27 February 2014

Healthy Hair

If the polar vortex has been good for anything, it's that my hair stays pretty much exactly how I want it to. 

That's one of the best parts of winter, in my opinion. Pretty hair! Okay so there's more to the season than pretty hair, and honestly all the heat I use on it is so damaging! It's either got to blow dried or curled every other day, and between that I use hairspray and volumizer to keep it pretty. But, my hair still seems to lack split ends and continues to look good months after I get it professionally done (I go about once every 3-4 months). 

This is no easy.. or low maintenance... task. Now, I'm no professional when it comes to hair. I just continue to do what works for the most part. That doesn't mean I don't get asked how I keep my hair so "perfect", and so here are a few things I do to keep my hair looking strong and healthy even in the bitter winter months. 

#1. My most important tip is: do not wash your hair every day!!! Okay this doesn't mean to not shower every day... because that's gross. But your hair has it's own natural oils and blah blah all that you've heard over and over again. Seriously, though. I am the queen of second and third day hair; I flaunt my skills! I can go to the gym every day and still only use dry shampoo to freshen up. This is 100% what I credit the majority of my healthy hair to. If it's not getting stripped down and then blow dried/ curled every day, you're doing double to good. And it allows for a natural looking shine- just make sure that shine doesn't quite hit that "grease" point.
for days when I'm starting to hit that point, I toss on a ball cap and all is hidden :)

#2. Let hair air dry as much as possible. And, while it's still wet, be sure to put in some kind of leave-in conditioner or strengthening serum to soak in. I use Aveda Dry Remedy oil on the ends of my hair and Aveda Volumizing Tonic on the roots. Now, please please remember that your hair is at its most vulnerable while it's wet. Be extra careful, and use a wide tooth comb to get any tangles out, set your part, etc. And always comb from the tips to the roots. This is not backcombing, but it just means to get the tangles out at the ends before you go to your crown and roots. 

If you plan to blow dry...
use the high heat setting as little as possible. I blow out most of my hair in the "warm" setting. When it's mostly dry, I use Aveda Phomollient Styling Foam on the crown and middle of my hair, which just helps my hair to get some body and volume through the middle. I typically use a ceramic round brush to make sure the ends aren't "straggly" and to get volume all over.

Once it's all dried, I go back over with the blow drier on the "cool" setting, while also holding down the cold blast. Pointing the nozzle down my hair, this seals the hair follicles to lock in shine. I finish up with the tiniest dollop of DryBar the Chaser Shine Cream on the ends and around any flyaways. Some backcombing and hairspray, and wah-lah! Shiny, straight hair that won't frizz up because there isn't any humidity.

Because I haven't gotten my hair cut since December, the ends are starting to thin out and my layers are more of a hassle than they need to be. The face-framing pieces just end up tucked behind my ears more often than not and it almost always goes into a pony tail when I get back to my dorm. But, I have provided you with a picture of my blow-dried straight hair.

Or if you're looking to curl...
I have a very weird way of getting my curls. I typically do them the night before and this is usually because I've showered that afternoon and I can't sleep on straight hair without it looking a mess when I wake up... but somehow my pre-curled locks look even better when I wake up! I use the DryBar 3-Day Bender and am so in love. I can section off and curl my hair in 20 minutes, hop in bed, and wake up with nice relaxed curls. But, if you can't pull off the overnight curls, just curl it in the morning. 

For everyday wear, relaxed, natural curls is best. You don't want to look too done up and if the curls aren't perfect in the morning it won't matter that they might fall throughout the day! Whatever curling iron you use, start from up at the crown and roll down. Never curl from bottom to top. The curls will be weighed down, rather than looking weightless. Continue to section off and curl, always away from your face! 

Once all the hair is curled, let it cool and spray a little bit of hair spray. Then, and trust me on this, brush it out. Yes, take a brush to your perfect curls, and brush them out!! Not so that they're gone, but just that they curl together. Flip your head upside-down, shake it out, and then use your fingers to pull pieces together. I don't put any product or anything in it at this point; it's just au naturale. 

So, run down: shower every other day, use as little heat, use hydrating products. You know this stuff, I know it's been said before. It will be said again. At some point we should all probably listen. 

