my comfort zone. Whether that be cutting my hair differently or simply talking to a new group of people, I wanted to constantly challenge myself and show myself how strong of a person I am! Like most resolutions, I'm not sure that I ever did it long enough to actually consider it "starting"... it was more of just a fantastic idea that never sunk in. But today, I did something so far out of my comfort zone; I was so incredibly scared, but I ended up having a great time!

today, I formed my backbone.
My school held it's first real debate! Of course, we've done mock debates in classes, but the school has never organized something like this where state Senators, the Superintendent, and the Principal come and listen! It was a monumental first and I'm so fortunate honored to have been a part of the group. The thing is, I'm not really the most assertive or outgoing. I'm the type to relax, have a calm conversation, and agree to disagree. But, I had a blast at the debate and (after I got over my jitters) was totally okay with voicing my opinion and putting my hours of research to good use. While it was not something that I typically would do, the debate put me out of my comfort zone, and I loved it!!

There was something so thrilling about the butterflies in my stomach. I loved the feeling I had when I knew I had an answer or rebuttal to something the opposing side had to say. It was exhilarating in a way, because it was so out of my normal behavior. While I don't plan to become more assertive or outspoken anytime soon, the experience was fantastic and the confidence it instilled in me will have a lasting effect. I told myself once, but I'd like to try it again:

put yourself out there & enjoy the thrill of something new!

26 February 2013

Senioritis Strikes Again

So, I've been in class with the same group of people since 7th grade- I think it's okay to be ready for change! And by same group, not just my class, but the small group of advanced kids! Since 7th grade...not okay. I've worked so so hard all of high school to secure a competitive GPA and class rank while balancing a social life. It's not easy to do, and I've definitely experienced some stress-related problems (being sick, jaw tension, and migraines ), and I know college won't be any easier; one thing is for sure, though. It'll be a whole lot more fun!

While not conquering my senioritis in any way, I did manage to make a list of a few things I'm really looking forward to in college. I thought I'd share!

1. New Friends! Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore my current group of friends. But, as my cousin put it, high school friends only last until graduation. It's college that you build real relationships. I totally get where he's coming from: being on your own and having the chance to invent yourself however you want is a huge opportunity to meet all kinds of cool people. I've already had the chance to make my first college friend: my roommate!!! We've been texting and she's so cute. I can't wait to finally meet her  in person :)

2. Huge Dance Marathon! Those not familiar with Riley Hospital probably won't know anything about this, but DM's are huge in the midwest! They raise so much money for Riley Children's Hospital and are so much fun. The school I'm going to hosts a 16 hour long one that raised over $300,000 this past year and almost $1 Million in all years combined. It's an awesome fundraiser and is a huge part of campus activities in the fall.

3. It's no SEC, but I love fall football games. The tailgating, the dressing up, the fight song. It all gives me excitement butterflies and I just want to buy my season ticket right. now. 

4. Travel/ moving around is so exciting to me. I've always loved traveling and I'd love to eventually live out of state (Florida is calling!). I am going to complete my undergrad in-state to save money, but the planner in me is already looking at Pharmacy schools to apply to in two years. I'm looking east coast... I'd love to try going Ivy, but no schools have established Pharmacy programs. Rutgers, NYU, and Albany College of Pharmacy are all in the running, though! 

Like I said, I'm not helping my senioritis by making a list of the great things to look forward to in college... but it sure is fun! I've just got to remind myself to live in the now and enjoy it. The future will come in time.

How do you stay motivated?

24 February 2013

Top Five: February 2013

In celebration of my least favorite month coming to an end, I bring you my February favorites! These  five favorites cover a wide range, and have become a part of my daily life. Here we go...my February favorites!

1. Gossip Girl
I'm sure you could have guessed that, but seriously. Gossip Girl has become my new obsession and has become a part of every aspect of my life. From my love of Blair, to the way I dress and style my hair, to the books I read, I am inspired by the GG storyline. It grabs you and takes you with it, and I dare you to try avoiding it! I even received a hand-me-down from my cousin yesterday that, though she has no idea about my GG obsession, it fits right in: she gave me a Yale t-shirt that has been passed down for many years. I'm pretty sure I never want to take it off! 

