25 April 2014


It is 100% true that I haven't known the meaning of stress until this semester.
A friend came into my room and
found me like this....

I've never had so many consecutive months of grueling classes, planning for my future, and correcting mistakes that I've made. Don't get me wrong- I've had an awesome semester. I've met so many fantastic people and grown so much as a person. But I've definitely been under continued stress like never before... and these last weeks of school have been and will be no different.

I apologize for my lack of activity this past week- I had two huge exams, meetings, and Dance Marathon Grand Prix parties to help facilitate. From the moment I woke up until the moment I went to bed, my mind was racing with tasks and lists. I assure you that I would have loved to have a moment to write down my thoughts, but I've barely had time to shower (I made time for that though) and eat this week. Chaos. It has been utter chaos.

But I somehow made it out alive... until finals week that is. Here's how I kept kinda sane:

1. Lists
I know I sound like the crazy list lady, but I made a master list Sunday night and would tweak it each day based on how much I anticipated I could get accomplished that day. It was less overwhelming to look at my list with so much crossed off. Each morning when I looked at it, I would remind myself that it was possible to get it all done after how much I had accomplished the other days.

2. Meals were Meals
A lot of times I'll meet friends for dinner and we'll end up talking about school or working on school work. This week I tried to avoid bringing up school or the upcoming exams while eating. I talked solely about life and lived Grand Prix vicariously through those who have less grueling schedules.

3. Reading
I made sure to read to relax my mind before I feel asleep. Even if it was two pages- which it often was after reading notes and books for hours - and it was midnight, I wanted to give myself that little bit of relaxation. My mind would still race as I fell asleep, but it was more for me to mentally say that I was relaxed than anything.

4. Future Promises
This worked more than anything, I think. I kept telling myself that Thursday at 10:00, my hard work will have paid off and I could be a normal Purdue student during Grand Prix. Although I came home from my exam and watched Legally Blonde instead, the idea of finally getting out and socializing got me through my to-do list.

Today and tomorrow morning I'm going to try to take it as easy as possible. My crazy schedule starts back up Sunday with all day PUDM fundraising, so I'll have to work on some homework before then. But luckily this upcoming week is "dead" week (read: profs hurry to get you as much information before the final as possible aka more stress) so a few classes are cancelled. It's crazy to think that I have less than two weeks of my freshman year left. I'll be moving home... to where I still have no summer job or volunteer opportunities completely set up.

Cue the continued stress... I guess it'll never end! 

21 April 2014

He Is Risen!

Easter holds a special place in my heart for the obvious reasons.

It's a time of celebration for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This day is such a great one to be alive and thriving. The combination of the spring season with the holiday that celebrates resurrection and freedom from sins is so refreshing.

This year we lucked out and got some of the best weather we've seen this spring. It was 74 degrees and sunny which was perfect after this atrocious winter. In fact, this  entire weekend was beautiful. I was able to break out the dresses that have been hanging in my closet anxiously awaiting great weather. As always, it was fantastic to see family and friends. I was able to catch one of my sister's track meets, interview for a summer job, see both sides of the family, and finish Hart of Dixie!

Unfortunately, I came back to a ridiculous amount of stress. These next few weeks are going to be full of exams and studying and lots of caffeine. I have a few exams that are terrifying, so I'll be taking everything one day at a time. It's crazy to think that I've almost got my freshman year of college under my belt. Seeing everyone was great encouragement to get through these grueling weeks, and before I know it I'll be home for summer!

Getting dressed up always results in pictures, pictures, and more pictures. My sister and I are always scoping out the best places for pictures (I like the natural light) and we end up getting some great pictures, both posed and candid.

From my family to yours, I pray you had a great Easter weekend and enjoyed time with family


as always, the
graceful candid

17 April 2014

A Response to Jordan Kranda...

This is a response to Jordan Kranda's Should A Christian Girl Wear a Bikini? 

