Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Well Dressed Guide: Perfect Puffer Vest Pairings

If you've been reading my blog, it's probably no secret that I love puffer vests. I wear them all fall and winter long, but sometimes I feel like I get in a rut of always wearing them with the same tops. I know I'm probably not the only one who gets stuck in this rut so I thought I would write this post to provide you all with some suggestions to beat feeling stuck! No matter what color of puffer vest you favor, hopefully, this post will give you some suggestions for what to wear it with. I've been loving the bell sleeve top paired with a vest and you absolutely can't go wrong with a teddie sweater and vest. Let me know what you love paring your vests with, I'd love even more styling suggestions! 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Dear Wake Forest, I Love You

This past Friday was my two year anniversary of getting accepted to Wake Forest, it's been the fastest, most amazing two years of my life and I wanted to just share my life after the acceptance. We all know the hard work that goes into trying to get that acceptance letter, but no one really ever shares the excitement that comes for the many years to come after it. 

I still remember the day that big black envelope showed up in my mailbox. I had just gotten home from school and for some reason, my sister, dad, and I were all gathered in our living room. It was strange that we all just happened to be home at the same time. My dad had just gotten back in from getting the mail and was shuffling through the papers. I remember watching him and seeing a large black envelope, thinking I might know what it is I snatched it out of my dad's hand and proceeded to rip it open. My dad was staring at me wondering why I had ripped what he thought was a piece of junk mail out of his hand. I remember ripping the paper out of the envelope and reading it in my head as I said oh my gosh. I had gotten my sister and dad's attention now and they were wondering what was happening and that's when I first said it, "I got accepted to Wake". I couldn't stop smiling, I took a picture, I called my grandparents, and then I just sat there. I thought about all the hard work and long hours I put in to get to this very moment, and all I could think is wow life is amazing. 

Since that chilly October day, Wake Forest has changed my life every day. Whether it was connecting with people all senior year and the summer before move in or trying to plan classes and figure out housing assignments. It was my comfort as my senior year came to a close. It wasn't so scary thinking about leaving my friends and my family when I knew I was going to be at the most perfect home away from home. And that's what Wake became. It's how I felt the very first time I drove through campus and it's how I feel today. 

I could never successfully list everything Wake has given me but that won't stop me from giving it a try. You gave me a home in my sorority with more loving and supportive people than I could ever count. You gave me chilly fall days cheering on the Deacs in the stands. You gave me the reassurance that it's okay to change your mind and your major. You gave me the ability to follow my passions. You gave me late nights doing cartwheels on the quad. You gave me words of encouragement I needed after I had a long day. You gave me campus traditions that made me love this school even more with each passing day. You gave me eating too many cookies at the dining hall. But most importantly you gave me my best friends, my happy place, my fire for life. 

So thank you Wake Forest, thank you for sending me that black envelope on that October day and thank you for loving me every single day since then. I love you Mother so Dear. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Tips for High School Juniors

I fully believe that junior year is the most important year of high school. My sister is currently in the midst of her junior year and I'm constantly trying to give her advice, but she of course never wants to take it. So I thought I would channel all my post-high-school wisdom in a blog post.

1. Visit Colleges
I think this is the most important thing to do, visit as many colleges as you can so you can get a feel of where you want to go. Explore the colleges in your area and those a little further away. Then once you've completed your visits, work on making a list of where you want to apply and if you are applying early or regular. This will be a lifesaver come senior year. 

2. Plan for Recommendations
Most likely your junior year teachers are the ones who will be writing your recommendations. So make sure you have some that know you will and will eager to write a glowing letter about you. And if you don't have anyone in mind yet, start to go in early and connect with your teachers. I guarantee you'll find one you click with. 

3. Think about Senior Year
It's a good idea to start planning for the classes you'll want to take senior year. Maybe you need to get in a few more AP classes before applying for college or to take a couple easier classes so that you can enjoy senior year. Also, think about getting involved, it's great to have some leadership roles your senior year. 

4. Talk to you Counselor
I'll be honest the counselors at my school were not the best but they still have a wealth of information and will likely have to write you a recommendation for some college application. So set up a meeting and hear their thoughts on your college options and plans for senior year. 