2. Pistachios
This may be the weirdest favorite, but it's so true! I make this low-carb mix of pistachios, almonds, and dark chocolate chips, and it is a life saver! I talked about my Six Week slim down, and this is my little secret! Between this and my tea, I can satisfy my sweet-tooth, salty food craving, and keep to my diet. They aren't low in calories, though. I have to be careful with the amount I eat. But they are filling and oh so yummy!

3. Clinique Mascara
I've been a huge huge fan of Clinique products for the past few years. They aren't harsh on my skin at all, which is perfect because I'm not prone to acne or anything like that. It keeps my skin looking fresh and radiant! (ahh!) Lately though, I've been loving their makeup, which is just as perfect for my skin. Having red hair, my eyelashes a very light. Having the skin of a redhead, it's very easy for my eyes to look way too made up with minimal makeup because it looks so harsh against my light skin. The Clinique High Impact mascara is perfect! It darkens my lashes, but looks natural and not clumpy at all! And, major plus, it's waterproof!! I have a feeling that this will be my go-to for quite a while. 

4. Amazon
So, we all know that I have a serious online shopping problem.... Amazon does not help. At all. Of course I've used Amazon before this month, but never like this. It seriously has everything! All in one place. It's like Pinterest: it sucks up so much time and can leave you feeling like you need to buy and try all these new things. But with Amazon, it's all so readily available and can be on your doorstep in 3 days. And they're working towards same day delivery?! I'll never leave my home again..except to show off all of my new purchases, of course!

5. Pandora
Okay, I am not new to Pandora in any way. I way overused it when it first became popular, but then it fell off my radar. Until this month, that is. Pandora has seriously stepped up their free music and I've found a way around having to use the "skip" to skip a song...twice as many skips and hour! wooo! When I'm at home, pandora is what I constantly listen to. It's introduced me to so many incredible artists, all for free! Being the happy customer that I am, I'd like to see what ad free listening is like. and for only $3 a month, it's really not that unreasonable. The only thing that could make it better would be if it didn't suck up so much data and I could use it when I don't have wifi.

There you have it! This month has been surprisingly pleasant. I took a few personal days but worked more than usual, too. I made some new discoveries as well as reintroduce myself to the old. I'm welcoming the arrival of March, spring break, the sun, and the final months of my senior year! 

I can't wait to find next month's favorites!

22 February 2013


What Would Blair Do?

By Blair, I mean THE Blair Waldorf. (Has my Gossip Girl obsession gone overboard?) The fabulous, scheming, Blair. The Queen. Whatever it is you know her by, you must know what I mean by WWBD?

While Blair isn't always the most pragmatic or kind, she possesses a sense of self-worth that I envy. She expects much of herself and those around her. So much so, in fact, that she appears standoffish because of these expectations. When matched with someone of her same power, she becomes loving and kind. She is constantly striving for perfection in her world and the world of others in a way that I find amazing. Of course, I am not a Blair in anyway. I'm quite the opposite: opinionated but quiet, a perfectionist but with less than perfect expectations of others. I strive to be more like Blair. I want to see the potential in all people; instead of seeing who they aren't, I want to see who they could be. I want to have a power like hers. I doubt I'd use it in the same way, but I'd like to have a taste of her authority. But enough about her crazy personality..what about that closet?!

If I could pull off half of the outfits Blair wears, I'd be perfectly content with my life. Blair is always polished to perfection and girly as can be. Her prep school uniform was always presentable and her hair always held back with one of her signature headbands. While Blair may not be your favorite GG character, (Serena was mine all through the books), I think there's a part of every girl who wishes she has been a part of Blair's group. 

Whose shoes would you like to step into for a day...or lifetime?

21 February 2013

Reading List: Water for Elephants

After countless recommendations, WfE has received the coveted top spot on my Kindle and I couldn't be more excited! I went into this book skeptical- I had only heard that it was a good movie about a circus. Literally nothing more. It had really good ratings on GoodReads, so I figured I'd give it a try. I have been more than pleasantly surprised.

