July 31, 2014

July Favorites

Was it not just Fourth of July?  I swear I was watching Fireworks last night, not four weeks ago.  And while I am upset that July is over I cannot wait for August because it is going to be packed with many activities before I leave for school.  But onto some of my favorites for the month.  For most of summer I actually never dress up too much.  I usually wear just Nike shorts and a T-shirt everywhere I go unless I am getting together with a group of friends.  So everything this month has been very lo-key and simple.


1. Baseball Caps || I do not like to wash my hair too much in the summer and try to keep the products to a minimal so whenever I need to cover up a bad hair day I just throw on a cap.  Whenever I go to the beach or layout I wear a baseball cap.  If I ever just want to kind of hide when I run to the grocery store I wear a baseball cap.  Basically they are a summer essential.  Oh and uh go Blackhawks!!

2. Mascara || Like mentioned earlier, summer is all about the au natural when it comes to all things beauty.  So throw on a swipe of mascara with a little concealer and I am goo to go.  The Maybelline The Rocket is definitely my favorite at the moment.

3. Nike shorts || Every.  Single.  Day.  Without fail I wear a pair of these every day because they are just so comfortable and you really can't go wrong.  It is safe to say that I think I only wore jean shorts like twice this summer.

4. Kiehls Rare Earth Pore Refining Toner || This might be my new love product.  While buying a present for someone online I needed to go over a certain price to get all sorts of deals and free shipping so I figured I might as well buy a product instead of pay for shipping (logic right?).  So I browsed for a while and on a whim bought this bad boy.  So far it has done wonders for my skin and it is all I use in the mornings.  It leaves my skin feeling fresh and not super tight like other toners.  I also think it is doing a good job and tightening my pores.

5.  Amazon Kindle || I take this with me everywhere because reading and summertime just go hand in hand.  I am not quite sure what I did before the invention of the E-Reader (oh wait I brought around bags of books with me everywhere... #nerd #noshame).  I think I have read over 15 books this summer purely because this little guy fits in every purse and is so light that whenever I have a bit of free time I choose reading over playing on my phone.

6.  Georgia Peach Peace Tea || Sometimes at Walgreens they sell these for 2 for $1 and I but like 10.  If that doesn't explain it then I don't know what will.

7. Adam Levine Lost Stars || I mentioned this is my weekly findings last week and I will mention it again because I cannot stop listening to this song and playing it and singing it and I am in LOVE.

8.  Essie Butler Please || Its like royal blue and neon blue had a child and this is it.  It screams summertime and looks amazing against tan skin.  

9.  Suave Dry Shampoo ||  Like I mentioned earlier I like to keep my hair as natural as possible in the summer so if I can go a few days without washing it I will.  That is where this friend comes in.  I swear this dry shampoo is amazing and it smells sooo good!  Plus it is so cheap.


10.  Divergent || And then an honorable mention favorite because I cannot believe I forgot to add this to the image above is the movie Divergent.  I shamefully admit that I had not seen Divergent until two days ago.  I absolutely fell in love with the books but just never got around to seeing the movie.  I saw it was out so I watched it and it was the best thing ever.  They did stay pretty true to the plot of the book except for the end but honestly it made me so happy and sad and I was jumping for joy with the Tris and Four love and yeah... just happiness right there.

What have some of your favorites been this past July?

xoxo

July 29, 2014

August

I cannot believe I am saying this but I want to go back to school.  I think my 10 year old self would be hurting me right now because what person wants to go back to school.  Summer forever am I right?  Well now that college is my school I want to go back and I want to go back nooowww! (channeling my inner Veruca Salt).  I want to go see all my friends and return to my former state of independence.  I want to go back to living on campus and being around people so there is always something to do!

However... I still have 1 month of summer left.  I leave for school on August 29th.  To think that I have another whole month left is crazy because I feel like summer has already lasted like 4 months long.  I have read a crazy number of books, watched to much TV, worked like crazy, got tan, hung out with my friends, ate at more BBQs than I'm willing to admit, and slept like crazy.  I definitely feel as though I did my summer right.  And that is rare because I always feel as though I spend most of my summer laying in bed while everyone else was having the time of their lives (anyone else?)


This break made me realize just how much I love my school.  I don't think I ever really knew how much I like it until being away from it for so long.  I always kind of felt like it was a cool place and all but that was as far as my feeling towards my college felt.  There was no head over heals love for it.  But the fact that I am craving to go back to a place that gives me stress, and tests, and overbearing professors, and drama beyond anything else should tell me something.

Because while all those negative things are true, college is also the place where you make friends who will stay up talking and consoling you until 3 am, where you meet people from all over the world and have insightful conversations, where you pull all nighters for tests you probably won't even do well on, where you join clubs that make you smile so much your face hurts, where you walk in the freezing cold from the bus stop back to your dorm because you missed the last bus.  So while at times it may seem like hell, it is actually pretty fantastic and I cannot wait to go back to that miserable, perfect bubble.

Do you guys want school to start up again or this only me?

xoxo


July 27, 2014

Orange is the New Black {Seasons 1 & 2)

Thank God for Netflix. Or more like, thank Netflix for creating the amazing Orange is the New Black! And if you are like me you are probably sitting there thinking, "Can people please stop telling me to watch this show?  I don't want to watch something about a woman's prison!".  And I was right there with you until about a week or so ago.  One of my best friends and sister kept telling me I HAD to watch it so I finally caved. My sister and I usually (key word usually) have a similar taste in television so I took her word and started watching.