26 February 2014

Precious Time

I recently had a great conversation with the ever lovely LEM that left me thinking about time. And, more specifically, how I want to spend my time. We got to talking about life and eternity, and how the stress we endure here will be both eliminated and worthless once we've moved on from this Earth. So it'd be nice to say that time is only relative; it isn't worth thinking about. But I'm ultimately human. The time I spend on this Earth is precious... so if I wasn't worried about spending it correctly before, I am now!

Like most things in life, time is all about priorities. I've found that my priorities have been a little bit off lately. College has been a great time to transform myself into someone who I think is a good time and a good friend, but I'm cutting out some parts of my life that I lived for in high school. In an attempt to be more vulnerable in who I am, I'm being raw here. I'm opening up and admitting that my time isn't always spent in ways that make me proud. 

My weekend aren't as productive as I'd like them to be. I spend too much time worrying about where I'll be spending Friday and Saturday night and not enough time making sure I'm using my Monday through Thursday nights to their full potential. I'm not making Church a priority in my life and a relationship with Christ has been pushed aside for relations with frat boys. It's hard to type, and it was hard to say out loud. While I'm loving the way things are going right now and I'm confident in my abilities, this had been in the back of my mind for a while and the conversation with LEM really brought it to the front and into the light.

Time is so precious and I don't want to look back and regret not using these years at school to my advantage. In just one semester I was able to grow and become so much more confident in who I am, so what are the next 5 years capable of? I don't know where I'll be or what my life will look like, but I know that if I get caught up in pushing away a part of me that puts the life into my days I might walk away from college without any spiritual growth. 

Which is possibly the most tragic outcome I could think of.

But I do love life right now. I love my nights out, and I love my nights in. There's nothing wrong with the parts of my life that are currently present. But what's missing is the biggest part of it all, and that's something that I am consciously going to try to put more time into. And maybe, I'll be able to grow just as much- if not more- spiritually as I will academically and personally. 

25 February 2014

Currently Loving...

It seems like the sun is shining more and more every day...

both literally and figuratively! Life here at school is so crazy, but so much fun. I'm putting myself out there, being vulnerable, and being open to almost any opportunity that comes my way. I'm so happy with the way things are going. Naturally, there are plenty of things I'm absolutely loving at the moment...

There's something about the early months of the year that screams great music. I've been looking at my summer plans and writing down all the concerts I want to go to this summer... luckily I'm going to see some fantastic shows (Luke Bryan twice, please). So, what am I listening to right now?

Well, here's a shameless plug for The Fray. Their newest album is out today and is great! It's a perfect balance of upbeat and somber. In typical Fray fashion, the lyrics are inspiring and deep. I'd recommend this one.

My current music loves wouldn't be complete without some country... and while I've been listening to artists individually here and there, there's definitely a standout. Cole Swindell, my man! I finally broke down and bought the album and it embodies spring and summer. The other day, I was listening to it walking around campus and couldn't help but think of Grand Prix week and how I'm sure more than half of this album will be blasting around campus.

I've been trying so hard to eat healthier.... and I wouldn't say I'm doing a great job. There's definitely room for improvement, but I finally broke into the tons of pistachios I've had in my room and OH MY GOODNESS why did I ever stop eating them?! I do not know but they're definitely a go-to for me. So easy to grab a handful as I walk out the door and I feel like I'm kindof doing myself a favor.

One of my goals this semester was to start studying with people. I've always been a solo worker, because I always ended up doing all the work and letting people copy me otherwise. But it's become apparent that people actually work *gasp* together in college. It's more a sharing of ideas than straight-up copying, and that's refreshing. My little bit of work with others first semester has renewed my faith and I've been reaching out to my peers for chances to study together. It's been fun, I've built relationships, and I've learned so much just in these first couple weeks.

Like I said, things are looking up! I can see the light at the end of this winter, I'm keeping my head above water in my classes, and I'm trying new things... which is what college is all about! I wouldn't be mad if things continued in this fashion.

21 February 2014

Spring Fever

I don't know what it is about spring that makes me instantly think of working out... Okay actually I do. Spring was track season. Spring was crisp runs even if it is 4 pm. Spring was morning runs on the beach during spring break. It was the time when days got longer, and everyone was buying gym memberships. I'd go to the gym with friends after school and then we'd ruin it by going to Starbucks to do homework. Coming out of the winter makes being outside in the fresh air so much sweeter. You know what also makes it sweet?