The book, while about a circus, is much deeper than just that. There is love, tragedy, and a real sense of loss due to the depression. There are struggles and fights, stress and tears. It's obvious that the author really took the time to research the time period and the circuses of the day. This book really sucks me into the time period, which is something that I've had a hard time finding since the beloved Harry Potter books. 

The worst part about finding a book so enjoyable is the lack of time I have to read. Between school, work, and extracurriculars, I've lost almost all sense to self. Any down time I have, I want to just be lazy and watch GG. I guess I could be reading during that time, but it's so hard when every GG episode ends with a cliff hanger (every SINGLE one!!!!!). But, I have been trying to spend more time reading and it's very enjoyable and relaxing. Water for Elephants is a great read to escape my crazy busy life and get caught up in someone else's world.

Even though it's taking me a while to read, don't let that scare you away. If you love a good read I'd definitely recommend WfE. You won't be disappointed!

20 February 2013

Nanny Diaries

Okay so I'm not a nanny.. not during the school year, at least. But I have a few families that I babysit for at least twice a month and I definitely enjoy being a go-to sitter for families. It means a lot to know that they trust their precious children with me and that they find me the type of influence that they want their young ones influenced by. I try to be an involved sitter and not the kind that I grew up with: the ones who sat and watched tv while my sister and I played on our own. And, I like to think that I'm doing a good job; they keep asking me to come back!

I figured I'd help out other sitters or new sitters by letting you in on a few of my Sitter Must Haves and my all of the exciting things I keep in my "Marry Poppins" bag :-)

My favorite bag is my large LongChamp Le Pliage. It fits a multitude of things in it while still looking cute.

Sitter Secret: It can get dirty or spilled on and still holds up!

Inside my bag always hold coloring books, colored pencils (my favorite), some candy, and movies for the kids. Once you get to know the family and kids, you can maybe bring their favorite candy bars on a special occasion or rent a RedBox movie that you know they've been wanting to see. While it does require you to spend some money, these are small investments that keep the kids happy and the parents calling.

I mentioned that I don't like to be the kind of sitter who leaves the kids to play on their own. I have a few tips to make that easier. Within reason, do what the kids want to do. If they want to color, color with them. If they want to go ride bikes, offer to walk with them so they can go farther than they'd normally be allowed. Most importantly, leave the phone in the car! Unless you've really got to call someone, there is absolutely no reason to have your phone on you and all it will do is lower your babysitter rating. Being involved with the kids and getting their approval will almost always end up getting you the parents' approval, too!

Now, my bag isn't only full of stuff for the kids! I always plan for nap times, bed times, or any other down times I might encounter. I'm always prepared with my Kindle, a notebook, notepad, and pens and pencils (and maybe some homework if I'm feeling really motivated!). Unlike playing on your phone, I feel that it's totally okay to read or write during a movie or, of course, a nap. You aren't giving off the image of being unavailable like being on the phone does. Always have some fall backs for those moments when you need to get away from the kids for a moment.

While I work, I find babysitting a fun and stress-relieving way to make money and get a taste of motherhood (which always leaves me wanting to have kids at an older and older age). It's a wonderful experience and it's awesome to get close with other families. I'm constantly thinking about how old I'll feel if I'm invited to their graduation parties or anything like that! I love being able to be a part of these kids' lives. Quite honestly, I'd consider being a nanny full time if the opportunity arose.

What are your tricks to being an awesome Sitter or Nanny?

19 February 2013

Spring Scents

It's been unseasonably warm these past few days and it's getting me so excited for spring. I just imagine looking out the window and seeing the gorgeous flowers blooming and hearing the birds chirping. It makes me so happy! With all the visions of flowers, I started thinking about spring scents and what my 2013 Spring perfume is going to be. I have a few favorites for spring and one that is my year round go to.

I love finding a good perfume because it becomes a little bit of who you are.

These Clinique and Philosophy perfumes are both new for this year and they embody sun and flowers, to me. They're both pretty affordable and are light scents that are good for casual days or those days where you're missing the sunshine. They don't weigh you down and aren't going to overpower your outfit or personality. These are the kinds of scents I'd spray after the beach or pool to freshen up if I'm going to lunch or something like that. 