This is a question that's come up multiple times in the past few years and I want to preface this by saying that I think Jordan's take on it is fantastic! For the first time, I see a man who isn't outright condemning females for wearing swimsuits. In fact, there isn't much that I feel that I need to add or respond to. I agree with what he has to say: wearing bikinis in the summer is a given. Even Christian girls want a nice tan and to feel that all that time in the gym was worth something! And there are plenty of ways to go about this without being completely revealing and asking for lustful eyes and thoughts from the men around. The biggest point is to wear the bikini because you love it- not because you love the attention you get in it. 

As a Christian girl, I wanted to add a little bit to this that I have heard or talked about in the past. Firstly, any man who gets angry because girls are "asking" for guys to look at them needs to take a step back. Yes, guys are more visually stimulated than girls. I know this. But I also know that girls aren't totally turned off my a good looking guy with his shirt off... and from my experience young guys tend to avoid wearing shirts whenever possibly once the sun comes out. I'd like to express how nice it is to be able to wear a bathing suit and not feel like I need to be covered to be socially respected. This desire to take in the fresh air is mutual and I think guys tend to forget this because it's just not socially accepted for girls to walk around topless like it is for guys.

But that is not putting the "covering oneself" topic lightly. I find it important that I feel 100% comfortable in any bikini that I buy. I want it to stay together and I want it to make me feel good and look cute by the pool or on the beach. I hate strings and I feel most comfortable in bandeaus. That's what I buy and wear. And, honestly, when I try them on I'm worrying more about if I'll get judged by other girls than getting looked at by guys (still not the best way to go about it... but I'm a work in progress). Like Jordan said, a young woman should be more concerned with showing Godly character than fleshly skin. When it comes to summer and having fun, that means wearing something that makes playing in the waves or a pickup game of beach volleyball possible and more about meeting people than about re-adjusting your suit every 2 seconds.

There is an obvious point at which bikinis get tooooooooo revealing. Until that point, I think that any style can be modest and cute without being too provocative. Whatever is most flattering and most comfortable is what I'd tell any girl to get- and I'd tell her to take a deep breath and rock it confidently! But, once away from the pool or beach, I think it is important to cover up. Getting a cute coverup or beach-to-lounging outfit makes this not a problem at all! I know I'm all for the coverups... probably because I'm a redhead and need to give my skin a break from the sun anyways.


I went into reading this article with an "ohhh no, another guy telling girls to wear one pieces or tankinis this summer" attitude. I've heard it before and I'm sure I'll hear it again... probably in the near future. So I appreciate his take on it even more after expecting that. Not that I'd change the type of suit I wear, but it's nice to get someone who understands that wearing a two-piece isn't the work of the devil. Christian girls- and anyone else who wants to be appreciated for her personality rather than physical attributes- can get sun and enjoy the summer without compromising modesty. It's all about mental attitude and goals. I could wear the exact same bikini as another girl, but if I had the mentality that I wanted attention then it could take on a completely different meaning. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having fun and feeling great in a cute bikini, as long as you intentions are correct.

16 April 2014

New Sperrys

I've decided that it may finally be time for a new pair of Sperrys.

I bought my current pair freshman year of high school. Yes- my beloved pair have been through 5 springs and summers with me! I love when people see them and talk about how much character they have! They've been with me through multiple vacations and countess weeks in the sun. They're faded and creased... and I think they might smell kinda bad too, oops!

Part of the reason that I haven't bought a pair was the "I had them first" mentality. I got them before they became popular and before they came in the cheetah print/ sparkly variety. Once I saw that the awesome boat shoes became available in all these ridiculous colors and patterns, I refused to buy any of them. I really didn't like the look and felt like Sperry was "selling out" as a company.

But I've come full circle... or maybe half. Mostly because I just desperately need a new pair, but also because I understand the business motive behind appealing to everyone. The colors and designs have no doubt made the brand a household name and makes the selling out worth it. So, I have decided that I will no longer hold off on buying a new pair and have been browsing the site for which ones I like. (which isn't a hard task since I'm still going 100% classic)

I'll either get the Authentic Original or the Bluefish. I have the Bluefish now and it's great! I can't complain about a shoe that has lasted me 5 years and still feels as great as the first day. I've seen so many girls with the Original and the look is definitely more classic. After so many years with my beloved Bluefish, a change -up wouldn't hurt.

