April 29, 2015

A year in either direction...

I am in this club on campus called Word of Mouth where basically every week we give a 3 minute speech about a topic the leader decides on.  I have grown to love it because it has definitely made me more comfortable talking in front of a group.  But on Monday, I gave a speech about time and it really got me thinking.  Isn't it crazy how much can change in one year.

Looking back at this time last year I could not wait to get home.  I wanted my freshman year of college to be over and I wanted to be in the comfort of my own home surrounded by familiarity, queen size beds, and puppy kisses.  The second my finals were over I quickly said my goodbyes and hopped on the first flight out of town heading back to the great Midwest.  I remember one of my friends saying she was going to miss me so much and this sharp pain shot through me when I realized I wasn't going to miss her.  I know this sounds awful but I let me explain.  I love her to death.  She remains to be one of my best friends but at that time last year, I couldn't afford to miss anything because I just wanted to be gone.  I ended up missing her a lot actually throughout the summer so it turns it out I couldn't help myself my missing things no matter how hard I tried.


Freshmen year most definitely had its ups and downs.  To be honest, it was all a big up until second semester rolled around and nothing went right.  This along with many other reasons was why I wanted to leave.  I had even thought about transferring a few times and I am so glad I didn't.

Moving on to the end of my sophomore year and the entire world has done a complete 180.  I want to stay here forever.  Please don't make me go home.  I know I have to, and I am beyond excited about it because I have two unbelievable internships and hopefully a part time job and I get to see my family (mainly my niece but shh don't tell the rest of them!).  But Boston College has quickly become my home.  I never thought I would say it but it has.  Oh now I'm going to get sappy.  

I became such good friends with people I didn't even know at the beginning of the year and now I can say I am going to miss them.  I am going to miss nights where pajamas and Netflix ends up turning into party-hopping and painful feet.  I am going to miss staying up late to watch 10 Things I Hate About You or shopping trips on Sundays.  I know what your thinking, "Annie you will see them in three months calm down."  But see now there's the kicker... I won't actually see them in three months.  I will see them in a year.  I am going abroad the fall semester next year and they are going abroad in the spring semester which means we will miss each other.  

So looking forward now to this time next year is crazy to believe.  I would have been abroad in Europe for an entire semester and I cannot even begin to imagine what adventures I went on.  I hopefully had an amazing second semester no matter where I ended up living or who it was with.  I know I won't be in the same clubs but hopefully I joined new ones and made amazing friends and tried new things.  They say hindsight is always 20/20...but there should be a saying that says looking towards the future provides just as much perspective as looking towards the past.  We have to look both backwards and forwards.

xoxo

April 26, 2015

Current Skincare

I thought I would preface this post by saying that I am by no means a skincare expert.  I do know quite a bit about skincare products but that is only because I do my research and I know my skin really well.  Honestly I think that is the best advice I could give anyone.  Before going to a dermatologist or consulting anyone else, learn your skin.  Learn what products work, what irritates it, etc.  This definitely will take time but once you learn this it is extremely beneficial.  I am still in this learning process and to be honest, skincare is always a learning process.  As your age your hormones are constantly changing which makes your skin constantly changing.  Also don't feel pressured to use a certain label or all of one brand.  As you will see each one of my products is of a different price range and a different company.  Mixing your products helps create a custom routine perfect for your individual skin type.

So now to give a brief overview of what type of skin I have.  I have the definition of combination skin.  It tends to be on the more oily side but it can definitely get dry especially along my jaw line and on my cheek bones near my my hairline.  I have an incredibly oily T-zone (forehead down nose to chin).  Sometimes it looks like I am just painted in oil - yeah that bad.  So for me it has been a constant battle between using products to dry up the oil which then creates some patchy skin which I treat with heavy moisturizers only to create more oil.  A terrible cycle.  

I never used to break out very much in high school but within the past two years (since moving to college) my skin has been breaking out more and more.  I breakout along my forehead and also along my cheek bones near my hairline (where its dry).  And the cycle continues here as well.  Treating breakouts in both oily and dry areas is pretty difficult.