Chanel Chance and Marc Jacobs Daisy are my signature, go-to scents that I absolutely adore! I wear the original Chance daily, but the au Fraiche version is a twist on a classic that is perfect for the spring. It's flowery and sweet- just what I like! Daisy is a classic spring scent that I love and may or may not wear all year. :) It's fun and flirty while also being light and airy. These two are my absolute favorite scents and I highly recommend them for spring or all year.

Embrace the freshness of spring with these flowery scents!

18 February 2013

Fate and Future

As I watch the Gossip Girl graduation episode, I find it appropriate to reveal my plans for next year. Since it's finally official and there's no turning back- eeeeee!- why not shout it to the world!

Following in the footsteps of my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, I've chosen to attend Purdue University in the fall to study Pre-Pharmacy!!!!

Although I've always wanted to go out of state, I have chosen Purdue for the initial step of my college education. While not a glamourous school in any way, it has one of the most valuable diplomas in the country and one of the top ranked Pharmacy programs, too. It'd almost be ridiculous to turn it down... and the Pre-Pharm is only two years. I'll be able to apply to any Pharmacy school in the country and I'm really liking Rutgers. But, as for now, I am a proud Boilermaker!

This is such an exciting chapter that I can't wait to begin. I can't wait for the clubs, the classes, the new friends and the new experiences. 

I know that this may not be the most exciting post, but I had to share!

16 February 2013

Lilly Pulitzer Spring 2013

It's not surprise that I'm a little obsessed with all things Lilly Pulitzer. If I could live in sunny Florida and wear Lilly every day of my life, I would. As that isn't possible, I find myself lusting daily over the warm, springy prints and blog. My favorite print right now is Lucky Charms, which I might be going a little bit overboard on. Seriously, I want a Lucky Charms dress, coffee mug, iPhone case...basically everything. I find it to be incredibly cute and fun; it screams beach and sun to me.

As far as the new Lilly prints, I'm loving Chomp Chomp and am going to be purchasing the shorts in the Chomp Chomp print in the very near future. I just love the little alligators and I'm really liking green for this Spring season. Honestly, I don't think there's really a print that I don't like...just some that I could see looking better on me than others. But really, can't you go wrong with Lilly P.?

I think it's a fact: Lilly Pulitzer can do no wrong.

15 February 2013


I know, I know, I'm a day late on posting about my Valentine's day. I like this better, though. I can look back on the wonderful day that I had, even though I didn't have a true valentine. Honestly, it was one of the greatest V-day's I've had and I was able to focus on loving others rather than wallowing in being lonely (as I have in the past).

I'll start with my wonderful friends! I received far more Valentines from friends than I expected. I got a few Reese's Hearts (my absolute favorite!), which I snacked on during class. Yumm! I also got some homemade goodies, including the always wonderful pretzel/chocolate/m&m treats. They were absolutely adorable and I was humbled by the love that I was shown by friends that I've only recently met. I had one of the most pleasant days of my senior year yesterday!

Being single and loving my family, of course I celebrated my Valentine's Day by going out to dinner with them. We went to one of our favorite local Thai restaurants, expecting that maybe the crowd wouldn't be as bad... we were wrong. So wrong. They obviously weren't expecting the crowd either, as we waited for over an hour before we ended up just taking our food home. We had already planned to drop by the Cheesecake Factory for dessert, so we just took our whole meal home. It was almost better that way. We were able to put on our pajamas, sit by the fireplace, and watch all of the Valentine's Day episodes of our shows. We exchanged gifts and chocolate, ate way too much, laughed, cried, and loved.

My favorite part of the night though, was leaving the restaurant. Not because I didn't want to be there, but because of the love we were able to show our waiter. In the hour and a half that we spent at our table, we only received drinks and two appetizers... not stellar. But, like I said earlier, it was crazy busy there! We could tell that the owner and workers were stressed and felt so bad about the not-so-stellar service. While many people would be apt to give a not-so-stellar tip, we chose to give a generous tip and leave a note for our waiter. It simply thanked him for working and that we realized how rough of a night it had to have been. When we left the restaurant, we were able to look back at our waiter as he read the note and a smile grew on his face. That was the most enjoyable moment of my night.