I was hooked after the first episode. And then addicted after the second and I could not put my computer down. I literally locked my self in my house for extended periods of time just watching it. I passed hanging out with friends to watch the show (#noshame). The show is a full hour long because there are no commercials on Netflix. This mean that for two, 13 episode-long seasons, it is 26 hours. 26 HOURS! I feel slightly ashamed to say I watched that much in about a week…

Onto the juicy plot of this oh-so-fantastic show! Also I need to disclaimer that if you are under the age of 16 you should definitely not be watching this show because it is extremely graphic.  This is loosely based of a real story. The plot line for the show is that a fairly well off white woman (Piper Chapman) gets sent to prison in upstate New York.  About 10 years ago Piper fell in love with a woman named Alex who transported drugs for a cartel. Piper ends up carrying drugs across borders. Someone named Piper at trial and she then gets a 15 months long sentence in prison.  It turns out, that Alex is actually in the same prison that Piper lands in. In fact, Alex is the one who named Piper so the two don’t quite like each other.  

It focuses on her transition from having the perfect life, a wonderful fiance, and the dream career to life in a correctional facility with terrible conditions, no boundaries, violent and sexual behavior, and corruption. She has to completely change her perspective and adjust to her new living arrangements where she realizes she has no one.  In one episode, Piper states the scariest thing about prison is that you have to face who you really are.  That is exactly what this show is: women figuring out who they really are when they are left with no one but themselves.  

As the show progresses we eventually learn the stories of the other inmates. I love how each episode focuses on a specific character’s background and why they ended up in prison. There are still a few stories we don't quite know and I am itching to learn more about them (Yoga Jones) and to delve deeper into the backgrounds we already know (Nicky).  You start to develop an emotional connection to the characters and you root for them. 

Starting around the second season, the story shifts from solely focusing on Piper’s story to concentrating on the prisoner’s themselves.  I actually grew to like the story more and more as it shifted away from Piper's story because her character drives me crazy at times.  She can never make up her mind about who she is in love with but still wants both Alex and Larry (her "fiancee") to both love her and she wants to love both of them... confusing I know.  But this is definitely not okay and Pipes stoops to new levels of low with the season 2 finale.

I think this show does a great job at breaking down the stereotypes of people in prison.  You really learn the background of the woman and you understand their motives for committing the crimes that landed them at Litchfield.  OITNB has an authenticity about it that not many other television shows have.  Maybe because it is based on a real story but many of the characters we see in the show are people you could definitely meet while walking down the street.  The show steps into a entirely new area of television by breaking down the walls and showing reality.

Also, I cannot stop watching interviews with the cast on YouTube.  They all seem like the nicest and funniest people ever.  Their set must be crazy though, I mean it is filmed at an abandoned children's psychiatric hospital!  I think my favorite character is definitely Nicky because every word that comes out of her mouth has me cracking up and I love the rawness of her character.  Also, I just love Natasha Lyonne!  I think Poussey might be a close second though.

I don’t quite know how to classify the genre of this show because while it is extremely dramatic it is also hysterical and can be a little scary at times. I mean what else can you expect from a woman’s prison?  It is hard to give this show an in depth review because I am covering 2 full seasons so I didn't want to spoil anything by getting too personal with any particular character or story line.  I recommend you take one hour and watch the first episode and I promise you will be hooked!  Like a "pinky promise cross my heart hope to die and if I like I'll stick a needle in my eye" type of a promise.

Do you guys have any favorite moments from the show and who are your favorite characters?  Also, do you have any new show I should start watching now that I am all caught up on this one?

xoxo

July 26, 2014

Spotted

I thought I would start doing weekly favorites or things that I have just been loving throughout the week.  These types of posts are some of my favorites to read.  And yes, I decided to name this new little series after the iconic line in my favorite television show Gossip Girl.


ONE ||  Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer
I was not expecting this at all and was completely thrown off guard when I saw it was released.  In fact, I was at work and I definitely did not want to watch the trailer there so I had to wait a miserable couple of hours before I could watch it.  And let me just say that it was better than everything I hoped for.  However, I really do not think that Jamie Dornan looked like how I envisioned Christian Grey.  It might be the fact that he was too clean shaven or the fact that I still am depressed that Ian Somerhalder did not get that roll *swoon*.   At least I know what I will be doing on Valentine's Day next year!


TWO || Greek Yogurt and Fruit Juices
My obsession with Chobani and Naked juices is getting a little out of control.  I mean I think I have one of each every single day.  It is the perfect lunch in my opinion and it is pretty healthy.  THe naked juice is very filling and the Greek yogurt adds some substance.  Definitely my fave right now!


Yeah so this is happening!  Can a girl get any more excited?  Also, to think that One Direction has been together for 4 whole years!!  Honestly where did time go?  I remember watching the X Factor season they were one and then when What Makes you Beautiful came out being obsessed.  And now they are writing a book!  This will definitely be preordered.



FOUR || Adam Levine -- Lost Stars
I haven't seen this movie yet but it is on my to-do list for this weekend!  But I have a feeling I am going to love it because this song is already stuck in my head.  I have wanted to see the movie ever since I found out Adam Levine was in it and this song is just pure perfection.  It is soft and the lyrics are beautiful.  It has been on repeat this past week.



Because I love my city and this is so pretty.  I love how the weather really changes how the sunrise looks.  We has some interesting days in June and this video truly captures it.  I am sure you can find ones like this for your city too.  