In high school I used tons of products.  I thought the more I used the better my skin would be.  However, since being at college I have had to downsize the number of products considerably.  And honestly I think it has been for the better.  I think the more products I piled on my skin the more sensitive it got and the more it broke out.  I have come to the realization that less is most definitely more.  I am keeping it simple and so far I am loving it.


My sister claims that its not the cleanser you use but the products you apply afterwards.  As long as you clean your skin.  I used to agree until I found this stuff.  Its gentle enough to use as an everyday cleanser but it has most definitely helped to tame my acne and clear up my skin.  I didn't put this in the picture but I use a Clarisonic while using this cleanser.  Honestly the Clarisonic has changed my life and I cannot go back to washing my face without!  I usually just use this as night.

This stuff is incredibly drying.  I definitely have to use it sparingly has it can make my dry patches even dryer.  But it is amazing at combating oiliness.  I normally just use this in the mornings instead of washing my face as almost like a mattifier for the day.  I highly recommend it if you have oily skin.  I haven't noticed much of a difference in my pore size but it does help dry up acne which is an added bonus.

Everyone should find an exfoliater that works for their skin.  Don't ever think that your skin is too dry or too sensitive for one.  There is one out there for skin type so find it!  Exfoliating your skin opens up the skin to allow more moisture to seep in and helps remove all the dead skin cells.  This oatmeal one from St. Ives is amazing and gritty with still being super gentle on the skin.  Its meant for dry skin which is why I like it because it actually soothes some of the dry patches I have while still buffing away the oily zones.  I use this like every two nights or so and also use it with a Clarisonic for extra exfoliation.

I have used both the normal/combination and dry skin version of this moisturizer and I really didn't notice too much of a difference.  The reason I love either one so much is because if the finish it has.  I think this has to do with the gel formula but it dries to a super smooth finish.  Its not quite matte but it feels wonderful on the skin.  Its also super cooling which wakes up your skin in the morning.  I usually use this in the mornings after the toner and spot treatment.

This stuff is holy grail worthy.  I use it everywhere, not just my face.  It works wonders.  It is so thick and amazing and it really works.  I use it every night and find it makes my skin so smooth and soft.  A little goes a long way so this giant tub lasts forever.  The price is a little steep for a drugstore moisturizer but because it lasts so long it is definitely worth it.  Plus I use is all over my body so it has multiple purposes.

Once again another holy grail item that I have been using forever.  I don't think I have found another spot treatment at this price that does almost exactly what the higher end ones do.  I have tried some of the more expensive ones and I always return to this one.  For a while my dermatologist gave me the Epiduo perscription acne spot treatment which is amazing and I do love but it is rather drying.  Clean & Clear is one of the few that I have found that is effective but doesn't dry out my skin too much.

These are amazing makeup remover wipes that don't irritate my skin.  Sometimes the wipes can have a rough texture that causes my skin to breakout but these are very fine and smooth which I love.  They work very effectively and don't make me pull on my eyes when removing my eye makeup.  I never wear heavy eye makeup though so if you do I would recommend an oil remover for your eyes in addition to wipes.

Please let me know if you guys have any skin care items that you love and that I should try!

xoxo

April 23, 2015

Spotted

Wow this was a crazy week.  As many of you may know I go to school in Boston which made this Monday Patriots Day and Marathon Monday.  Basically it is an entire day celebrated to the wonder U S of A as well as watching 30,000 amazing people run 26.2 miles.  Yeah basically unreal.  While sadly it was raining on Monday I still couldn't have asked for a better day.  There is something about watching so many people come together to cheer on people running for amazing causes.  Boston has banded together and proven just how strong a city they can be after the bombing two years ago.  One of my friends ran the marathon this year too which made it even more incredible.


The week could not have gone any better after Monday.  I had some really exciting news all across the board and was pretty stress-free work wise.  Yesterday turned out to be actually the worst day of the week which brought about all the stress that I didn't see in the earlier days.  Somehow that always happens right, when you are at your highest something always comes to bring you down.  Hopefully everything will re-right itself and the weekend will be amazing.  Its super crazy to think though that next week is my last full week of classes before finals and then summer.  Man this year has flown by!