Being a girl, it's hard to focus on loving when you want so badly to be loved and to receive flowers and chocolate. This Valentine's Day helped me realize that, while being loved is important, loving is just as fulfilling. I loved my day of being loved and giving love so much that I've resolved to make a habit out of loving others.

It's never too late for a new New Year's Resolution...is it?

13 February 2013

Six Week Slim Down!

I am quickly approaching that time of year: Spring Break!! I was counting down the days in class today and realized that I have exactly six weeks from today until I head towards sunny Sanibel Island. While that's exciting and it only lessened my concentration on the lecture, I realized how necessary it was for me to focus, focus, focus on getting my self prepared!

Not by shopping or tanning, but by getting healthy. I call this my six week slim down and I've been using it to recover from the horrific Christmas break eating since freshman year.

The Rules
1. Don't drink your calories! Water will become your best friend these next weeks, and don't forget tea to curb your sweet tooth!

2. Limit your carb intake to <100 carbs per day (making this a habit will increase your fat burning powers all year)

3. Fit cardio in when possible

4. Lift! Don't worry about getting bulky, as that takes a lot of work. Building muscle will get you toned and burn more fat while you aren't doing any physical activity

5. Reward yourself every once and a while. Once a week Starbucks? Don't sweat it. And work towards a goal. Mine? I want to be comfortable enough to buy one of the adorable Lilly Pulitzer swimsuits!

How are you preparing for Spring Break?

11 February 2013

What's in a Word: Prep

Today, I came under fire in my Sociology class. Okay, maybe not "under fire", but our debate got a little heated. We've been talking about social groups and classifications and had to share aloud a group that we have observed on campus. Just my luck, the first group named was the Preps. While I don't necessarily group myself with the Preps at my school (who are only classified as preps because they are popular), I wanted to argue the idea that there are ANY groups of true Preps at my school. I needed to defend the label!

Before I go any further, let me clarify the area that I live in. It's not exactly lower-class, but no Gossip Girl upper East side, either. It's a suburb out of a nice city, but it's kind of an awkward area: farms mixed with city doesn't mix well. The groups mentioned today included the trashy kids, skaters, rednecks, and farmers. And with that, I'll replay today's in-class debate.

While Prep is another word for popular here, I know the true definition. Most people didn't even realize that Prep came from privileged, East Coast prep school students. Ridiculous? I'd say so. They went on to say that Preps are stuck up and rude. The truth is, true Preps are not stuck up; true Preps live a lifestyle not easily related to. Vacations to Martha's Vineyard and the Hamptons, large endowments, and old money are all custom to the classic, WASP Preps.

Then, there are the new Preps: The Southern Preps. They live in lavish homes on the beach with palm trees shading their beautiful pools. Lilly Pulitzer everything decorates their homes and bodies as they sun themselves on the beach. Once again, their lifestyle is quite challenging to relate to.

Regardless of the Prep lifestyle, I feel that it is a widely misused label. Those who are Preps where I live would be a disgrace to a real Prep. What's in the word Prep? It's money, power, and class. While I can hardly classify myself as a real Prep, I am a prep for where I live. While it may have been meant in a derogatory term, I enjoyed arguing the label today and will forever wear my plaid and Lilly proudly!

What'd you do today that strengthened who you are?

10 February 2013

Perfect Sunday

Sundays are the days that I take completely for myself. I sleep in (until 8... I freak out if it's much later), take my time waking up, and then go for brunch. Sundays are the days where I don't care about my calorie intake or working out. I lay around and totally take a day off. It's the most relaxing, perfect day... probably my favorite of the week.

One thing that I make sure I have on Sundays is a cup of tea at all times. Seriously, I just make cup after cup. It's soothing and helps me keep time and stay productive- I drink about a cup per hour. When I make a new cup, I change up what I'm doing. I find this a completely okay way to manage my Sunday.  Besides my tea, my perfect Sunday typically includes:

1. Gossip Girl
While I watch too much during the week, it's almost sickening how many episodes I get through in a day. I don't even want to think about it.