The workout clothes. We all know that norts are so much cuter than tights and pretty sports bras are more fun than layers and layers of black. I've been motivating myself to work out by looking at all the cute workout clothes and, trust me, I'm loving it all!

The one bad thing the corec has done for me is made me want to buy new workout gear! I see so many girls in shorts and shoes and leggings that I adore. This has naturally been very very bad for my online shopping problem, but I've been able to contain it so far! (I'm also apparently liking the pink/teal combo...) If I were to buy anything on this, it'd be those shoes. I've been needing new workout shoes and I wanted my next pair to be Brooks, but I never liked the colors they had. But these. These are a catch and they might just be the winners! 

What's your favorite workout attire?

19 February 2014

What to Watch Right Now

I never used to watch a lot of TV... mostly because I'm really impatient. I don't like commercials and I don't like waiting a whole week for the next installment to a show. Sure, I watch the Kardashians every Sunday and maybe Saturday Night Live or the Voice, but I'm not invested in the show. It's fun when I catch it, but it's not the end of the world if I miss an episode. 

I just know that I can't get into something and then have to wait a week in between each new episode. This is exactly why I love Netflix. I think it's the greatest thing on the planet. And ever since I got my iPad, I've been using that to watch Netflix in bed which is just the best way to get myself actually into bed at a "decent" time here at school (my mind isn't in the "sleep" mindset until I climb into my bed, and so it's possible for me to stay down at my dest until 1 am and be tired... but not really feel it until the next morning). I still like to read or flip through a magazine before bed, but being able to tell myself that I need to get in bed to watch an episode or two of Netflix is a good motivator to start winding down. 

Lately I've been trying to play catch-up on some series. I love Grey's Anatomy, but I'm just so far behind that I know I'll never catch up so I don't stress about watching it. I ran out of Gossip Girl and the Hills episodes and am through the Netflix episodes of the Carrie Diaries, so I had been searching for new shows to watch. If you're in my same position, I'm here to give you a few recommendations! 

Okay this show is precious. I's Grey's Anatomy-Meets- Sex and the City- Meets Gilmore Girls. Okay maybe not, but it's got the medical bits, the romance bits, and the southern charm. I'm seriously in love with George Tucker and hope to marry a man just like him some day. Lemon wears the most perfect southern belle dresses, and Zoe is the perfect grown-up Summer (from the O.C., of course! ). This show puts me in the best mood and keeps me dreaming of the South and warmer weather. And, if you get caught up... and can bear it... it's still on tv so you can follow along! 

I've only watched one episode of this, but it's very West Wing with a bit of the Office. Politics and drama go hand-in-hand, and the best thing is that it's a Netflix original, so every episode is released at the same time. Can you say marathon?! 

So, this isn't a show, but it's a great documentary. If you're looking for something to occupy a couple hours of your time, this is it! It doesn't matter if you agree with his political stance or not, Mitt Romney and the Romney Family give great insight into a political campaign and all the behind-the-scenes details. 

Happy Netflixing! 

18 February 2014

Fashion Week

The way the fashion world works is just so frustrating sometimes. All I want is sunshine and summertime, yet this month has been full of shows preparing for the next autumn. Sometimes I just want to scream stop!! let's get through this year first. But I know that's not how it works... because we always have to be ready for the up and coming. And I'm not going to not look at the shows and collections. 

I'm a little bit bitter about the cold (pun intended) and the welcoming of another fall/winter, so I haven't analyzed it all like I should have. I've looked, seen what I liked, and gone about my day wishing for sunny and 75. As expected, I love my Burberry, Tory Burch, Kate Spade, and J. Crew. Here are some of my favorites:

Burberry after my own heart
with this pink and navy look!

via J. Crew

love the J. Crew chunky sweaters
and scarves

Kate Spade- bright as ever! 

The jeweled coats and skirts! 

via Kate Spade New York

Navy & Black- it's possible! 

chunky sweaters from
Tory Burch, too! 

...and knee-highs! 

Tory Burch texture & pattern

Phew! So there it is- the obligatory Fashion Week Favorites. I love these looks and yes, they'll be great in the fall. I especially love the "taboo" wearing light colors for the colder months- it'll be interesting to try out. But, there's absolutely no rush from this girl! 