More than anything I think it is so important to think independently. It's so easy to be influenced by what colleges your friends like and what classes they are taking, but make sure you are listening to your instincts. Follow your heart, even if all your friends end up at a different college or in a different class it will all work out the way you want. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Why Less is More

In almost everything in life, I like to think that less is more. I would rather have three really good friends than fifteen okay ones. I would rather get really involved with a couple of clubs than a whole slew of them. For me, I like to focus on doing the things that you really care about and want to put your time and effort into. It's believing that putting more effort into fewer things reaps the greatest rewards. 

I also do this with friendships because honestly, I don't have enough hours in the day to have super close friendships with ten people. I don't get enjoyment from hanging out with people in large groups, so it's hard for me to balance friendships with that many people. Instead I always seem to opt for just a few close friendships. This way I know I always have time for my friends when they need it. I'm there for them and never have to feel like I'm putting them on the back burner. Obviously I have other friends as well but I like to know I have my core group of people. 

I've always been the type of person that likes to be in charge. So when I join a club I am constantly wanting to get involved in leadership and find a way to help out. It's just my nature. But if your involved in seven different clubs this is difficult, it's hard to pour your heart into that many different things at once. I've found much greater success in getting involved with two or three things in which I have leadership roles. This way I really feel like I am able to help and contribute to the group. I feel like I am making a real impact.

Obviously, I know this doesn't work for everyone, some people thrive having super big groups of friends and tons of activities to-do. But for me, I prefer to live an intentional life, in which I put my time and effort into the things I truly care about. Following the belief that sometimes less in life actually turns out to be more. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Well Dressed Guide: Fall Flats

If I had to pick a favorite shoe I would hands down pick flats. They are comfortable, they're cute, and they work for any season! But fall is definitely my favorite time to wear flats, so I thought I would share some of my favorites for this time of year. I've been absolutely loving all the suede flats this season and am looking forward to adding a few more pairs to my closet. And you can't go wrong with a fun leopard or classic brown pair. I'm always looking for more flats to add to my collection, so let me know your favorites in the comments!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is in just a little over a week away and I know I'm already counting down the days! It's one of my favorite days(or in college more like a week) of the year to see what costumes everyone is able to come up with. In high school, I was never into dressing up but in college, I have really developed an appreciation for it, so I thought I would share some that I've done in the past, as well as some I've found online and think are just too cute not to share. 

When I needed a costume literally in a days notice, this is what I came up with. Pair a black dress with Minnie Mouse or cat ears for literally the easiest costume ever. My friend dressed up as a cowgirl, also a classic and not too difficult to execute. 

Actually my favorite costume ever from a recent date function. I dressed up as a girl scout, all you need is a khaki skirt, white shirt, a sash, and a big bow. Super cute and it's something different! My friend in the photo dressed up as glitter which is super cute if you have a lot of sparkly clothes. But seriously if you have a rhyme without reason function, girl scout and work out is the way to go!

My most recent date function was pick a date theme, so basically you pick a day of the year and dress up as it. I picked national donut day obviously, so I paired a fun donut t-shirt with some donut leggings. I know I'm probably the only one who loves donuts enough to wear this outfit, but a good and simple costume suggestion is always some fun leggings and a graphic tee!

I'm obsessed with this costume; it's so easy but so cute and fun. All you need is that party dress we all have in our closet, a sash and a crown! Plus who doesn't want an excuse to wear a crown?

This is another cute costume, especially to do with friends. Get a white t-shirt and draw the design of a playing card on it. Pair it with a black skirt or some simple black leggings. 

I have two super cute costumes planned this year, that I just can't wait to wear! I'd love to hear what you all are going to dress up as and how you came up with the costume.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Outfits of the Week

So last week due to my lack of taking outfit of the day photos there was no outfits of the week post up on the blog. But this week I'm back to share my everyday college style. It has started to cool down a bit this week, so I've been loving pulling out some of my fall pieces and starting to layer up.

Dress: Francesca's // Necklace: Juliana's Boutique // Shoes: Tory Burch
I don't know if you all have noticed but I normally dress up a bit on Monday. I think it is a good way to start the week but we also have sorority chapter on Monday and we're required to dress up for that. So instead of changing later(because I hate doing laundry) I save the effort and just wear one outfit!