2. Online Shopping
This is the real trouble. I always add more to my "to buy" lists while I'm doing some causal looking. My love of tea and online shopping decided to collide today and I found this on Amazon!! I think I fell in love with the Republic of Tea. They have every kind of tea for every imaginable use! From focusing to losing weight to sleeping, they've got you covered! And most of the teas include my favorite: Rooibos!

3. Homework
While certainly not my favorite use for my Sunday, it doesn't take that long and I can really start to enjoy it if I go to a cafe or study date. I really enjoy Panera (cinnamon crunch bagels... mmmmm) and Starbucks, but I sometimes go to places like Barnes & Noble too. Changing up the location of studying makes it a little bit more enjoyable while also making me more productive (weird, but more on that later). I like to plan lunch dates with LEM for Sundays and show up to the restaurant early. It lets me get some work done, and once LEM gets there, it forces me to take a break. 

4. Reading
My Kindle gets the most lovin' on Sundays. I can basically spend my whole day in bed, reading a good book... if I don't have someplace else to be or something else to be doing. I'm currently reading Water for Elephants, which I am absolutely loving! It's an easy read, but it definitely has some depth to it. You can keep up with all of my reading at my GoodReads website.

5. Family Time
Like most families, mine hardly sees each other during the week. Sundays are the days when we are usually all at home and can talk and catch up from the week. I absolutely love my family and love that we get these moments together, since I know that I won't be getting them very often once I'm away at college. For that reason, family time is one of my favorite aspects of Sundays.

I hope that you all enjoy your Sundays, and pick a day (whether it be Sunday, Tuesday, or Friday) to relax and do whatever it is that you want. While I understand business and know that you may not get a day like this every week, I emphasize the importance of slowing down, relaxing, and not living according to someone else for even just a moment. Enjoy family, friends, and a cup of tea :-) I've got to go and finalize some college plans... I'll be sharing my final decision soon!

What is your day off like?

09 February 2013

A Girl's Best Friend

I'm not really the kind of girl who opens up and gets super close with a large group of girls. For me, girls are hard to trust... except for those few who I know have my best interests at heart. It's so incredibly hard to find great friends in high school, in my opinion. The friends you made in eighth grade are suddenly so different junior year. The girls you meet freshman year probably get sucked into the party scene by junior year. I've come to the conclusion that the summer between sophomore and junior year is the year that everything and everyone changes. It's true for me, at least.

That summer was one of the worst summers that I can remember, but it led to great things. I remember feeling so lonely that year. I was growing up and excited to start focusing on my future. Everyone else was discovering the parties that the senior class was throwing. All of my girlfriends became these monsters, and I didn't want that to happen to me. It wasn't until my final week of that summer that I met my best friend.

I'll refer to her as LEM, and you will probably hear about her a lot. She is the most wonderful person to come into my life thus far. While I can't understand why she doesn't like science or reading (I guess she's just not a nerd like I am), we share a love of monograms, Gossip Girl, and just being crazy! She is the perfect compliment, and sometimes contrast, to me. I can't imagine what my life would be like without LEM. She is my go-to girl, who never judges me for my crazy ideas and is 100% supportive of pretty much anything I propose. I believe that every girl needs her LEM.

Show your LEM some lovin' today!

08 February 2013

Xoxo, Gossip Girl

So, don't laugh at me when I tell you my plans for tonight. While it's Friday and I could be out doing just about anything, I'm going to relax on my couch, do some online shopping, and watch Gossip Girl. I know, most lame senior ever award belongs to me! But, after weeks like this one, the couch and Netflix are just sucking me in!

I am well aware that Gossip Girl is in no way a reality for the majority of the world. (a girl can dream, can't she?) I don't like that I like the show. Trust me, it sucks up so much of my time! But, I think it might be a slight addiction. Even since I found GG on Netflix, I've been watching the show from the beginning season. It's incredibly different from the books, which I loved. That's not to say that I don't love the show. I might have a slight crush on Nate Archibald. eek! No matter what I do, I live for these 45 minute episodes that allow me to escape the hectic world that I live in and live vicariously through Blair and Serena... or B & S. :-)

I absolutely hate the cold. Big cities, while I love them, creep me out a little bit. And I'd hate living in an apartment (although the penthouses are quite lavish)... But Gossip Girl has me wanting to try out living in the Big Apple and taking prep to a whole new level- prep school. 

