Monday, December 21, 2015

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

I don't like giving people money or gift cards for Christmas. I think it is impersonal and I would much rather pick out something for someone. So here are my best ideas that can be done in a pinch and help you avoid getting someone a gift card.

1) Gift in a Jar: This is what I did for all of my friends for Christmas. I got mason jars from Hobby Lobby and filled them with candy and a few other treats, like cute pens and face mask packets. Then I added one thing that was specific to each friend, like my one friend loves baking so I put in some cupcake liners in a cute print. It's  pretty quick and easy to do just run to the craft store and pick up some jars and go to Target and pick out some cute goodies and candy. You can find a lot of affordable and adorable things in the dollar section. Then tie a pretty Christmas ribbon around it and you have a super cute gift!
Credit: How Does She
2) Lazy Day Kit: This is an awesome idea for anyone! Grab a cute pair of pajamas, some fuzzy socks, and your favorite movie and put it together in a little bundle. You can find affordable pajamas and socks at Old Navy and then grab a movie at Target. It's simple and easy, but still personal as you can choose a movie in their favorite genre. Wrap it up by putting the pj's and socks in a box and wrapping it in some fun Christmas paper, then add the movie on top by tying it on with some fun ribbon.
Cute Pajamas[1, 2, 3, 4]
Fuzzy Socks[1, 2, 3, 4]
My Favorite Movies[1, 2, 3, 4]

3) For the Beauty Girl: A cute gift for someone that loves makeup is a personalized beauty kit. Go to Target and pick out a cute makeup bag and then fill it with your favorite beauty products. Add some mascara, eyeshadow, blush, and some fun peppermint chapstick. It's simple, but it's fun because the person will have lots of new products to try out! You can even go on Pinter estate and check which color tones look best for a certain skin, hair, and eye colors! This is a gift you can quickly pick up at one store. Tie a bow on the bag and your gift is done!
Cute Makeup Bag[1, 2, 3, 4]
My Favorite Makeup Products[1, 2, 3, 4]

4) Coloring Kit: This is for those people that could spend hours in the craft store just wandering around. Adult coloring books are very popular right now, so pick one up at Michaels and then pair it with a nice set of colored pencils. My sister loves this kind of stuff and she wanted the Prisma Color colored pencils.  This will be the color lovers dream. It's simple, but it's extremely thoughtful as it shows you understand their hobbies and interests. Wrap both up in some fun holiday paper and tie them together to make the art lover in your family very happy.
Pencils // Coloring Book[1, 2, 3, 4]

5) Mom or Dad: I think it is always nice to pick out a nice blouse or shirt for your parents. Personally, I always find great stuff for my parents at J.Crew Factory, but if you don't have one near you check out Banana Republic, LOFT, or J.Crew. stores are having greats sales right now, so you can get a great deal. I'll link some perfect picks that I know any mom or dad will love. A nice shirt that they can wear to work will keep them thinking about you every time they wear it. Then fold it nicely in a box, wrap it up and tie a pretty bow and your perfect gift is ready to go.
Mom[1, 2, 3, 4]
Dad[1, 2, 3, 4]

Bonus: A fun baked treat is a great gift idea. I'm not great at cooking, so this is not my top choice of gift, but if you love to bake or just want to try it out for the holidays. Try one of the recipes bellow to give to all your friends and family members. You can put it in clear cellophane bags and tie it with some holiday ribbon for a perfect, easy, and affordable gift.
Recipees[1, 2, 3, 4]
Credit: The Frugal Girls
Don't be afraid to just choose something for someone! They may not love it, but it really is the thought that counts. They will love that you took the time to pick something out for them. If they don't love it they can simply take it back. Just hold back from the gift cards this year and try one of the above ideas, I promise you won't regret it!


I hope this was helpful!
Ashley
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Monday, November 23, 2015

Why I Chose to Go to College Out of Stae

Every time I tell people that I am going to college out of state, they wonder what influenced me to make that decision. Most people choose the safe decision of going to their local university. I think a lot of people are scared to go out of state or not sure how to make it work, but I wanted to offer my insight on going out of state. The main reasons that I choose to go out of state are because I wanted independence and I couldn't find my proper fit in Georgia. I knew that if I was only 2 hours away from home, I would come home too much and I would not be content and successful at my school.  I also visited all the schools in Georgia that fit what I needed in a school and none of them felt right. Of course, they could work, but I knew they were not where I was supposed to be. I knew I needed a  major push to be successful in college and really get the most out of the experience. I see how it can be difficult to want to make this jump, you're worried about not making friends or getting homesick but I think this is a valid concern no matter where you go to college. But I think going out of state to college allows you to really confront those fears. But I think most people's biggest fear while going out of state is the cost. I know that the cost can be tremendous, but the key is finding the right school. Some school's have much more funds to offer students for financial aid, those are the types of school's that you should be looking into out of state. Also, you have to be willing to put in the efforts to try and get scholarships. But most importantly you have to try. There are so many people that just ignore this idea and settle for the thing that is comfortable. If you take the risk and try hard I think going out of state to college can work for anyone!