July 24, 2014

Saying No

I really like to please the people around me.  I always nod my head in agreement and say yes when people ask me to do things.  I just don't want to make people upset or disappoint them.  I like pushing myself and proving that I can really do it.  Also, I hate letting people down.  I will get something done when I say I will because otherwise I will feel beyond guilty.  At the same time, I am a perfectionist who takes her time with everything and puts in 100%.  Meaning I spend way too much time of everything and over burden myself.  I don't know if its the slight OCD in me that just wants to do everything her way or the fact that I hate saying "no."  Even typing out the word tastes bitter.

However, you cannot please everyone.  Sometimes you have to think of yourself and your own happiness.  Today I had to say no to someone and it literally hurt me to the core and I physically could not do it.  Even though I knew I was doing it so that I would ultimately be happy I still couldn't let the person down.  I got roped into doing something I did not want to do because I couldn't simply say no.  This is when I came to the realization that I need to learn how to say no.


Really taking the time to consider options and legitimately considering whether I can add them onto my plate or whether I can't.  Even though something may sound extremely enticing, saying no will be more beneficial to your health in the long run.  My mom gave me a big talk today where she counseled me on the proper methods on how to say no.  I came to the realization that the only two people I can actually say no to, with confidence, are my parents.  Maybe its the fact that I am still technically a teenage (less than 2 months till I'm 20!!) and I need to get it out of my system.  My mom suggested that if I ever feel guilty about saying no to someone that I should pretend it is her and that will make it easier (#wisewords from the mother dearest).

I also realized that I am much better at saying no to someone when it is not in person or over the phone.  Therefore, when I can either email or text someone a response I can say no.  I think its the fact that it is a lot less personal and I feel less guilty about saying no to a device than the person on the other line.  So I plan on taking her advice to college where saying yes can make your weeks a living hell (trust me).  Maybe starting small I can slowly develop the confidence to say no.

How do you guys deal with saying no?  Do you have any strategies?

xoxo

July 22, 2014

Black & White

This summer my favorite pairing have been black and white looks!  I love how easy it is to dress them up or down and to recreate the same outfit so many different ways just my using different accessories.  


Here are some of the black and white pieces I have been wearing non stop.  I just bought a similar black and white striped dress from Target and I absolutely love it.  Next I love wearing a black maxi with a simple white tank.  Maxi dresses are just the perfect transition piece because they go from spring to fall and day to night so perfectly.  And my final outfit is white denim, a loose white tank and a black leather jacket.  While I I don't have a black leather jacket (I often just wear a black sweater) I believe it is a staple all girls should have.

While these outfit looks fine just the way they are... with a little accessorizing you can completely transform them.  This is as easy as a adding a belt, a clutch, or even a statement necklace.  Sometimes I do however just love the simplicity of the black and white because it is so chic and effortless.  Black always looks like you tried way harder than you did.  Black and white makes a statement by itself.  However, accessories are always a wonderful addition and below are a few of my favorites!


You can literally apply any of these accessories to one of the above black and white outfits and it will still look fantastic.  You can even apply each one of these to the same outfit and then get way more outfits!  You can totally become an outfit repeater (sorry Kate)!  Think of black and white outfits as blank canvases for you to go crazy with accessories.  

Embrace the fact that it is summer time and go for those neon's in either belts, purses, or nail polish!  Also, don't be afraid of a little leopard.  I wear my leopard loafers with practically everything!  I also wear my J.Crew jean jacket way more than I should ever admit because it goes with everything (everything!).  I highly recommend buying one if you don't have one and watch your life change right before your eyes.  Denim and black and white are like a match made in heaven. 

What are some of your favorite ways to wear black and white?

xoxo

July 21, 2014

Hiking

A couple of weeks ago I posted that I really enjoyed my new running app and I was getting into working out again... Well that lasted about a month before I stopped.  Truth be told I did really like it!  However, life got in the way and I started to not be able to run as much as I would have liked.  Also, the weather started getting INSANELY hot so it was pretty unbearable to run outside.  Pretty soon it was about 2 weeks since I had gone running and then I felt as though I was too behind in my schedule so I just stopped all together.  I know that was the last thing I should have done but I did.

However, I found that instead of running I try to mix up my workouts.  I think going for nice long walks or bike rides are perfect.  I love taking my dog for a nice walk because it feels way more relaxing but I am still getting some activity in for the day.  I also think bike rides along the beach are really nice too.  This past weekend I went on a wonderful hike with one of my good friends from school.  I was up in Door County, Wisconsin still so we got some amazing Lake Michigan views from high up on the bluffs.  And other than forgetting bug spray and being attacked my the mosquito's it was a wonderful time!  We got some amazing views that I thought I would share with you all.




What do you guys like to do to switch up your work outs?  How do you stay on track?

xoxo

July 19, 2014

Busy

These past three days have been so jammed pack!  Super busy without much time to relax.  I have a love hate relationship with being busy.  Sometimes I just want to be a bear in a bee costume instead of the busy bee (movie anyone?!).


While on one end I really enjoy keeping busy because otherwise I go crazy when I'm bored.  I was one of those kids who always had to be doing something and just sitting there watching TV was not an option.  I had to do something while watching TV.  I was constantly running up to my mom and asking her what I could do.  And that is still somewhat true to this day.  While I have learned how to relax while watching an episode of TV I still like to keep busy.  Boredom and me do not mix well... I get antsy and talkative!  So giving me something to do just kind of helps me keep my mind focus.