How can you resist this?

07 February 2013

All That Glitters isn't Gold

I have a confession to make: I'm easily convinced that the "latest and greatest" is worth my investment. My weakness? Apple products.
I don't know about you, but I find all of their products to be so visually aesthetic that it almost hypnotizes me. Their goal, I am sure. It' s all so pretty that I want everything! So, I was surprised when they introduced the iPad and I wasn't really that interested in it.
I'm not sure if it's the fact that, between my MacBook, iPhone, and Kindle, I have the bases covered or if it's more that I just haven't used one enough to understand it's appeal. Either way, I wasn't thrilled when it came out. And then the iPad mini... I thought that was the least climactic release yet! (more so than the iPhone5, even.)
That is, until my sister asked "Santa" for an iPad ( the big one) this past year. She uses it for internet, movies, netflix, games, normal stuff. But I can see myself using it as a planner, a book (with the Kindle app) and as a way to carry my Mac without it actually being my Mac. I'm still being convinced, but I could very well be purchasing the iPad or iPan mini in the near future.
Your thoughts on their usefulness?
By the way, is this not the cutest picture? They might have sold me just on this!
I'm such a sucker for Valentines anything.

06 February 2013

"Gonna Take Her Chances in the Big City of Lights"

I often think of what the soundtrack to my life would be. The thing is, it wouldn't be just one album or artist; I am quite the lover of music. While the mainstream music is nice (OneDirection is my guilty pleasure), I always get a sense of accomplishment when I find a really interesting group or artist before the rest of the world... I like to claim Ed Sheeran and Imagine Dragons as my finds.

My current "soundtrack" is the most recent album by Mat Kearney. It's very light and summery... if you can describe music as a season. :-) But really, it's been on repeat and just always makes me happy! I imagine laying on the beach with the crashing of waves as the background to this album and I'd definitely recommend giving it a listen if you're a fan of light-hearted music with meaningful lyrics.

Hope you enjoy some Mat in your near future.

05 February 2013

All About the Optimism

Staying positive in the winter months is always a task for me. I find that February is the most challenging, because it's been cold for so long, March (and spring break!) is so close yet so far away, and, for being the shortest month, it seems to last the longest. This year, I'm trying to smile more and be more optimistic. I figured, what better way than to list the thing I'm excited for in my least favorite month?

1. Traveling!
Next week, I'm taking a long weekend with my mom to visit a school in Arizona that I'm looking at. Even if I end up hating the school, I'm positive that the warm and sunny weather will do great things for my diminishing morale. While I'm there, I'm hoping to be a little bit adventurous: hiking around the Grand Canyon, anyone? If that doesn't end up happening, I've heard that the shopping in Phoenix is great. If there's one thing my mom and I always agree on, it's a desire to shop! It's safe to say that this little getaway may be just what I'm needing.

2. Spring Break Shopping
If you haven't already figured out, I'm quite a fan of shopping. A fat wallet is a sad closet. :-) February is my main planning month for the impending spring break and all the cute new clothes I want to get. It's a month to budget and online shop! My first package arrived today from J.Crew!! Shopping is definitely my favorite way to get through the month. I love anything from J. Crew and Lilly Pulitzer to Target and I always online shop first to make sure I'm getting the most for my money. Lots of tabs open on my computer is the most comforting (and expensive) view to me! My list this year includes shorts, a new beach bag, and some cute wedges (which I'm still on the lookout for). I'm also kinda sorta in love with these Sperry shoes. I know one thing: this is not going to be a cheap month!

3. Valentines Day...... candy
While I've never had a valentine, I do have a shameless addiction to chocolate. In my singleness, I enjoy going to the grocery store and buying all of the adorable and delicious heart shaped candy for myself and then eating it by myself! It's so bad that I have to prepare myself to NOT buy every heart-shaped chocolate I see before I go shopping. 