Sweater: Nordstrom // Vest: J.Crew Factory //  Jeans: Levi's // Necklace: Brook & York // Shoes: J.Crew

Top: Loft (Similar) // Sweater: J.Crew Factory // Jeans: Levi's // Necklace: Brook & York // Shoes: Jack Rogers

Sweater: Banana Republic Factory // Pants: J.Crew Factory // Shoes: Old Navy // Necklace: Love Always Couture 

I hope you enjoyed this weeks outfit post! This weekend I'm looking forward to volunteering with my sorority and our second date function. I'd love to hear what you all are up to this weekend! 


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Attitude is Everything

I've always believed that happiness is self-created. You can be in the most stressful job, the hardest major, or in a difficult phase of life and still be happy. Because happiness lies solely in your decision to be happy and live a life you love, I know easier said than done. 

But the key to living a happy life is through your attitude. If you approach everything with a positive attitude then you will live a better life. It seems simple but it really does make a difference because your attitude shines through in everything that you do. 

I try to live my life with this attitude. I fell down the stairs in front of the dining hall for everyone to see, I laughed it off. I didn't do as well as I wanted to on a test, I'll study harder next time. Something didn't work out for me, something better will come along. There is no reason to get bogged down in the negative, to get caught up in things you can't change. Embrace them, make the best out of them and move on. And know things can only get better. 

Here's what you can do: smile more, stop talking down to yourself, reach out to people, devote yourself to doing good. It's about creating an aura of positive and happy around yourself and that makes all the difference. Surround yourself with people that radiate the same positive energy because nothing will make you feel happier than surrounding yourself with people doing the same. 

School, work, life it all bogs you down. But the truth is that even though those things take up so much of your time, they aren't the point of life. The point of life is to live, to love, to enjoy. So take time and go on that vacation you've been dreaming of. Buy those shoes that make you feel like a million bucks. Spend time with the people that make you laugh and smile. Because even if you are the top person at work, even if you get that 4.0, your life lacks so much without those connections and moments. They are the things in life that make it truly worth living. 

BeLife is constantly changing and living with a positive attitude makes all the difference. Create a life you love and I bet that starts with finding your happy. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

It's Parent's Weekend: Now What?

I remember the first time my parents came to visit me at college, I had no idea what to do with them. I had only been at the school for a couple months and I didn't know where we should eat or what we should do. But now as a sophomore, I have a slightly better idea of what to do when my parents come  to town.

1. Plan Restaurants: Have a favorite or maybe want to try out somewhere new, but you're going to need lots of places to eat. Find somewhere cute to eat breakfast and some yummy lunch and dinner spots, nows the best opportunity to eat so much food that did not come from the dining hall so take full advantage of it. 

2. Go Shopping: If your a girl there is probably nothing you love more than going shopping with your mom, so show her your favorite shopping spots. But it's also a great time to stock up on all those Target essentials you've been meaning to buy but just haven't. A Target run is a necessary parent's weekend activity. 

3. Do Something Outdoorsy: I think this is great especially if the weather is nice. Show them a local park or go on a hike, this will allow your parents to see just how beautiful the area you go to school is. Plus it's a great way to kill a couple hours.

4. Take Part in School Activities: I think it's a great idea to show your parent's what you love about your school, so if there are any school activities take them to them. Plan to go to a sporting event or a talk given on campus, this will show them the many dimensions of your school. 

5. Let Them Meet Your Friends: Nothing will give your parents peace of mind like knowing that you have good friends. So introduce them to some of them, if it's official parent's weekend and your friends also have parents in town, go to lunch or dinner together. And if your friends don't have parents in town invite them to come along with you. 