I definitely won't be buying these in the too-near future, but it's certainly on the horizon. I'm excited for a new pair of my favorite boat shoes, but I am not looking forward to the breaking-in process!

15 April 2014

Being Sick at School

Hands-down: getting sick at college is the worst thing.

As if feeling terrible weren't bad enough, I now have to take care of myself. If I want soup, I have to make it or go get it myself. No more calling mom or dad to bring me home a milkshake... and even my Netflix watching is limited (darn bandwidth limit). Being sick is no longer a chance to relax- it means that I can't go out with friends so I should probably work ahead on my school work.

That pretty much sums up this past weekend for me. Lots of sleeping, school work, and hot drinks. It was beautiful out but I was only able to enjoy from the open window; I didn't have the energy to go out and be productive. Being sick and only having myself to take care of me has been a huge learning experience. I still have yet to figure out the best way to numb a sore throat before I go to sleep (is that even possible? If not, it needs to be). But what I do know is that it makes taking naps even more reasonable. And said naps are fantastic. It makes the rare DQ Blizzard run even more of a treat. And, for the introvert in me, it was great to have a "reason" to make people leave me alone.

I've been lucky that I haven't really gotten sick this year. I credit that to the amount of time I spend outside. Even walking from class to class is enough fresh air to clear out both mind and body. It's been a tough adjustment for both myself and my momma. I can tell that she wishes she were able to be here to take care of me & I'd love to have her here. But I've also been able to learn about taking care of myself- keeping track of when to take more medicine and what kind has been a whole new learning experience for me. I even had to get my own prescription filled for the first time this year... probably a good thing for a pharmacy major to experience :) And even though I'm still learning, I'm also still here and thriving so I can't have been that bad!

14 April 2014

The Masters

[Now that the Masters are over and I forgot this was in my Drafts....]

I have been wanting to learn how to golf for a while now...

Golf has become the favored past time of many of my friends and my Twitter feed has been full of the Masters. I've been watching when I can and I've actually really enjoyed it!

...or maybe I just enjoy watching Jordan Spieth

I still have yet to learn to play, but watching is fun for now. It's the perfect thing to have on while doing homework; I love looking up and seeing pretty Augusta! Ugh, I wish I was there just to be in the sunshine. Maybe next year I will have put in some of my own time on the green... who knows?

I'll leave you with this. 

11 April 2014

Define Yourself

A little bit of inspiration on this Friday-
I found this and it really resonated with me. Of course I've heard it before but it's really more applicable than ever at this point right now. I can honestly say that this semester has been full of learning experiences both in and out of the classroom. 

And I have to remind myself that mistakes are an inevitable fact of life. They do not define me as a person. What defines me is how I learn from my mistakes- what I take away from the experiences.
That's what's important.

10 April 2014


College requires me to be more "plugged in" than I ever have been before.

I'm constantly checking my e-mail, texting, and doing assignments on one of my various i-Things. It's convenient- don't get me wrong! Instead of papers everywhere I just have "notes". I can start an assignment on my laptop and send it to my iPad to use in class. There is the ability to listen to recorded lectures and even Skype tutors. The use of technology in school is staggering, and something that I am certain that I don't take full advantage of.

But all this "connectivity" can be stressful. So stressful. I've recently had an epiphany when it comes to technology- that I need a break from it! The other day I had a sudden urge to go on my run sans-iPod. I used to do this all the time at home, but something about college made me feel like I needed to use one... probably the peer pressure since about 99% of people I see working out have headphones in. So I went on my run, completely unplugged. It was the best run I've had this semester.

It makes complete sense- working out is a huge stress reliever. Some people relieve the stress by blasting crazy music and dancing along while they're working out. In fact, a majority of people do. But the ability to go run in nature, with only my own thoughts and footfalls was the biggest stress reliever. I ran longer and harder, and came back much more refreshed and inspired... and it reminded my about why I loved running at home so much.