While February is my least favorite month, it definitely helps to have something to look forward to and get excited about. Optimism can make the worst situations suddenly become the best memories! If nothing else, smile! It releases endorphins and you become genuinely happy. (Plus, you'll look more pleasant to strangers).

What are you most excited about in February?

04 February 2013

Why I Blog

I've never been an extremely emotional or open person.
Honestly, most of my closest friends don't truly know me. But the thing is, I find freedom in writing. I find that the most intimate details of my life become apparent to me over a cup of tea and some almonds. I'm not a star writer, by any means. I'm not going to school for writing... mostly because it won't support my lifestyle, but also because I truly want words to stay a part of my leisure and not a part of my work (Plus, I'm much more capable in other fields). But I thoroughly enjoy it. 
I enjoy the feeling I get when an idea just pops into my head as I'm writing. I feel as if I am most creative and productive with a pencil in my hand. (read: I'm a crazy brainstormer). And, as reliable as technology is, I just can't seem to totally trust it. And I've come to terms with the fact that my mind is the least reliable part of my body. So, I've grown accustomed to making lists and making sure that everything is written down on paper with a pen.

No matter what it is I'm doing, I like words. Writing, reading, and thinking can keep me busy and I hope that my words and thoughts can provide some entertainment to you as well! 

These notebooks are my new best friends.
(even better, I got all three for $6 when Target's Neiman Marcus collection went on sale!)

03 February 2013

2013 Favorites

Ringing in the New Year always has me vowing to "figure myself out". This can come in many forms: establishing a style, giving off the best self-image, planning the perfect future. But, whatever it may be, let's just say that I'm too young and inconsistent to really sit down and settle out ANY constants in my life. With that realization, I've narrowed my favorites to the current time period. I will start with my January/ February 2013 favorites. Here we go!
KATE SPADE!! Recently, I've discovered the one and only KS and it's safe to say that I am OBSESSED. I seriously want Kate Spade everything. I have one of her bags, my phone is dressed in her, and my shopping cart is basically never ending. This dress is one of my favorites from her new collection, but if I could have the whole "Things We Love" collection in my closet right now, I would. 
P.S. Kate Spade has a new line coming out in March called "Saturday" :-) Keep your eyes peeled!
As we all know, Pantone named Emerald as the color of the year...but I like to extend that to ALL greens. Another one of my favorites is polka dots! These pants are from Abercrombie and Fitch and they are fantastic! Even more fantastic: they're currently on sale for around $40. If that's not a deal I don't know what is. Hurry and order a pair before they run out!
Two words: Rose Gold. Seriously, this is my new favorite color for jewelry. It's extremely classy, yet casual and youthful enough for someone my age to wear on a daily basis or on occasion to dress up an outfit. My mom and dad got me the most beautiful Marc Jacobs rose gold watch for Christmas and I am in LOVE! It's definitely jewelry with lasting power and function.
My Kindle is my favorite number 4. I've had it for about a year now but I've never really given it the love that it deserves. My goal for this year is to read more books that I enjoy. My life, for as long as I can recall, has been focused entirely on school and sports/ extracurriculars...This includes my reading life. More recently, I've been trying to make time to read and enjoy books. My Kindle makes this extremely simple to download books and read in places I'd never planned on (at the mall, on the bus, places that I wouldn't normally take a big book). I'd be lying if I said that I didn't love my Kindle.
I'm sure there will be no argument with this final favorite: the beach!!!! Living in the midwest and it being January, I'm quickly approaching the most depressed time of the year. The sun barely shows, it's NEVER above 40 degrees, and it's much harder to get out of bed and motivate myself at all. The only thing that keeps me going is the idea of a warm, sunny beach and the approaching spring break. I know I'm not the only one!

What are some of your current favorites?

Making My Mark

My life is heading towards change: college and all of the excitement that comes with the final semester of high school. While I've always been a blog follower, I decided that I might as well attempt at my own. In this final stretch of change and growth, having this blog will allow me to chronicle my journey while (hopefully) bringing joy and experience to my readers. 

If you are reading this, I thank you. If you plan to follow my blog, I thank you times two. I promise that you will get to know me and my life... the first post is always a little bit awkward, but stay tuned for my (end of 2012) 2013 favorites!