Another idea is to take your parents on a personalized tour, show them your favorite spots on campus to hang out and to study, let them see the school from your eyes. But also know that when your parents are in town you don't have to spend every second with them if you want some time to do something with friends or to do an assignment they will understand. But they did travel to see you so take advantage of the time you have with them. For any of my fellow college students out there, what is your favorite thing to do with your parents when they come to visit?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Well Dressed Guide: Puffer Vests

As the weather begins to cool down and I've started to pull out some of my fall and winter pieces, I've been reminded of my favorite staple, the puffer vest. This season my puffer vest collection has grown to 5 and I am anxiously waiting for the weather to cool down just a little bit more so I can start styling them. So for this week's  The Well Dressed Guide post, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite ways to wear my vests. All the vests I have are from J.Crew Factory and they are by far my favorite, I love the wide range of colors and the general look of them. 

They look perfect paired with a comfy sweater or a fun long sleeve top and with your favorite jeans or leggings the puffer vest is the perfect outfit addition. I love that they come in so many different colors and patterns and they are my favorites to layer. When I'm in doubt for what to wear during the winter, a puffer vest and sweater is almost always my go to. Do you all love puffer vests? If so what's your favorite one? 


Monday, October 16, 2017

Take a Step Back

It all started with a conversation with a friend, me wanting her advice on something. When I go-to people for advice, I usually already have my mind made up about what I'm going to do and I simply want them to reaffirm it. But this time when I went to my friend, I didn't know what I wanted. She told me what she thought I should do, but I wasn't convinced. I still didn't know what decision to make. In my indecision, I had an idea, I was simply going to do nothing. I don't know if I was being smart or if I just really didn't want to make a decision but it was in that moment that things changed. I learned how sometimes silence speaks volumes. 

Sometimes it is in the act of not doing that you learn just how important something is to you. Say I normally talk to my mom every day on the phone; in the moment those conversations may seem simple and meaningless but try not doing it for a week, you'll realize just how much you missed it and it will make you cherish those phone calls a little more. You'll hang on to her words a little tighter and feel the "I love you" a little more.

I recently took a little break from blogging. My life often gets to be a lot, I get bogged down and overwhelmed at times, it's difficult to balance school, work, extracurriculars, and a blog. But every time I take a break from blogging I come back more excited about it than ever. I come back full of new energy and light, ready to put my all into every post. And I think that's how I know I love it, I can't wait for the next opportunity to spend working on it. I'd never have that fire and excitement if I didn't remove myself from it. It's those little breaks that help me to keep going. 

But I think this also works well for boys. We've all gotten caught up in a moment thinking that some guy is perfect, that he is your prince charming only to realize later on that he's far from it. Sometimes I think it's good to distance yourself so that you can decide how you really feel about them. See how they act around others and how they treat you when you're not always just conveniently there. Taking a moment to just step away from the situation can offer you a lot of clarity, an opportunity to look, evaluate, and decide exactly what you want. 

I'm not saying that you shouldn't live your life in the moment just that sometimes you need to take a conscious step back. Life is confusing, life can leave you lost and we all need a way to find clarity. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

College Life Update

I figured I haven't done a life update in a while, and college is always a crazy fun exciting time so I thought I should share what I've been up to!

Football Season
I live for football season, I just love everything about it. I love getting dressed up, tailgating, going to the games, and cheering on my favorite teams! We've had three home games so far this year but both have been so fun, and I'm proud to say that the Deacs are 4-1. Another thing I love about football season is that my dad always comes up for the games, so I love being able to see him every few weeks or so!

Sorority Life
Being apart of a sorority is definitely one of my favorite parts of college. I love all the constant events and just always being able to find a smiling face on campus. I've been really loving living on my sorority halls, it is so fun to live with my fellow sisters and thankfully I've been blessed with the absolute best roommate. I guess the biggest sorority event so far this semester has been our first date function. The theme was rhyme without reason and my date and I dressed up as girl scout and workout. It really was just so much fun getting to hang out and dance with everyone! Also, since our school does spring rush, I've been working on a lot of stuff with that. I am set up/take down chair, day 1 chair, and also working on our recruitment video. So it's been a lot of different things, but it's so cool to see recruitment planning from the other side!

My classes have been going pretty well so far this year. I'm not in a lot of testing based classes but more in classes with a lot of writing and then public speaking so it's been different but I've really been loving it. I'm definitely going to be declaring a communication major as I think I've realized that is truly where my passions lie. I'm definitely looking forward to exploring more of those classes and seeing where that path takes me. But so far academically I've been working hard and doing well. 