On the other hand, being super busy has it's perks as well as downsides.  Like mentioned above, being super busy makes me feel amazing.  Like I really made use of my day and accomplished a lot!  However, when you don't really have time to just take a second and breathe it can be so exhausting.  At the end of the day I just collapse on my bed and pass out.  I have been going into downtown Chicago a lot lately and riding the train every day is really tiring because it is about an hour both ways.  I do get some amazing reading in though!

So this weekend my parents and I decided to go back up to Door County for a much needed break.  Nothing beats laying out by the pool and reading.  I am mentally preparing for the next few weeks as well because I know they are going to be just as busy.  With my final month of summer left approaching too quickly I have so many things I want to do!  Gots to cram everything in to complete the perfect summer :)

Do you guys like being busy or does it stress you out?  How do you handle it?

xoxo

July 16, 2014

Advice to Incoming Freshman

So I thought I would start another new series along with my DIY Dorm Decor one about some advice to incoming freshman. This time last year I was beyond excited to leave for school. There were a few nerves but I was so ready to be out on my own and be independent. My freshman year was exactly what I thought it would be, and the exact opposite. There were nights I stayed up with my friends just talking until 4 am but then there were times when all I wanted to do was sit in my room alone for the entire weekend. 


It is definitely a new transition unlike anything you have ever experienced so I created a kind of funny kind of serious list (based off a BuzzFeed aricle) of things you should know before stepping foot on campus your first day. I plan on making a few more of these centered on different areas of college life but this one is super general. 

1. Take time to figure out what your beliefs are. 
2. Question the world around you. 
3. Put in an effort to make it to every home sporting event. 
4. You’re going to cry. 
5. Don’t give in to peer pressure. 
6. At least be acquaintances with your roommate…its no fun living in silence for an entire year. 
7. It’s always better to sleep a few hours and blow off a chapter then pull an all-nighter and be brain dead when you take the test. 
8. Never tweet or facebook about your 4.0. 
9. Stop finding the short cuts. 
10. Try not to buy your textbook from your school’s bookstore. Use slugbooks.com 
11. When you run into an awkward hook-up: smile and keep walking. 
12. Make friends with your professors and go to office hours. 
13. Don’t judge your college experience based off other people’s Facebook photos and Instagram. 
14. Some time all you need is a good Netflix binge session. 
15. Try not to procrastinate. 
16. Go out of your comfort zone. 
17. It’s perfectly okay to change your major or even your university. 
18. Buy a good pair of boots if your school is in a cold climate. 
19. Tell everyone on campus who helps you out, be it the bus driver, the cafeteria lady, the maintenance man, tell them all thank you. 
20. Always hold the door open. 
21. Manage your social media. Potential employers will look at it. 
22. Don’t ever be ashamed of where you are from. 
23. There is only one reason a person calls at 2 am. 
24. Find clubs and organizations that make you happy. 
25. Know how to properly ignore the people handing out flyers. A fake phone call usually does the trick. 
26. Stop bragging about things you did in high school. No one like people who dwell in the past. 
27. Call your parents. 
28. Just because they made out with you doesn’t mean they want to date you. Learn to let a few of those go. 
29. Don’t be the reason your group does poorly on a project. Pull your weight plus a little extra. 
30. Turn your cell phone on silent before every class. 
31. Sometimes it’s better to just not go than to be 45 minutes late. 
32. Carry headphones, a pack of gum and some change with you at all times. 
33. Always be professional when sending emails. 
34. Take classes you are interested in not because it is an “easy A.” 
35. Be prepared to drop your phone one too many times. 
36. Forgive yourself. 
37. Learn how to introduce two people to one another. Learn how to introduce yourself when someone fails to do it for you. 
38. Clean your room (for you and your roommate’s sake) 
39. Take pictures of everything. But don’t only live with your camera as your eye. 
40. You are going to fail a test. 
41. Make at least one friend that you can truly count on. 
42. It’s not if someone will spill a drink on you that night, it’s when. Don’t wear your best clothes to a drunken party. 
43. Don’t lose your room key. 
44. Learn how you study best and your note taking preference. 
45. You will go a few weeks without doing your laundry so buy enough underwear to last. 
46. You can wear jeans and a t-shirt to a party and don’t wear short skirts in the middle of winter. 
47. Be goofy. 
48. Wear a rain jacket versus carrying an umbrella. 
49. You have time for a quick shower. 
50. Be kind always. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle. 
51. Bring your phone charger with you everywhere!! 
52. People are going to be better than you, smarter than you, faster than you, funnier than you, and better looking than you. 
53. Know the words to your fight song. 
54. Use an agenda. 
55. Even if you don’t think you’re going to run into anyone you know, you will. 
56. First impressions count. 
57. Acting like you “don’t care” isn't cool anymore, start giving a shit. 
58. Make goals. 
59. Don’t do the reading the night before the test. 
60. Order the pizza. 

Do you have any tips that I should add to my list? 

xoxo 

July 14, 2014

And

I like the idea of the Ampersand and Semi Colon symbols as representations of something more.  As in, your life is not over, there is no period at the end but an "&" or ";".  I love the tattoos of these but since I'm not that brave I was thinking that I would make a large one for my room and then bring it to my dorm.

I know I promised last year that I would do some dorm decorating posts but I never really liked the way my room was put together.  It was always half way there and haphazardly thrown together.  This year though I plan on getting my shit together and making my room fan-freaking-tastic!  I thought I would share with you all some awesome dorm decor ideas and DIY's.  