ONE || Fuller House

            BuzzFeed
You got it dude!  Anyone else jumping for joy when John Stamos made this amazing announcement on Jimmy Fallon the other night?  Full House is the definition of childhood nostalgia.  I remember staying up late to watch all the reruns on Nick at Nite and wishing I could be Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen - clearly the start of my obsession.  Could not be more excited about this!  Also, this just proves yet another reason why Netflix is life.



Props to Pandora for stepping it up.  I love how companies are starting to break out of traditional advertising cliches and branching out into new uncharted marketing territory.  This definitely reminded me of a Dove campaign and I did not see the twist coming at the end that it was actually an ad - which I love!  Every woman is unique, plain as simple as that.


    The Players Tribune
I will let you in on a little secret...I  love hockey.  I started attending Chicago Blackhawk's games when I was a little kid and I grew up watching the games with my Dad and brother.  And while I can see nothing better than going to a hockey game, the one thing that is terrible about the sport (and most contact sports) are the injuries or more specifically, the concussions.  No human being should ever have to experience a single concussion, let alone the numerous ones hockey players and other athletes receive.  Concussions have numerous side effects that often go unnoticed.  Daniel Carcillo, a Chicago Blackhawk, wrote an amazing piece illustrating the effects concussions have on athletes in lights of the death of his friend, fellow Blackhawk Steve Montador.  Even if you aren't a hockey fan, I think this is a wonderful piece shedding light on the seriousness of athletic injuries and how we as viewers can pressure athletes back onto the field or court before they are ready.  Just because they are idealized, doesn't mean they don't deserve the same amount of recovery time as the average human.

Plus is Playoff time so that's a double bonus this week :)


Boston Magazine

The idea of running one miles causes me severe anxiety yet alone running 26.2.  I feel honored just to have watched all these amazing people run and these photos of the finish line make me so incredibly happy it almost brings me to tears.  Each individual has a unique reason for running and most of them are for charities.  It is unreal and amazing that 30,000 people came together for this amazing event!

xoxo

April 19, 2015

Monday Motivation

I hope you all have a wonderful start to your week!  I made this little poster a while ago for my friend for the Holidays but as I was organizing my folders and all my documents I found it again and I wanted to share it with all of you


Sometimes I think I can get so caught up in my work that I forget about all the other things in my life.  Its very easy to become over committed in certain areas that I neglect everything else.  I have a very difficult time saying "No" to people because I absolutely love to please everyone.  I hate fights and I hate letting people down.  I am definitely a "Yes" and "Okay, sure" type of person.  The word "No" simply tastes bad in my mouth.  Because of this, I often plan to attend multiple events for one day but can really only attend one of them.  In the end, when I have to skip on an event my insides get all twisted and I have extreme guilt.  I hate breaking promises just as much as I hate saying "No."

I think this quote from the wonderful Amy Poehler in a Parks and Recreation episode says it all.  We have to prioritize in order to feel balanced and happy.  And sometimes that means putting work last.  And while that sucks because you are afraid your grades might suffer ultimately it will be for the best.  Taking that me time to eat waffles and chill with friends will ultimately make you happier.  This is something that I am still learning.  I am learning to choose waffles over work every single day.  And by choosing waffles I don't necessarily mean the delicious brunch food (even though breakfast food is my favorite thing in the entire world!) I mean choosing "No" when appropriate.

I hope you all have a wonderful start to your week and remember, sometimes you have to say "No" to make yourself happier.  Eat all the waffles!!

xoxo

April 14, 2015

City Love: Boston

I just spent the past two hours walking around Boston.  Something that I am ashamed to say I had actually never done before.  I had always just gone to the Back Bay (which if you know Boston is basically where you shop).  The weather was absolutely beautiful today and I felt I just had to get into the city and do something different.  I grabbed a book and my laptop (hoping to find a new coffee shop to sit in for a while) and my Charlie card and hopped on the T.  I got off at the Park St. stop and just walked around.  I didn't go into any shops but I did take a lot of photos.  