What do you think about going to college out of state?
Thanks for Reading,
Ashley
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Friday, November 13, 2015

What's on my Wish List-November


I thought as we get close to Christmas, it would be fun to share some of the things on my wish list! I thought this could be helpful if you are shopping for someone or if you need some inspiration for your own Christmas list. Most of the items are things that I would like to get before I go to college, so I thought I should start saving up for them/ ask for them for Christmas, the rain boats, college color Palm Beach Sandals, and the crossbody bag. I think that they are all essentials for being successful in college. Last year I got one of the J.Crew Factory vests and some of the camp socks, and I really loved them so I'm wanting to get a different color of both! Also, I have really been wanting one of the Alex and Ani bracelets and this LOFT scarf is just too cute. I love all the fun yet super classic items that are available for us preppy girls. What's the one item that you are hoping for this holiday season?

Thanks for Reading,
Ashley 


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sweater Weather

My absolute favorite thing about winter is sweaters. I love all kinds of sweaters: simple, patterned, colorful. All of these beautiful sweaters are from J.Crew Factory. I love the simple colors, but the fun unique touches of ruffles, polka dots, or prints. If you pair it with a statement necklace then you have a complete look and are good to go out the door. It is a simple, but super cute outfit perfect for those chilly morninngs that you just do not want to get out of bed! Plus it will keep you warm in those cold winter months especially with a button up paired underneath. I mostly buy my sweaters from J.Crew Factory, but where else do you guys like to buy fun yet classic sweaters?

Thanks for Reading,
Ashley

Monday, November 9, 2015

How I Got Accepted to My Dream School-Wake Forest University

Getting accepted to my dream school was one of the best things to happen in my life so far. It truly was the place that I knew I wanted to be. I thought I would write this post to help any of you trying to get into Wake Forest or a similar school. I am by no means an admissions officer or an expert, but I know these types of posts really helped me when I was trying to get in so I thought it could not hurt for me to post this and give some of my own insight. 

1. Have an interview: I think an interview really helps you to showcase your personality, and it allows the admissions officers to see you as a real person and not just as a piece of paper. 
2. Truly write your essays from the heart: I ended up only having people edit my short essays. I kept my long essay extremely representative of myself by editing it myself and not letting anyone else change it. I wanted it to clearly represent my personal voice only. 
3. Be involved in depth not quantity: I was never involved in tons of clubs, but I was always involved in depth. I have officer positions in the three clubs I am involved in. I think this helps show your passions and show that you really care about the club and what it stands for. 
4. Apply early if possible: I think it is always a good idea to apply early if you can, I know for economic reasons it is not always feasible. I think if you can do it, it really shows your passion for the school, and as a bonus you get to know your decision earlier! Also, Wake Forest has rolling early decision, so I think the earlier you apply in the early decision time frame the better.
5. Have passion for the school: I think showing that you care about the school is really important. It shows that you have spent time getting to know the school and the programs they offer and really care about going there. School's like to see that you put in the effort. 
6. Test scores really aren't everything: I believe this to be really true. Even if you do submit your test scores, you should know that they really aren't the center of your application. The other things I talked about earlier are much more important. 
I realy hope this was helpful! I hope you all realize that if you work your hardest that you will receive one of the Welcome to Wake Forest black envelopes in the mail with your name on it. 
Thanks for Reading,
Ashley
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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Welcome Back, Welcome to My Life

It's been a very long time since I have written a blog post. I wanted to explain why, tell about what's been up with me, and my plans for the future. I guess there isn't really any excuse for it, but I can give you all the reasons why I felt I didn't have the time. First of all, I was very busy with school, I am taking 6 AP classes, I have leadership roles in 3 clubs, and I have all the crazy things that come with senior year(college, scholarships). I guess for a while blogging became low on my priority list.  So that's why I took a break, but I'm coming back way better than ever but more on that later. For now lets talk about what has been happening!