I'm just dying to get back into my Lillys! 

17 February 2014

Girl Scout Cookie Appreciation

Um, yes it's Girl Scout Cookie season and these babies deserve their own post.

 #1, because they're great. They ruin spring break diets and go great with anything, anytime. #2, because they're just so Classic American that I can guarantee you almost every family in America will whip these out to snack on while watching the Olympics (just had to throw a shameless Olympics mention in, too). My mom was kind enough to bring me a box- and just one box so that I enjoy them and cherish them but also can't overindulge. Good thinking, mom!- and I waited less than 24 hours to break into the box.

But I was reminded of a somewhat funny conversation I had with a friend of mine who lives in Norway, and has lived there his whole life, that had to do with these cookies. When we first met, of course we compared cultures and asked each other about different stereotypes, the usual. And what I remember from that conversation? He didn't think Girl Scout Cookies were real! Like a lot of things, when you start to think about the details of something that's just so normal, it seems really weird. So the idea that young girls walk around to their neighbors and family members, offering them boxes of cookies is actually a really odd concept. Why can't the cookies just be sold all the time? Why do we have to buy them from girls at school or church or at a stand in front of Wal-Mart? Once I explained this to my Norwegian friend, it seemed so weird to me, that I completely understand why Europeans might assume these weren't real. 

I hope you enjoyed my little story...
And, as you're enjoying your cookies this season, remember that there are people who don't even know these little gems exist! 

14 February 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Whether you're spending today with your loved one(s), girlfriends, or by yourself, I hope you take a moment to think about just how loved you are- and what you love

I 100% agree that the love shown today shouldn't be conditional to one day. Each day, I try to make at least one person feel loved... or at least smile. But that doesn't mean that it's wrong to have a day where this kind of loving attitude is encouraged. Of course, social media will be full of people on the extreme ends of both in love and bitter. Don't let that ruin today or keep you from waking up and feeling that you are fiercely loved. 

I am not in a relationship. I got flowers and chocolate from my parents and roommate. I do not have one person to exclusively love today (besides myself), but that doesn't mean that I plan to wallow in my singleness and cry watching romantic movies... okay maybe just one but c'mon. It doesn't mean that I'm not loved or appreciated. And I'm not going to go about this day thinking that. Not even close.

You may know exactly who you are loved by, you may not. You probably struggle to love yourself some days. So this is what I ask: enjoy this day. Eat the chocolate... and then one more piece. Wake up in a loving attitude. Love what you see in the mirror. Love who and what you see while walking down the street. Exude love and kindness from your person today. 

And, who knows, this may be the best February 14th you've ever had! 

10 February 2014

The Shoes of Spring

I was recently ask what kind of shoe I'd be if I were to be a shoe

it took me no fewer than 15.2 seconds to answer that: a wedge. First off, they're awesome. They're comfortable and cool; casual or formal. They're versatile. You can have a 1 inch wedge or a 4 inch, and both will be great. Wedges are practical for long days or lots of standing, because they offer more support.

They come in varying colors and styles, which can be justified because you'll be wearing them a lot more often than normal heels (see above). And, I don't know about you, but when I think of the perfect Easter or Spring Wedding outfit, wedges always come to mind. They're the transition from winter to summer- in heel form.

via Jack Rogers
*insert heart-eyed emoji here*

via Tory Burch
*insert heart-eyed emoji here*

via TOMS

via Kate Spade

via Lilly Pulitzer

via J. Crew

So that is why I would want to be a wedge heel. I like to think I'm comfortable and laid-back, but can take it up a notch if need-be. When I come to care about someone, I'm in for the long haul and will offer support and advice when I can. After a long, cold winter, my attitude changes drastically and I am the happiest person in the spring. And, I just really love wedges so of course I'm going to pick a shoe I love to compare myself to.

What kind of Shoe Would You Be?

07 February 2014

Top 5: January 2014

1/12 of 2014 is already over... and I don't like that at all.

Okay maybe that's a little bit of a lie- I like that this awful winter is seeming to fly by. The cold and snow has provided so much extra time to sleep and just hang out with the girls in the dorm as well as catch up with friends from high school. My food intake has been soup, warm drinks, and cookies... which has prompted me to get to the gym more. I still feel like every time I get into the routine of school, something (like a snow day) messes it all up again. 