I'm still working at both J.Crew Mercantile and the Ronald McDonald House. I had to cut back on J.Crew hours a little bit because it was just too much but now I've been able to balance it pretty well. It's definitely still really nice to be able to get off campus and go do something else every once in a while. Plus the extra money is always nice, to feed my shopping addiction haha

Other Fun
A few weeks ago some friends and I went to the trampoline park. It was so fun and just a good way to spend a weekend night! I know we are all wanting to head back sometime real soon. Also, the author Emily Giffin came and gave a talk and a book signing. It was so cool to hear from a Wake alumni and famous author, her talk was hilarious and inspiring. My roommate and I also went to the fair Sunday night. The fair was super big in my hometown so being able to go to it here reminded me of home. We ate the fair food, rode the swings, saw the animals, and of course went on the ferris wheel. It was a fun relaxing way to spend a Sunday night before a week of school. 

This weekend my roommate and I are headed to the Thomas Rhett concert, so I know there are many more fun memories on the horizon this semester!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Well Dressed Guide: Fall Accessories

In honor of it finally starting to feel like fall on campus, I thought I would share some of my favorite fall accessories. Though I'll admit I definitely love the warmer summer weather, I've been having a great time shopping for some new fall essentials. Accessories somehow seem to be so much important during the fall and winter months as you begin to layer up. Your cute top may be covered by your coat, but adding some fun tights and some cute booties can help to make the outfit still make a statement even when you have to bundle up. 
Scarf // Belt // Tights // Booties // Bag

These are some fun accessories I've been eyeing this fall. I got my first pair of booties last fall and since then I have been wanting to add a black pair to my collection. I also still haven't hopped on the blanket scarf train but maybe this year with this super cute J.Crew Factory one. My best advice is to pick up some cute tights so you can keep wearing all your favorite dresses into fall. And surprisingly I have actually been loving cheetah print this fall, and I think this belt would look super cute with a half-tucked sweater and some jeans. 

I hope you all have been having a great start to your week! The coldest it's gotten here so far is only high 50's but I'd love to hear if it's starting to feel like fall where you live, let me know in the comments below. Also please share what fall accessories you're loving!


Monday, October 2, 2017

Everything Doesn't Have to be Something

I'm very much the type of person that wants everything to be something. I want the people I hang out with to be my best friends, I want the guys I bring to date functions to be my boyfriend, I want the major I declare to be my future. But the truth is that sometimes things are just meant to be simple. A guy is just meant to be a friend, a major is just meant to be a starting place. 

This is something I'm constantly struggling with, I'm always wanting more. I'm always wanting to take everything to the next step. But not everything is meant to be taken to the next level. I've begun to learn that sometimes a friendship is just a friendship and I just need to embrace that. Some people are just there to talk to in class or when you pass them in the dining hall. Other people may just be some fun memories. Not everyone has to be the person that knows all your struggles and challenges. Save that for the specific people that really matter and trust in them. 

I'll be the first to admit that I get easily attached to people. I get especially attached, especially easily to guys. And while it's amazing to want to form deeper connections with people, it also stinks because they don't always reciprocate the feelings. I'll struggle quite often with this because I'll hang out with a guy and instantly want it to be more than a friendship. But not every relationship with a guy needs to be a romantic relationship. Sometimes guys make really awesome friends and people to talk to. Know that getting attached to every single guy you meet only result in heartbreak and difficulty finding the person you really are meant to be with. 

But this problem for me is so much more than just relationships, it spreads into all aspects of my life. In college, I struggled a lot with what to choose as a major. I was putting a lot of pressure on what I chose, believing that it was the sole determinate of my future. That if I didn't choose the right thing I would forever be stuck in something that I didn't love. But I'm starting to view a major as more of a starting point instead of a life decision maker. I think the most important thing is just to follow your passions and chase after the things you love. And know that where you start doesn't determine where you end up. 

The point of this post is to say that it's okay to enjoy the simplicity of life. So be friendly, be present, and be unafraid. Take the job even if it's not exactly perfect for your career path because maybe it's the right fit for you. Embrace friendship with no expectations but to enjoy the moment together. And remember that everything doesn't have to be something.