I guess my biggest announcement is that I got into my dream school Wake Forest University! I applied early decision and that is where I will be going. I'm so excited to get to learn and develop in a place that I feel fits me so perfectly. I want to do some posts on college and college applications so look forward to that soon! Also, if you are in college let me know the best places to buy cute college spirit wear; I want to support my Demon Deacons all the time!

I got senior pictures done! I love them, and hope you guys enjoy the few down bellow.

I got to see my cousin Ryan! I haven't seen him since last Christmas and I finally got to see him and talk to him and it was so great. He's been graduated from college for a few years and I love getting to hear his perspective. 

Besides that I have been volunteering, I have loved the nursing home as usual. But I also have been loving working at the MSG Foundation which is a local community organization that compiles food for those in need and delivers it.

Some of you may laugh at this, but I went to my first ever high school football game with my best friends. I had a great time and I am glad that I went! I have been to college football games, but never to one for my own high school.

That's what has been up with me! So now here is that I am planning for the future of my blog. Posting everyday was too much for me, so I am going to start out posting 3 times a week. My plan is to post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I'll post about fashion, life, and advice whenever something inspires me, there will be no set schedule. I'm hoping this new way will give me more ease with my busy schedule and allow me to pour my heart into my blog. There is no saying that there will not be bonus posts, but there will be a minimum of 3 each week!

I can't wait to get back into the swing of things! Thank you for all your support!
Thanks for Sharing in My Life,
Ashley 


Thursday, August 27, 2015

How to Be Successful in an Online Class

This year I am taking an online class and since starting I have learned a lot about working hard to be successful in this different type of class. I think online classes are a great opportunity to take a class that your school may not offer or may not fit in your schedule. I definitely would not be afraid of taking an online class, because I think it mimics college in that you need to motivate your self instead of a teacher always having to remind you and encourage you. Also, a lot of these tips can be applied to regular classes!

1. Work daily: I have one period everyday devoted to my online class, so that I can work on everything that I have due. But if you don't have this because your taking an extra class or you just don't get a period for it at your school I would establish a specific time everyday where you work on the class for about an hour. It could be before school or after school, just make sure you make time to get the work done. 
2. Get ahead: Don't slack off, because you start getting ahead, get as much done as you can when you have free time, because when you have a lot of stuff in other classes you will be far enough ahead that you can put your class aside for a few days. 
3. Ask questions when your confused: Don't be afraid to ask your teacher questions about anything and everything. Just because they're not in the same room as you doesn't mean they don't want to help you. They want to be therefore you and support you so you do well in their class. 
4. Attend live sessions: My class has weekly 1 hour live sessions where my teacher will answer any questions about the material. It also allows you to get to know the other students in the class and discuss to better understand the content. 

5. Get to know your teacher: Read your teacher's bio and listen to the stuff he/she says at their live sessions. The more you get a sense of what your teacher is like and their personality the more likely you will be to ask them questions and feel comfortable in the class. 
6. Actually Take Notes: It may be tempting to instead of taking notes just read through the online notes, but I promise if you take the time to take notes like you would in a normal class it will ultimately pay off in your mastery of the material. 
7. Put in the extra effort: Read the textbook and spend a little bit of extra time formatting and laying out your documents and assignments. I promise it is worth it in the long run and your teacher will be thankful. Plus it shows you really care about and take pride in your work. 
8. Make sure you are self motivated: This is probably the hardest part of the whole thing. There is no one to force you to do your work or remind you to do things. You have to take it upon yourself to say oh I should be working on this assignment today, so it is ready for the due date. It is all up to you, if you motivate yourself and put in the work your grade will no doubt reflect that. 

Thanks for Reading,
Ashley


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Weekly Life Recap: Clubapalooza

Hey guys! So normally I am going to do weekly round ups on Tuesday's with fun pictures from my whole week, but this week I wanted to do a quick chat about something that is really unique and great that my school did! I've always been very active in both clubs and sports in my school, so when I heard our school was having a giant Clubapalooza I was so excited, but one question lingered into my head, "what booth will I run?". In the end I opted to work at the Key Cub booth as that is the club I am president of and am so passionate about it I knew it would be very helpful in gathering new members. Clubapalooza is a great idea to really encourage people within the school to get involved, a lot of the time people may want to get involved but they might be unsure of what they want to join or how to join. Basically what we had was about 100 tables set up all around the football field, and each club or sport got their own table that they could decorate as they chose. Most clubs had the upperclassman officers running the booth and also were handing out flyers and applications. 
Here's the booth I decorated! We tried to keep it simple, but still fun and representative of the club as a whole. The whole event was supposed to be carnival theme, so we wanted to have a game that would help lure people in. I definitely loved the idea of allowing students to explore and find the club that they are interested in. I think it allowed people to find clubs that match their interests as well as clubs that are out of their comfort zone, but still interesting to them. If your school doesn't have a program like this I would definitely consider suggesting it, as clubs are not only great for college, but for learning leadership and developing a good personality. You never know the impact of one person joining one club will ultimately be. 