Starting off super easy is just painting some wooden letters from Michael's.  I got this "&" but you can definitely get letters for your name, or even better, your monogram!  Then I got this gold paint and one of the sponge brushes you would use in arts and crafts at summer camp.  I really didn't want to shell out too much money for a nice brush so this was like 65 cents I think!

After about 10 coats of paint (this stuff was super thin!), a few hours, and quite a few episodes of Orange is the New Black (review to come if interested) I was finally finished.  The bottle said to let the paint dry an hour in between each coat but after about 3 hours I learned that you can wait about 15 minutes so that spread the process up a bit!  I wish I got a bit lighter gold since this turned out a bit darker than I anticipated but I still love it.  This letter even has a hook in the back for hanging!  I think I am going to use those command strips though so I didn't even bother painting the back so that saved time too!


I think I might want to gold glitter half of it... or maybe do my monogram.  It was so much fun being all craftsy again (throwback to my childhood when I would lock myself in our guest room and craft from breakfast to dinner with The Parent Trap on loop in the background) that I am super excited to do more posts like this!  

Let me know if you guys end up making any awesome letters for your wall!  Also, do you have any awesome DIY decor ideas that I should try?

xoxo

July 13, 2014

Summer Daze

Its crazy to think that we are already in the middle of July.  I feel like just yesterday I was packing up my dorm room and coming home for the summer shocked at how fast my freshman year flew by.  An now here I am just as shocked that it is July 14th and in 1 month and a half I will be starting my sophomore year.  Crazy right. I often have to remind myself to live in the present.  I often complain at the end of every summer that I didn't go outside enough, go to the beach enough, etc.  I get sick of the 90 degree weather and stick to the AC inside or work too much. 


So this summer I have been trying to make the most of it and going outside every day, if the weather permits.  I hate to report but this summer there have been way too many rainy and cold days.  This weekend though was gorgeous and I just laid outside and read my book for a while.  It is currently my favorite thing to do because I get so soaked up in the fact that is summer and I get to relax without any worries.  I don't have a pool or anything but I take my lounge chair to the back yard, wearing a bikini, lay out and read.  When I go out I always bring my book, a drink, and sunscreen/bug spray (I live in the woods so there are a ton of mosquitoes!).  

My favorite pool/beach/yard bag are the giant Lulu Lemon bags because they can hold a ton and look super cute too.  My new love is the Argo Tea iced drinks (this one is the Hibiscus Tea Sangria..mmm!).  I didn't know that these existed until I was browsing the Peace Teas at Walmart and found them.  They are a bit expensive but Argo Tea is my favorite and they come in the cutest glass bottles ever.  I also recommend the clip-on bug spray thing because it really does work.  I do however still bring normal bug spray because I hate mosquito bites that much (mine swell to the size of a quarter).  But the bugs definitely stay away while the fan is turned on.  And don't forget your sunscreen!  The spray kind is my favorite because I don't have to touch it then and get my hands all sticky.  I try to leave my phone inside and just embrace the sun for a little while.

I usually just wear an oversized shirt with some flip flops and a baseball cap to keep the sun off my face!  I love reading on my Kindle because it is so much easier to carry around and hold while laying out.  I am currently reading If I Stay by Gayle Forman.  I am only about 50 pages in but so far I am really liking it!  let me know if you want me to do a book review on it!

What are some of your favorite things you have been doing a lot this summer?  

xoxo

July 11, 2014

Photos of the week {7/12/14}

Hope you all had an amazing 4th weekend and a nice week after.  I tried to keep it pretty calm after the busy weekend.  My family and I went up to our place in Door County Wisconsin for the weekend and kept it pretty low key.  Mostly pool and reading time with a few great meals!  Then this week has been a bit busy with work.


This was the amazing sunset one of the nights up in Wisconsin.  The midwest might not be all that great, but sunsets on the late are the best I've ever seen (actually Boston has pretty good ones too)!  


This was the gorgeous harbor up in Door County.  While my family and I don't actually own a boat I love walking down to the harbor because it is such great people watching!


If you ever go up to Door County in your life I highly recommend you go to White Gull Inn and order the Cherry Stuffed French Toast.  I have been ordering the same thing ever since I could eat a whole meal and it is the best breakfast I've ever had.  I mean what gets better than french toast, with the best cherries ever, stuffed with cherry cream cheese, and drizzled with syrup.  You might not eat for like a week afterwards but it will be totally worth it!


Isn't this like rose garden gorgeous?  I saw it while walking around Evanston and thought it was too pretty to pass up.  Turns out its actually an old person's home but hey... it was worth a picture!


Strawberries and whipped cream? Yes, please!


I don't know if you guys have Food Stuffs near you but they make (hands down) the best salads ever.  You can put anything in it you want and they chop it for you and cover it with the best Balsamic dressing ever!  I decided to try this green smoothie...it was disgusting.  I'm sorry if any of you like this but it literally just tasted like salad, in liquid form.  I want to try some more of the pressed juices going around but I don't think the green ones are for me.

What have you guys been up to this week?

xoxo

July 10, 2014

Summer Haul {7/11/14}


Remember when I said I wasn't going to be shopping a lot...ooops.  I couldn't resist buying a few cute new things this summer!   