Regardless, I've rounded up my top 5 favorites for this past month and can't wait to share!

via PreppyByTheSea.Blogspot.com
1. The Outfit
Okay, if there's one thing I love about winter, it's how comfortable the clothes are. My daily wardrobe is leggings, a big t-shirt, warm socks, and my Bean Boots. On days I don't want to do my hair, I'll wear a hat and call it a day. I'll add a scarf or vest to switch things up, maybe some cute earrings or jewelry, and I can call it a day. I love coming back from class and already being in my comfy clothes. And, to anyone who says leggings aren't pants, you obviously haven't tried wearing them as pants. 

2. Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick
So y'all know I love love love wearing lipstick. That's nothing new. And you should also know that Tarte is one of my favorite brands. So when I saw that Tarte had new lipsticks (and I had some Sephora credit to use) this was #1 on my list! Since I'm not around a Sephora here at Purdue, I had to risk it and pick a color based on the online pictures. I chose the color "Poppy" because I had been looking for a great red. The reviews mentioned that this lipstick was pretty sheer and I figured I could layer it differently to make it work for day and night. It's definitely a bright red, but I'm able to wear it during the day and not look like I'm on drugs, so I'd say it's a success! Last I checked, these weren't carried in stores yet but they should be soon. 

3. The Gym
One of my goals for this semester was to get to the gym more than last semester- this was easy since I didn't go once. I've already met my goal and it's only February! :-) But, seriously, I've been trying to go at least 3 days a week. On days where I really just do not want to do anything, I at least to to run some stair laps, which is easy since my building is 8 stories. I can get a good workout in either way and that makes for no excuses! Unfortunately, I still make excuses but I'm really working on it and have enjoyed the gym when I go. 

4. DryBar 3-Day Bender Curling Iron
When they say 3 days, they aren't kidding! This thing is magical! No frizz, no damage, and perfect curls. I can do anything from a Shirley Temple look to relaxed waves. I usually shower at night, let my hair air dry, and then curl my hair nice and tight. When I wake up, it's relaxed. I brush it out, touch it up- only if needed- and go on my way! And I can go about two days like this before I need to fix it... or shower. It was a splurge, but it was definitely worth it!

I recently discovered that I could use YouTube playlists to my advantage. Yes, I had seen them before but I thought they were usually just annoying... until I could make a list of music that I didn't have to buy! It's awesome! It's mostly country with a little bit of everything else thrown in, and I'm constantly adding to the list of songs, taking off songs that I'm sick of hearing. And yes, a lot of it is older just because I have the new stuff to listen to on the go, but for back at my dorm I just jam out to the classics. 

So, another month down and another list of favorites! Nothing too out of the ordinary here, just a typical college girl livin life and surviving the winter. Hopefully you are too :-)

05 February 2014

The Little Things

Everyone has those few things that they're very particular about.

I have a friend who uses that word- particular- to describe me. Because, apparently I have so many little things that I just need to be right. I don't deny it at all. But I also didn't think I was that bad about it until I started to plan this post and, well.... here's a fun list of all the things I'm very selective about:

1. Pens- Pilot Precise V5, in black
2. Nail Polish- Essie 
3. Jewelry- always a watch and the Tiffany bracelet from my mom
4. My hair- down, rarely halfway, rarely up
5. Mascara- Benefit They're Real
6. Punctuality- always at least 5 minutes early
7. Music- 99% of the time it's country
8. Green Tea- Tazo Zen
9. Eating- never alone
10. Lip Product- always have a moisturizer and color with me
11. Workout Shorts- Nike and have to come up enough on the sides
12. Sleeves- long or 3/4, absolutely no cap sleeves
13. Having my phone batter above 75%
14. Reading- always before bed at the very least
15. Sleeping- always with a cover but never with a sheet

I could probably go on and on about all the little quirks that I am absolutely adamant about, but this is enough to make me seem crazy enough for now. Do you have any weird little things that can really determine whether you have an "on" or "off" day? 

04 February 2014

A Day in the Life

I've mentioned that this semester is shaping up to be something crazy...