Let me know what you think about the clubapalooza idea. Does your school do anything like it? Is it something you feel is beneficial to the students?
Thanks for Reading,
Ashley
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Monday, August 24, 2015

Statement Necklace Collection

I wanted to share a super fun post with all of my statement necklaces! Some of these necklaces I have  had forever and some are more recently purchased, but I thought it would be super fun to share where they all are fun. Since almost all of them are not available anymore I'm not going to link any of the individual necklaces just the main store page!

J.Crew Factory: Probably my ultimate favorite place to buy jewelry, all of the pieces are super cute and while often times they are a bit more expensive they are a lot better quality and they often go on sale!




GroupDealz: Not great quality, but super affordable and trendy jewelery pieces. It is a flash sale website, so if you want something you have to buy it right then. 



Local Boutiques: Local boutiques are great places to find cute jewelry. It is usually a bit more expensive though, but it has some more unique pieces. 


Other: Some other great places both online and in stores to get jewelry. 
 Etsy: Great places to find much more inexpensive or personalized jewelry. 
 Bijoux Box: If you love jewelery this is a monthly subscription box just for that! Great to try necklaces of all different styles. 
 TJ Maxx: Their jewelry section is a hit or a miss sometimes they have really great pieces and sometimes it is just no good. Just be careful because often times the jewelry is broken or missing stones. 
Forever 21: Again another hit or miss, but sometimes you can find really good stuff for a really great price!

What is your favorite store to buy jewelry from?
Thanks for Reading,
Ashley
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Friday, August 21, 2015

Etsy Stickers and Washi Tape Haul and Review

I've always been a planner girl; I loved getting a new one every year and writing in it daily, but this year I've decided to get even more into the planner world. Lately I have been watching a lot of planner videos and it inspired me to start using stickers in my planner. All the stickers I have are very functional, they are great for school dates and weekly needs. As you will see my sticker collection is minuscule and that is because I am just entering this new field and stickers I'm learning are cheap, but add up so quickly.  I shopped from four different shops: Karolinas Krafts, Hello Washi, Two Krafty Chicks, and Southern Haute. My favorite would have to honestly be Karolinas Krafts, the stickers are great quality and they came beautifully packaged with a nice sampler pack. I'll share more details of the shops as we go along. 

Shop #1: Karolinas Krafts




These are the stickers I got, they are all great quality, the colors are vibrant and the stickers look great. The sampler is so cute and fun for summer and I will definitely order from the shop again soon! This is my favorite of all the shops I ordered from.

Shop #2: Hello Washi
I wasn't really sure how much I would use washi, so I just wanted to get a few samples to try out. I was so glad to find this shop offered exactly what I wanted. The washi quality is great and I love that they sent me a freebie sample to try and it coordinates with my other ones!
-Pink & Blue Floral Washi Tape Sample- $1.25(Given to me as a freebie)


I wanted these stickers to use in the sidebar of my Plum Paper Planner to cover up the test and quizzes section, so I could write my weekly blog posts. They work perfectly! I love the wide range of color selection that it came with. Definitely want to see some of the other stickers that this shop has to offer!

Shop #4: Southern Haute



I have mixed emotions about this shop. I received the stickers damaged, so I emailed the shop owner and she quickly sent me another set, but they were also damaged(see pictures above). She did send me a lot of freebies due to this issue, but I just wasn't overwhelmingly impressed with her sticker quality. She does have a lot of great stickers that you can't find in other shops.
-Playdate Planner Stickers- $4.00(freebie)
-Swimming Planner Stickers- $4.00(freebie)

Let me know your favorite place to buy planner stickers or planner accessories! It is so motivating to have a super fun decorated and colorful planner it makes me get things done!
Thanks for Reading,
Ashley
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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tips for Staying Organized in School


1. Put your stuff where it goes right away: When you get a paper in class, put it where it goes in your binder or notebook so that it doesn't get lost and stays organized. This will keep you from doing mass organization at points and instead just doing a little bit at a time. 
2. Spend 10 minutes before you go to bed getting organized: Every night I take time to hole punch, staple and organize any misplaced papers. I also use this to plan in my agenda for the next year so I know what I have to do. 
3. Use some type of divider for different units: If you use binders get dividers and if you use notebooks use the kind of tab dividers that can stick on to your pages. This will make it so much easier for you to study and find things when midterms and finals come around. 
4. Have all your different classes separate: Have a separate notebook or binder for each class. This way you will be much more organized and not having classes running into one another, and papers getting all mixed up. 
5. If you use binders invest in a hole punch: I think it is crucial to get your own hole punch to be organized if you are going to use binders. This way you don't always have to worry about using a teachers and you can hole punch and organize on your own time. 