Lauren Conrad is one of my fashion and overall life inspirations.  I am constantly motivated when I see all the new things she is continually accomplishing and how far she has come from her Laguna Beach days.  Even though I wish she still was LC and had her own reality show (why did MTV cancel her new one?!) I am awed by everything she has done.  And while I wish I could afford the luxurious items from her Paper Crown collection I sadly cannot.  However, her Kohls line is just as incredible.  I literally walked into Kohls and headed straight to the LC section (I know where it is by now), browsed through the clothes, bought the clothes, and then left the store.  I was on a mission.  Everything was 40% off I think so I got a great steal on most of the clothes.


Navy crochet cropped tank and shorts || LINK
Literally love these sooo much!  Cannot stop wearing them.  I really like them together but also splitting them apart.  I didn't think I would wear the crop top that much but I think I wear it more than the shorts because it literally goes with everything.  Also, I am in love with the cute crochet scalloped edges :)


Floral Shorts || LINK
In love with these bad boys!  I think my new favorite summer thing are lose patterned shorts.  These and a simple black tank are absolutely perfect.  It is the easiest pairing but you look super put together.  Also, I am not one for shorter skirts so shorts a perfect option!

White Pleated Maxi Skirt || LINK
So it was really hard to take a photo of this but check my Instagram for a better photo.  Basically this is a long pleated maxi skirt that is sheer with a shorter skirt underneath.  I didn't think I would wear this that much and was hesitant to buy it but I have worn it a ton!  I actually ended up wearing it for dinner the night of the 4th.  It goes with everything and be dressy or casual.

I also hauled some new jewels from BaubleBar.  I slightly regret not going out of my comfort zone and getting some of the more colorful pieces but every time I look at the crystal beauties I reaffirm that I made the right decision.  Plus, that means that next time I will just have to go with some of the neons (because there most certainly will be a next time!).  I also love Bauble Bar's simple, dainty jewelry so I picked up this two strand pave one.


1. Crystal Flamenco Collar || Sold out but similar HERE and HERE
2.  Ariel Collar in clear || LINK
My obsession for statement necklaces is only growing after the purchase of these two.  I really want to get some colorful ones but I feel like they just aren't as practical... I wear these with literally everything and all the time so they are definitely worth it!

3. Pave Angle Pendant || Sold out but similar HERE and HERE
Super dainty and simple and works well with everything.  I love how this is already two strands so that means I have to do less work thinking about what necklaces to layer and it gets less tangled.  I love this with a simple tank and jeans for the perfect casual outfit.

And finally, a new pair of sunglasses.  I broke my other ones that I got from Target about a year ago because I wasn't very gentle with them.  A lot of just tossing in bags and not putting in cases led to one of the arm-things (idk what its called) to break off.  However, it only fueled my excuse to buy a new pair.  I still am not brave enough to shell out the hundreds for my favorite blue Ray Bans so instead I opted for these black aviators from Free People which kind of look like Ray Bans but are way cooler if I do say so myself (actually my sister said so).


I can't find these anywhere on the website but I just bought them in stores this week so I would go check if you are interested!

Have you guys bought anything new lately?

xoxo

July 9, 2014

Pretty Little Liars 100th Episode!

Holy OMG!  I thought Pretty Little Liars was lacking in the intensity a bit this season as I mentioned in my last PLL recap.  But this episode definitely lived up to my PLL standards of wow moments.  It being the 100th episode though, I would expect no less from the writers and Marlene King.  If you haven't watched the episode yet watch before you read this because I am about to spoiler some major things!  **SPOILERS AHEAD**



So many of our favorites are back in this episode and I was squealing with excitement!  We learned a couple of new things this episode but were still left with some burning questions.  I thought I would compile a list of some of the major things that happened and my reactions.

1. So Jenna is back!!  This is how we start the episode off, other than seeing Ali talk to someone mysterious in a car.  Ali, Aria, and Ezra all witness Jenna getting off a bus.  She then later calls Toby to have him pick her up.  Jenna claims she is back because Shana was murdered and she needs time to grieve.  But why can't she do that in New York?  Why come back to Rosewood?  And the fact that her house gets blown up...again... is not a coincidence.  Also, Jenna knows the new girl, Sydney, who is palling up with Emily and Paige.  Jenna and Mona are still BFF's and talking about trying to get all the Liars to side with them instead of Ali.  The "A" finger has always been pointed at Jenna but I still think that is just too obvious.

2.  Lucas is back!  So Lucas actually reappeared a few episodes ago.  He was supposedly being home-schooled for a little bit but now decides that wasn't for him and he wants to return to Rosewood High.  Hmmmm interesting...he's returning the same time Ali is returning (not another coincidence).  We have come to learn that there is no such thing as a coincidence in this small town.  Also, Lucas and Mona are besties plotting against Ali.  Lucas's party seemed like the perfect distraction for Hannah.  Does he really have a new girlfriend?

3.  Ali vs. Mona  This is what Rosewood High has resorted too.  Everyone on Mona's side vs Ali and the Liars.  Even though I'm not so sure that Ali even has the Liars on her side.  If she keeps lying like its her job she might just be fighting a one woman battle.  Mona confronts Ali in the church (sketchy much Mona?) and they get into a slapping fight.  Yes.  Slapping.  Oh girls.  Anyways, Mona documents the whole thing and has proof that Ali hasn't really changed, no matter how much she apologizes.