I think this concept is 100% applicable to daily life. Every person I know is glued to their phone, laptop, or the tv. We all know that's not healthy so I won't go into that. But is it really enjoyable? More so than unplugging and picking up a book, or meeting friends for coffee... or going for a run? I know that working with technology drains me- so much so that I actually break up my studying between online work and textbook reading (for multiple reasons, but it's applicable to this too). Looking at something other than a screen and getting into my own thoughts has been a life saver lately. 

The thing is, I've known that this should happen. I've known how looking at a screen before falling asleep can make for a bad night's sleep. I've known that running to music can make me go too hard, too soon. I've known that reading is stimulating and that opening up to my surroundings is a stress reliever in itself. We all know the facts and we choose to ignore them. But, if I've done one successful thing lately, it's been to make an effort to unplug- once during the day and before bed until I am asleep.

And I think you should give it a try. 

08 April 2014

Sunny Days

It may be raining right now, but you know what April showers mean...

right. May flowers. Sunshine. Spring. The subtle hints of summer. 
I've been planning spring and summer outfits for longer than I'd like to admit. And I'm praying it's warm enough for the Easter dress that I've been planning to wear. There's one thing that's missing from my wardrobe though- a big hat! I've recently been obsessively looking at them on the internet. From monograms to fascinators, it's the perfect season for 'em! 



Attending the Kentucky Derby is on my 21 Before 21 list... which means it has to happen either this year or the next. But April is all about horse races and I've actually gotten into watching them on tv, since Indiana isn't a very convenient place to live if one actually wants to attend. I've been dying over instagram and social media pictures- so many pastels and dresses and beautiful tracks & horses. 

My aunt and uncle have been attending races for longer than I can remember, and my aunt has so many fascinators. Maybe it's just Aunt Becky getting to me, but I think I'm going to have to get a hat at some point in the near future. So cute! 

04 April 2014

Bag Envy

I do not need any new bags.
Seriously, I finally am in agreement with my father- I have so many and I'm running out of space. But that can't keep me from looking & loving. Oh my goodness, I have been dying over a few totes (because we all know I'm a tote person).

Barrington Gifts

J. Crew

Tory Burch

It's such a shame that I've been using my backpack as much as I have, or I might be able to justify the Barrington or J. Crew bags. I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll end up with the Barrington at some point in the next few months... because every girl needs a monogrammed tote. And it's a little more dressy than a longchamp. I think I can justify.

I saw the J. Crew bag in LA and died. Luckily it was at the end of my shopping day (read: I had no money left), otherwise I probably would have made the purchase. Thinking back, it would have definitely been an "LA style" purchase- it seems like everyone had one of these leather bags! 

And, the Tory. Okay yay me... it's not a tote! It's a cheaper version of the classic Chanel chain bag, but I actually think I like this one better. I certainly like the price tag better :) My Kate Spade crossover is getting a little worn. This is similar but also a bit more grown up and girly. And just think of how pretty it'd be with a the Lillys I'll be wearing this summer! It's still out of my unemployed college kid price range, but it sure is fun to look at.

Are there any bags you're currently loving... or wishing for?

03 April 2014

Top 5: March 2014

So, I actually had a hard time thinking up what my Top 5 favorites of this month were...

I'm not sure if it's because I was kinda in a "rut" this month (exams on exams on exams... plus huge assignments) or if I have been content with how my daily life is going. I've definitely been keeping my spending to a minimum in order to save up for summer concerts and upcoming Mother's and Father's Day gifts :) Which is great, except that I haven't been trying out all that much. So.. I've done what I can and I bring you my favorites of this past month.

5. David Nail album
I love me some country music, and David has definitely worked his was into my heart. It all started with Whatever She's Got, but the whole album is great and has been on repeat.