Beacon Hill has taken my heart and I now know where my future is.  Something about the uneven cobblestone pathways and the quaint doorways and amazing shutters with colorful potted plants tooke my breath away.  I couldn't imagine living there with the brutal winter we just had but Spring to Fall would be gorgeous.  The Hills might even rival that of San Francisco with how steep they were.  

When can I move in?


Because its the holidays all the time in beacon Hill!

I then crossed Sturrow and walked along the Esplanade.  It all of a sudden clicked.  I didn't really get Boston before today.  I understood that it was really pretty and had amazing history but it was just another city.  Not any more.  Today it became special.  It embraced its uniqueness and showed me its true colors.  Watching the boats on the Charles with the Boston skyline in the background did it for me.  I sat on a bench and just watched and felt so peaceful and at home it almost brought me to tears.  I know that sounds totally cliche but hey, it is what it is.

Heaven right there!

Lesson of the day: explore.  It's one thing to hit up the main locales of the new city you are living in but it is another thing to see the nooks and crannies.  Take a left turn one day instead of your usual right and see what happens.  Get lost.  Oh my most definitely get lost.  I cannot tell you how many time I "got lost" today and ended up at a beautiful building or at a gorgeous street.  I always wander when I'm in a new city or in a foreign place but sometimes I forget that its important to wander even in your home town.  You may think you know everything about it but I can almost guarantee you that you don't.


If any of you are in the Boston area wand want to brave your way to Harvard square, I highly recommend this coffee shop called Crema Cafe, it was amazing!

xoxo

April 12, 2015

Tumblr

I vaguely remember some of my friends in high school saying that the one rule of Tumblr is to never talk about Tumblr.  Well as a newbie to the social media website I think I can break that rule.  I know I talked about the site a while back in one of my Spotted posts but my obsession has reached new heights and deserves its own post.


I spent hours the other weak searching for the perfect Tumblr theme.  I have an eye for design and I had a vision of what I wanted and it just took me a while to discover it and to shape it.  My vision molded over time when scrolling through the thousands of themes (let me tell you, there are a ton of them!!).  Eventually though I found one that suited my liking and everything just kind of spiraled out of control.  Once my theme was in set I spent another couple of hours customizing it to perfection with the perfect color scheme and what not.  

I like to keep all my social media sites to have a unique theme.  My Pinterest account focuses on mostly fashion with the occasional inspirational quote or food recipe thrown in the mix.  But I am very particular about what gets repinned, not everything is worthy.  The same can be said now about my Tumblr.  However, I have taken Tumblr to be my inner hipster's oasis.  Most of my photos are of travel photography but they must be "right."  They have to be a little faded, a little earthy, not too bright and preppy.  But finding the perfect photos takes time and patience.  

In the end, when I find the right photo I know it is going to fit and I will reblog it.  Not only do I enjoy reblogging things, I think I find more joy and scrolling through my own Tumblr feed because its just so pretty and perfect and dreamy and aaahhh worthy.  This might be a little cocky but I can't lie when I say I love my Tumblr feed.  And hey, I should love it right because otherwise why am I even doing it.  It just makes me wish that I had trusted my friends back in high school who told me that I needed to get a Tumblr and that it was totally unique than everything else out there.  

If any of you have Tumblr accounts or know any secrets to this new world I am diving into please let me know!

xoxo

April 9, 2015

Spotted

Not having class on Monday made this week fly by.  The only bad par about the week was the absolute terrible weather.  I swear nothing it worse than waking up at 8am and thinking it is still midnight because it is so dark and dreary outside.  The only I do like about the rainy weather is that I love the clothes I can wear - although it is still super cold outside which I am by no means a fan of!

This week wasn't super busy as far as school work goes, I had one exam on Tuesday but other than that it was pretty smooth sailing.  I had a ton of work to do for applying to internships and finished applications.  This time of year is so stressful for things like that.  However, that being said, there were a few things throughout the week that definitely made me utterly happy!