4.  Caleb is back!!!!!!!  Yes this required that many exclamation points because I was that excited when Hanna sees Caleb in the coffee shop.  This brings up way more questions though because Caleb looked pretty casual in the shop.  How long has he been home for?  Why did he come back (he never answers that no matter how many times Hanna asks)?  Then when Hannah drags Caleb back to Ali's house when they find out some news, Ali and Caleb seem to recognize each other.  Or Ali recognizes Caleb at least!  Definitely did not see that one coming.  Maybe it has something to do with the Ravenswood thing (never watched that show so maybe I'm missing something).

5.  Ali and Emily  Hell to the yeah this was fantastic.  Even though I don't quite like this duo it is still pretty epic.  Ali always has had a soft spot for good ol' Em and she really is a different person around her.  Seeing these two shed their tough shells and have a vulnerable moment together was beautiful.  I just hope Ali doesn't end up hurting Emily because she definitely does not need any more bad relationships.

6.  Aria and Ezra!!  This may or may not have been my favorite part of the episode (it was!).  This is my favorite couple in the entire show and have wanted them together since episode 1.  They just can't stay away from each other and their connection is unbreakable.  They finally realized that nothing can get between them and surrendered to their feelings.  And I was smiling and cheering the entire time :)

7.  Bethany Young  We officially know the identity of the dead girl in Ali's grave.  Apparently she was a 17 year old at Radley.  This girl must be connected to someone because nothing is random in Rosewood.  This was announced during a press conference where the officers also called Ali's kidnapping "alleged."  Finally!  The fact that she was at Radley gives her a connection to Mona, Spencer, and Toby's Mom (Does this have something to do with the bombing then?!).  However, she could be Ali's twin but have a different last name.  She could also be Sydney's friend because why else would this chick have magically appeared out of no where if she doesn't have some connection to Ali.  Do you guys have any ideas who she might be?

8.  The bombing at the Cavanaugh's  This could be so many things.  As I have mentioned above it could be because Jenna is back.   Is someone trying to hurt Jenna?  Is someone trying to cover up something in the house?  Does it have anything to do with Toby's mom's apparent suicide?  Why did it happen immediately after the announcement of Bethany Young?

9.  The Hastings separation  It took them long enough right?  Am I the only one who was like it is about time this happened?  The two people could not have fought and bickered more.  Their marriage definitely did not seem happy but who knows.  It sounds like it has something to do with the fact that Mr. Hastings and Melissa are keeping secrets of Mrs. Hastings and Spencer.  Did they play some role in Mrs. D's murder?  If not, then where were they the night she was killed if not at some diner?  We still don't know what secret Melissa is keeping...is it the same one?

10.  A IS BACK!  We knew she/he/them wouldn't be gone forever.  It was only a matter of time before the cell phones were ringing once again.  And it just so happens that A reappears right have the explosion.  Did she have something to do with it?  And in classic PLL fashion, the episode ends with the 5 Liars receiving text messages as the camera zooms out to show the entire scene.  We never actually see the text...till next time.

Please let me know what your guy's thoughts are on this intense episode!  Do you have any stellar theories about what is happening in the shadows of Rosewood?

xoxo

A

(too soon?)

July 8, 2014

Sleep

I thought I would take a second to vent about sleep.  My favorite thing about summer is the fact that you can "catch up" on all the sleep you missed while in school.  However, as I learned in my psychology class, you cannot actually catch up on sleep.  It is a myth we created long ago to make ourselves feel better.  In fact, getting more sleep can actually hurt you.  I think this happens to me in the summer!  I get too much sleep that I end up being more tired and cranky then sticking to my usual 6 or 7.  While getting 10+ hours of sleep is a dream come true, I often wonder if it actually helps.

Lately I have been having a terrible time falling asleep.  Actually, I am writing this post right now after I have been trying to fall asleep for the past hour.  I know staring at a computer screen is the last thing you are supposed to do while trying to fall asleep but I started writing this post in my head and figured I should jot it down before I forget it :)  

I think that getting too much sleep has hurt me.  Now it takes me forever to fall asleep, I wake up later, and am super tired and groggy throughout the day.  And there there are the days when I have to work the next day and my entire cycle gets thrown off.  I toss and turn in bed for a few hours before I am finally able to fall asleep.  I thought I would share with you all some ways I have found over the years to help me fall asleep.  None of these are guarantees but they may help.


1. Relax | This may be pretty self explanatory but often just taking a deep breath and trying to get calm before you shut your eyes can be a big help.  One of my biggest problems when I can't sleep is that I just have sooo many things running through my head.  If I can push all my thoughts aside and just get as relaxed as possible it helps.  Place yourself on a nice calm beach or your most relaxing zone.

2. Stretch | Sometimes it helps to to shake and stretch your arms, legs, and back because it might help you get comfortable and stop you from tossing and turning.  If you can find the perfect position to sleep in then you get relaxed quicker.

3. Read | I often use this technique if I cannot fall asleep within the hour.  I will turn on a light and grab the book I am reading.  It helps recenter your thoughts and distract you from whatever is keeping you awake.  I would do this in college a lot right before I would even try to fall asleep because it would take my mind of all the tests and papers and drama that was going on and help me relax before bed time.

4. Stay off electronics | Now I should be taking my own advice right now but hey!  It is important to not look at bright lights from computer and phone screens right before you fall asleep.  Also, keeping your electronics out of your room will help you focus and relax before bed time.