4. Water
Water is great. I still love my Diet Coke and, more recently, my Keurig Sweet Tea... but when I came back from winter break I told myself that I was only going to drink water in the dining court. It didn't work out too well until March came around and I realized that I should probably care a little about my "beach bod" even though I wasn't going to be at the beach at all on spring break. Cutting soluble sugars out of your diet (aka... sweet drinks) is one of the quickest and easiest ways to cut calories. If I need a little bit more, I'll slice some strawberries and put 'em in there. *ahhh so refreshing*

3. Lululemon Yogas Everything
I was noticing that my old yoga pants were getting a little bit worn... most of them are from freshman year of high school. No joke. I'd also been wanting to see what the Lulu hype was all about. Holes in my yoga pants + a desire to check Lululemon out= I bought a pair. Then two more. Yes folks, they are worth the money. When I put them on, I instantly feel about 2 sizes smaller. They're the most comfortable pants I own. Next, I want to try shirts and sports bras... because they're just so freakin' cute! 

2. Berries + Cliff Bars
Quick anecdote: I started this semester with an ungodly amount of dining dollars. This money I can use at any campus dining service, but are in addition to my meal swipes. Thankfully, I discovered the little grocery stores that will accept these dollars. 
I've had no problem spending my dining dollars this semester. I discovered fresh berries and cliff bars. They're the perfect "snack"/ meal replacement that doesn't leave me feeling sluggish or hungry. Since I got back from spring break I've really been trying to limit my sugar intake. Sure there are better things I could be eating to fix that sugar craving, but these do the trick in the most natural way (and they're the least harmful to my "diet"). Definitely some new favorites of mine. 
1. Traveling! 
There is nothing I love more than packing my bags and heading away from the midwest. Spring break was a chance for me to test traveling on my own- okay, I met my cousin in Cali so I wasn't totally alone. But it was the first time I'd navigated unfamiliar airports and streets alone. For the first time, I was able to kinda pick my schedule. I was able to determine how I wanted to spend my free time and money. My cousin and I definitely spent a lot of time sight seeing together, and I had him take me to typical West Coast places. But we had our time apart too. It was just what I needed in the middle of this crazy semester and it left me longing for more trips..
Other things I've been loving:
pistachios, pulling the Sperrys out again, running outside, ordering iced Starbucks drinks, my 6 ft iPhone charger!, understanding what's going on in my classes, PUDM Merch committee, reading (already on book no. 2 of the month!), discovering new blogs, Barrington Gifts (on my wish list), Dan + Shay album, Chanel Chance, thick headbands, and my new PurduePrep Instagram

What are your current favorites?

01 April 2014

Where I Work | Work Space Link Up

Midterms are over. Thank Goodness. 
But that means that finals are coming up.. and quickly! This next month is going to be hectic Between making sure I'm prepared to finish up to the school year to setting up summer jobs and projects, I'm overwhelmed just thinking about it. I don't know about you, but I like to keep everything within an arm's reach while I'm studying. Not having to get up and search for something keeps me productive and focused, both of which are absolutely necessary when all I want is to be outside enjoying the weather (yes, I said it. It's finally nice out here at Purdue). 

I ran across a linkup of different bloggers who are sharing their work spaces. I probably got more excited than I should have been about it, but I'm nosey like that. I love seeing how other girls organize and make the most out of the space they're given. I get so much inspiration- from drawer organization to artwork. It's all so much fun to me, so of course I wanted to join in and share my work space! 

I didn't re-arrange anything before this was taken. 100% what my desk
looks like on a daily basis

I keep any returned papers/ reference
papers in files for each of my classes.  
This tray is my catch-all. Paperclips, sticky
notes, and Organic structures!

If there's anything that I think sets my dest apart, it's that I always have paper within reach. I have notepads to jot down ideas or pre-write a response. I have sticky notes galore, which I use to mark up my textbooks or write myself reminders. You can also count on me to have lip balm of some sort and a drink at my desk- usually water or Diet Coke :) 

I didn't show pictures of my drawers, just because they've become the "attic" of my room. There's anything from notebooks to chocolate to movies in there and I have zero organization going. At some point, I'm going to go through it all and get it all together, but today was not that day so I apologize that I can't share that with you. 

But, there you have my desk. It's got everything I need to an all-day study session or quick bit of note-taking. If you'd like to join the link up, you can visit Prep In Your Step's post right here.