And if you follow my Twitter, you're probably sick of hearing me complain about my crazy Organic Chemistry course and the cold. I hate to break it to ya- this is only the beginning. I also mentioned that I was trying to get on a schedule (which I've been successful so far, I think) and that I'd do some more "personal" blog posts. You know, about life and all that. Stuff moms like to read.. so this is for you mom!

I thought it'd be fun to walk you through a day in my crazy schedule. As you can see from the picture of my planner last week, I've barely had time to breathe. So on a normal day, I'll wake up two hours before my first class (unless my class is before 9:30, in which case I just sleep). I do this for two reasons- 1) is that I just like getting up and having a relaxed morning to plan out my day, watch the Today Show, read, etc. 2) Kendall usually starts an hour before me and I just get up when she does so that she doesn't have to feel the need to be quiet getting ready. It's a win-win and I've come to really enjoy my mornings... even though this cold makes me just want to stay in bed. All day. Unfortunately, college = classes and I have to get up and go. I got a great schedule this semester, though, so I can't complain. Most days I go about 9:30-1:30, give or take a couple of hours in the afternoon. I love that this leaves my afternoons pretty open. Some days I'll get lunch after class or go to the gym- I've faced my fear of the CoRec and try to go at least 4 days a week!

I try to sit down and focus on being productive from around 2-5/6, which is when I'll go to dinner or get ready to go back out. As you can see from my schedule, I had quite a few evening obligations... one every night this past week. These were mainly callouts and won't be a normal thing. But callouts get replaced by study sessions or club meetings, athletic events, or exams.. so I can usually expect to have an evening event 3 nights a week on a normal week.

I'll usually come home from whatever I had to do, change into comfy clothes, and do homework for another hour or two, at which point my brain is usually ready to give up. These are technically quiet hours in the dorm by this point, so some girls and I might watch a movie or hang out quietly in one of the rooms. Or, more recently I've been so tired by this point that I just grab a book and read until I fall asleep (or pretend to read but actually Kendall and I just talk and laugh until we both turn out our lights and go to sleep).

Okay, so after writing this out I realized that I sound like I have no social life. But I really do. I have a blast every day and am hardly ever bored. Yes, there are many hours of homework. No, I don't just do school from the moment I wake up. If I get lunch, it might last an hour and I might will probably eat too many cookies. The gym is as much a social event as it is physical, and callouts/study sessions are always more fun with friends. I have so much fun here at school and just to prove it:

awesome basketball seats thanks to
Caroline & the fam

Boiler Gold Rush will always be a great memory,
 and hopefully I'll get to help make memories
for incoming freshmen

Just trying to make Organic Chemistry as fun as I can

*if you don't need a selfie-break during studying,
I don't think you're working hard enough*

Honestly, this post is probably a waste of your time because I doubt you really care about my ridiculous schedule. But hey, I love reading posts like this- I like to hear how people schedule their days and what makes them love certain aspects of their schedule. It's a nerdy fun thing, so for anyone else out there like me, I hope you've enjoyed this little look into my life :)

03 February 2014

Quotes from a Queen

I just finished reading the ever popular Coco Chanel: an Intimate Life, which seemed like it took unnecessarily long for me to finish it.

That's not to say that it wasn't a good read or that it was boring or dry- it was just the opposite! It's a detailed biography of the woman who really changed the face of fashion. I wasn't always in the mindset for that kind of reading. In order to really enjoy the all the research Lisa Chaney had done, I didn't stress about getting it finished by a certain time or rush in any way. If another book looked good to pick up, I'd set this one aside for a little bit. But, I finally finished it and have come away with great insight that I will carry with me.

I could go on and on about how Mademoiselle Chanel changed the world, but you already know that. But there were some absolutely fantastic quotes from the great woman. Many of them are "classic" as far as quotes go, but I love them even more now that I feel like I know Gabrielle Chanel a little bit.

"...the eccentricity should be in the woman, not the dress."

"I prefer disaster to nothingness"

"Changes must not be brutal, must not be made all of a sudden. The eye must be given time to adapt itself to a new thought."

"...fashion, like landscape, is a state of mind..."

"A girl should be two things: who and what she wants"

"The most courageous act is still to think for yourself- aloud."

Chanel isn't my most favorite designer brand now... in fact I'm not sure it makes my top 5. The style and image has just changed so much. But I will always love the classic Chanel and will probably be the woman who wears Chanel No 5. What can I say?

The woman is an inspiration