5. Count sheep | Okay so I don't know if that is the right thing to call this technique since counting sheep is sooo The Count from Sesame Street but I swear this helps me.  It is something that my friend taught me back when we were like five and I think she might have made it up to get me to stop tossing and turning but it really works!  Basically you have to say goodnight to different parts of your body.  So starting from the top you would say, "Goodnight head.  Goodnight eyes.  Goodnight nose.  Goodnight mouth. etc"  And you would continue working your way down.  I usually never get to my feet but if you do just repeat.  It is another way to help you focus your mind and calm yourself.

6. Tea | I love a good warm beverage before bed.  I mean tea with milk and honey...can't get much better than that!  Try some Sleepytime tea or other tea with soothing properties like Chamomile.  And who doesn't like cookies with their tea?  Some people say that you shouldn't eat before bed and I usually try not too but I do make exceptions for chocolate chip cookies!

Do you guys have any fail-proof ways that help you fall asleep?

xoxo

July 7, 2014

A Book Review {Shatter Me Series}

I don't think I have ever been so in love with a book series!  I read this series (3 books and 2 novellas) in about 4 days.  I could not put the books down and once I finished one I immediately picked up the next one and started reading it.  I am so glad all the books were out when I started reading this series because I'm not sure what I would have done if I had to wait to read one.  They were that good!  I think I might have found the newest Divergent or Hunger games series.


First things fist, can we just all take a step back and admire the covers of this series.  There are beyond gorgeous and I love them so much!  I know you are never supposed to judge a book by its cover but the Shatter Me cover really drew me and I am so glad!  This series is yet another "The world is ending" novel.  The Reestablishment has taken power and is trying to create the world from new.  They are destroying every book, religion, language, animals, and more.  They are destroying the old and creating new forms to rule the world.

The protagonist is a 17 year old girl named Juliette.  However, Juliette cannot touch anyone because her touch is lethal.  When her skin touches another human's skin the air is taken out of them and they experience extreme pain until they die.  At the age of 14 Juliette's parents sent her to prisons and an asylum because they thought she was crazy.  

One day however, Juliette gets a new cell mate white at the asylum.  A boy about her age named Adam.  They develop a close friendship until one day Juliette is taken away from the asylum to one of the many Sectors the world was divided into.  There, she meets the commander of Sector 45, Warner who tells her he wants to her her gift as a weapon.  So that's basically the plot line and we follow these 3 characters through a lot of drama.  Fantastic drama!!  

I mean come on the love triangle is such too good.  And normally I can easily pick out which guy I like more but I honestly loved and hated both guys.  Adam was just the sweetest and has true emotions for Juliette from the first time they met.  But he is kind of baby and sometimes I just wanted to shake him.  And there is Warner who is kind of crazy and psychotic but he too has this raw emotion that is so unbelievable you can't not fall for him too.  I won't tell you which she ends up with but it was both amazing and kind of sad.  For those of you that have read this book, did anyone else hope she would end up with Kenji?!  Lol...no? haha!!

Any ways, if you guys love a good sci-fi then I think this book is right up your alley.  There is the perfect amount of love triangle drama mixed with awesome action and a great growth within all the characters.  And to top it off, the writing in this book is beyond amazing.  The plot itself is good but I think Tahereh Mafi's writing is SPECTACULAR!!!  Like I am in love with her writing.  Some of the metaphors and analogies are just so beautiful.  I highly recommend this book and cannot speak enough about it.

Are you guys loving any new books in particular?

xoxo

July 4, 2014

Happy 4th!


If you live in the US I hope you are enjoying your holiday with friends and family.  If you live in another country have a wonderful Friday!  While you are enjoying your BBQ's and watching your parades don't forget about why you have this day off.  It is a day to celebrate our freedom and to be thankful that we were born in the country we are in.  Most of what we have in our lives can be attributed to this great country.  So be thankful for our rights and our freedoms while you sit back and watch the fireworks tonight.  In the wonderful words of the Zac Brown Band's Chicken Fried, "I thank God for my life / And for the stars and stripes / May freedom forever fly / Let it ring / Salute the ones who died / The ones that give their lives / So we don"t have to sacrifice / All the things we love."

 I hope you all have a wonderful July 4th and the the sun is shining bright!

xoxo

July 1, 2014

4th of July Outfit Ideas

Who doesn't love some patriotic clothes?  I mean there are soooo many out there that it was hard to keep this post short.  I think red, white, and blue are just such wonderful colors and can be paired so many amazing ways.  I have created three looks fro different occasions you might come across this upcoming holiday!



Fireworks || This is a simple chambray shirt, white denim shorts and American Flag themed Toms.  I thought this was super simple for the night when you are laying in grass and watching fireworks.  Underneath your chambray you could wear a red tank for during the day when it is super hot and then put the chambray on later.  This would also look great with a cute pair of converse too.

Barbecue || For this outfit I paired a super comfy red dress from Madewell that I absolutely love.  I have the royal blue version and it is amazing (plus there are pockets!).  Then to go with it a crystal statement necklace from BaubleBar and a pair of silver Jack Rogers.  I think this is simple enough to wear for a BBQ or even a nicer party with a cute clutch and heels!

Pool Party || Has anyone else been obsessed with the scalloped bathing suits that have been popping up everywhere?  I want everyone I see but especially the navy ones.  Navy is my new love.  So I found this navy strapless scallop bikini from Top Shop.  In addition, these Krass & Co American Flag themed shorts are too die for!  Paired with a simple pair of white Tkees flip flops and my coveted blue aviator Ray Bans (which for the record I still haven't purchased...I'm being good!) 

What do you guys plan on wearing for this patriotic Holiday?

xoxo



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