6. Write in your agenda everyday and plan ahead: Plan out assignments, if you have a big projet plan out when you will do each part each night so it is not overwhelming for you. I think this is ultimately crucial for staying on top of things during the year. 
7.  Experiment and find the organizational method that works best for you: Figure out how you organize best is it in a binder or folder or notebook. Do you like using an agenda or would you rather write day to day to do lists in a notebook. Experiment, because in the long run it will be really helpful for you. 
8. Try to plan out your week ahead of time: If you know what you have to do each night it will be so much more easy to accomplish everything that you need to do. This will make you so much more productive and efficient. 
9. Don't throw away things- if possible keep it all: This is helpful for the end of the year when you are studying for exams, this way you have all of your papers and notes it will be much easier to study. If you are organized than you shouldn't have trouble keeping up with all these papers. 
10. Know where everything goes and have a place for it: If you know where you put your notes, your study guides, your worksheets, and etc. than you will be able to quickly put things away when you get them. If you have a place for it than you are most likely to put it where it goes. 

What are your best school organization tips?
Thanks for Reading,
Ashley
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pajama Picks

I woke up this morning really wanting to stay in bed all day, but since it's Wednesday and I have to go to school and can't stay in my pajamas I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites in stores currently!
There is nothing better than ending a busy day in a fresh, new pair of pajamas. I think the perfect pair is bright and patterned and all of these fit that perfectly! Plus who can resist a new affordable pair of sleep shorts during the summer! 

Where is your favorite place to buy pajamas?
Thanks for Reading,
Ashley
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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

First Impressions of My Senior Classes

https://www.wowwritingworkshop.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Take-All-the-AP-Classes1.png
I started my senior year a little over a week ago and I thought it would be fun to share what I thought about my classes right off the bat, that I can later compare to what I thought in the end of the year.

1st and 2nd period I have AP Calculus BC. I really like this class, but because it is a block class it is really fast paced. Like we've had only had a little less than 2 weeks and we are already having a test. My teacher is really great and even though the content is difficult she makes it easy to understand. I really like the way that she runs the class with making the whole timeline of the unit available for us at the beggining of the unit. 

3rd period I have AP Spanish. This is honestly the class that I am the most concerned about, because my teacher speaks to us in spanish and makes us speak spanish at all times. This often gets me confused, but I know that it will ultimately benefit me in the long term. I think this class will definitly make me learn a lot and grow as a speaker, writer, and reader.

4th period I have AP Economics, the first semester is microeconomics and the second semester is macroeconomics. I love my teacher and his teaching style, because I feel like he really makes the class mimic a college class. He makes us review and do the assignment the night before and then lecturing over it the next day. I think this really helps me to learn. He makes a somewhat boring class very fun and I think I will be really successful in it. 

5th period I have an online class that is AP European History. I honestly love doing online school, because the whole entire schedule is laid out for the whole semester ad you can work at your own pace. Though my teacher is not a huge part of the class he seems really nice and he sets up everything  nicelly to allow us to be successful in the class. I think the class is really interesting and I have already learned a lot and can't wait to learn a  lot more!

6th period I have AP Literature and Composition. I was so excited for this class, because I have the same teacher that I had in 10th grade that I absolutely loved. So I know because of her I will really love the class. I also think the books that we are reading this year are more interesting and will be good reads. I'm super excited to see how this class will go, because we already have a ton of work assigned and due in one week which is kind of stressful, but it teaches you how to dedicate your time well.

7th period I have AP Government, which is probably the most interesting class to me that I am taking. I love all things politics and government so I am so excited to learn a lot and take on some new perspectives about our country. My teacher is good, he is engaging and is very good at bringing in current events into the daily notes to help you understand. The only complaint is he gives us a lot of work with a really broad due date leaving us to pace ourselves. This is something that I know I ultimately need to work on.

I hope you guys enjoyed my thoughts on my classes! Are you taking any AP Classes? Are you or have you taken any of the classes that I am taking, if so please let me know your thoughts!
Thanks for Reading,
Ashley
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