One || Orange is the New Black Season 3 Trailer


Oh yes ladies and gentlemen it is back!  I am counting the days until June 12th like crazy because I cannot believe it has been a year since it last ended.  I predict I will fly through this season like crazy.  The trailer looks really good and definitely shows some interesting scenes.  There looks to be a few new characters as well which I am excited about.

Two || True Detective Season 2 Trailer


Because all the trailers came out yesterday and gave me so many happy emotions I couldn't not include this one too!  I mean Taylor Kitsch.  But it honestly looks so amazing and I cannot wait to figure out what the story line it.  It looks like something about the upper class of Los Angeles (thank goodness for no more creepy Louisiana swamps) and the occult history of the transportation system.  Sold.

Three|| See You Again - Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth


Its all about the videos today.  One word: Tears.  There were tears falling at the end of this music video.  And while I was never a Fast and Furious fan this song definitely struck a chord and brought out all the feels.  I cannot stop listening to it because it is just so soulful and heartfelt and aaah-mazing!


Photo courtesy of Business Insider

It's about time!  Apple released their new line of emojis with the iOS 8.3 update which includes many racially diverse emoticons.  They have African American's, lesbians, non traditional families, the whole works.  Even the sports emojis have been diversified.  They also included a new range of flags.  While there is still no middle finger, I am so proud that they released this new line!  Also, where are the gingers?

Five || Dove Choose Beautiful Campaign


Dove did it again!  This one also brought be a little teary eyed because I couldn't help but think which door I would have walked through.  And sadly I think I would have chosen average because beauty is an imperfect ideal all women strive for.  But after watching the video I learned that we are each uniquely beautiful and that we need to lower the standards of beauty.

What have you guys spotted this week?

xoxo

April 8, 2015

Mat Kearney "Just Kids"

I discovered a gem the other day while scrolling through a new blog (Too Damn Young)!  It is Mat Kearney's new album "Just Kids."  I thought I would do something a little different on here today and just lust over a single album instead of sharing some of my playlists.  I don't think I can express how much perfection is in it.  When I was listening to the album I didn't even realize who Mat Kearney was but I YouTube stalked him and it turns out that a lot of his music I totally recognized but never actually new who the artist was.  I have recently listened the entirety of the album multiple times and each time a new song or lyric stands out.  I think that's what is so great about the album actually, there is a wide variety of songs for every feeling, emotion, and occasion.
 

First things first (I'm the realist) Kearney's music videos are unbelievable.  Honestly I don't think I have seen cooler videos.  The single "Heartbeat" on this album, the entire music video was one take and shot with a drone!  Un. Be. Lievable.  Ships in the Night was shot in 165 locations cutting after about 3 seconds in each one.  The imagination on this guy in groundbreaking.  I totally wish I found him sooner.



The album is very self-reflective and tells stories about loss and hope.  Kearney describes the album as a cross between Kanye West and Paul Simon and I have to give it to him on that one because it totally is.  I couldn't pinpoint the exact sound until I heard that and it all made sense then.

I think my favorite song is definitely the opener "Heartbreak Dreamer."  The lyrics are amazing and I cannot wait to blast this cool electro beat while driving this summer with windows down and the sun shining.  The song ends with lyrics from the wonderful slam poem Shake of the Dust (and you all know just how much I love slam poetry) which makes the entire song 10x better.  "Billion" is amazingly catchy and "Heartbeat" makes me want to dance (coincidentally like the video).  I think "Ghost" might be my second favorite, if not tied for first, because it struck me so deep lyrically and emotionally that I immediately fell in love.  It is about mourning loss which is something we can all relate to and Kearney does a wonderful job tapping into those feelings.



I could go on to discuss every single track on the album because there truly isn't a single one that I don't like (which is rare of most albums) and I would highly recommend it.  If any of you have any new music favorites please let me know as I would love to hear them because I am always looking to find some new incredible music.

xoxo

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