After my first semester of my freshman year of college...
Things I Wish I Knew
There is no reason to psych yourself out about being in a new and scary place. In fact, take out that "scary" and replace it with "exciting". Yes, your mom isn't there and your dogs can't sleep at your feet every night, but college is a wonderful and new experience.
You definitely don't need all of those shoes. And that bracelet that you kind of like and wore once with that shirt from JCrew? Yeah, you won't wear that either.
It isn't a huge deal if you didn't ace that first exam. There's a lot of opportunities to pick yourself back up.
Some people won't "grow up" or "change" and you can't make them. You can only adjust your attitude.
You don't have to be friends with the people who sit right next to you, are in your sorority, or went to your cousin's friend's high school. It's college - sure you could pick your friends in high school, but here they don't (and shouldn't) be carbon copies of yourself. Branch out, it's fun.
The whole thing where teachers schedule tests all within the same week or same day... yeah that still happens in college.
Things I've Learned
The name brand granola bars and the off brand taste exactly the same. Save yourself $2.
You will meet so many people from so many different walks of life. It's crazy and different but also sort of beautiful.
This is your four years, your experience, your home. If something or someone is standing in the way of you being happy, feeling safe, exceeded academically you can change it. It's ok to walk away, say no, change your mind, and change your mind again. I think the saying goes "you do you".
People can really suck, but some people are really real - give those people a fist bump when you can and be sure to compliment their outfits.
It's ok to not be a party-goer. Friday nights are the best time to do laundry anyways, so who's really winning?
Drunk boys will come in the girls bathroom sometimes. Just point them in the right direction and go about your business.
Ok, quick freak out moment about the horror that is finals week. Moment over.
Let's all take the necessary precautions for this time of the school year. Pay close attention - these items may not guarantee you an A, but they will keep you looking and feeling your best while studying late or while filling in a bubble sheet on a desk smaller than your GiGi tote.
1. Mr. Redenbacher is a great study buddy! If you're going to be working that pretty little head of yours for hours on end, you'll need sustenance. I love the pop up bowls because they're super convenient (a.k.a. one less dish to wash).
2. You may not get as much beauty sleep as you would like. To avoid the "I-studied-late-and-fell-asleep-on-my-textbooks" look, add some highlighter with your makeup for the day. May I suggest High Beam by Benefit? (If you're a Mary Kay customer...their highlighting pen works wonders! Take it from someone who knows, heehee.)
3. You'll want to be comfy while studying/taking your test/going to Starbucks for a triple shot. Adding a chunky knit scarf to your tee is a great staple for finals week (and any day really).
4. Another "wide awake" tool: Covergirl eyelights. If you're looking for a new mascara to try, I would highly suggest it. No joke, I felt like it literally made my eyes brighter. And adding a little bit of "Better Than Sex" by Benefit on top will really make your lashes pop.
5. I feel more productive when my desk supplies are cute. Maybe that's just me, but you can't deny that these Kate Spade pencils are adorable. Stocking stuffer?
6. Tazo lattes are the best thing ever. It's a latte in 2 and a half minutes. 30 seconds to add some milk and pour it in your anthro mug, and then 2 minutes to heat up. Voila! Yummy caffeine kick. (Pssst...try the vanilla caramel flavor!)
7. Peppermint is scientifically proven to help memorization and concentration. Try that hypothesis in a festive way with some mini candy canes!
8. These nag notes are life saving. I bought a pack before coming to campus, and now they're almost gone! (Guess I nag a lot?) Great study aids. I found mine at Barnes and Noble.
9. I saw this at Target the other night and it was basically the essence of this post. A spa mask for when you are able to get some shut-eye! Take any chance you get to pamper yourself - you deserve it.
Good luck to all of you! Don't stress, just keep swimming, give it 110%, and all that good stuff.
Confession: I'm a magazine junkie. Maybe it started when my mom took me to monthly nail salon appointments of hers or maybe because I have never met a word I don't like. Either way, when I need to unwind or I just need to re-center by flipping glossy pages of lipsticks, perfume samples, and "Fashion Dos and Don'ts" you can find me in the magazine aisle.
This week, I read (and pinned) all of Marie Claire's December edition with cover star Anna Kendrick. (She is also another obsession of mine...Pitch Perfect, Kate Spade, witty comebacks...love it.) Check out what I swooned over:
1. I absolutely adore reading the fashion and beauty questions sent in. One woman asked what the best holiday nail polish was if you want something that will go with both the party dresses and the Christmas sweaters. MC suggested "Downtown Brown" by Essie - a deep, chic red.
2. So I have a new woman crush.. Lynsey Dyer. A professional B.A. at skiing turned documentary film maker. She's shining the spotlight on us gals with her work. (Also, her snow glam look has really inspired me considering I'll be facing freezing temps on campus!)
3. Alexis Brittar for Sephora is probably the best thing since microwave popcorn. The gold glitter make up brushes make a great gift for mom, sis, or bff.
4. The Kate Spade Mini Maise. That is all. (Santa, I hope you're seeing this.)
5. Speaking of Kate Spade, how perfect is Anna Kendrick?
6. Anything Banana Republic caught my eye. I haven't ever done much shopping there, but I'm genuinely loving the knits and line of comfy clothes this season. You can check out their sales or get the look for less...just some inspo!
7. So the half-moon nail trend is a thing and I love it. I'm searching for a great tutorial. I think it would be so cute to do it in glitter or something bold for New Years. Thoughts?
Today and tomorrow, the Love is Louder movement is partnering with celebrities and all people around the world to spread some love and laughter to everyone's day.
The Jed Foundation's Love is Louder movement, guided by co-founder Brittany Snow, connects communities in arming them to feel more empowered and loved. Love is Louder has programs and events for groups and/or individuals afflicted by bulling, negative self-image, and depression.
They have teamed up with Benefit cosmetics for the Laugh out Louder campaign. When you post your silliest pic to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #LaughoutLouder, Benefit will donate $1 to help fund the inspiring and life-saving programs that are helping people see their true beauty each and every day.
Benefit's line of beauty products turns heads for their "locker room banter" products. They remind us to laugh at ourselves and to love ourselves - not for our lipsticks and lashes, but for us.
I highly encourage all of you to take part in this special two-day media movement. You don't necessarily need to post a photo - try giving someone a random compliment today, or maybe text someone you love and tell them how awesome they are!
Spread love. Spread laughter. And know that you are loved.
Literally giddy over how amazing my readers and friends are. Like I have said before, I am so happy that my blogging has connected me to so many amazing young ladies that share my passions.
So I thought I'd share what two of my fellow fashionistas told me for my hair debacle. Thanks Katrina and Angela!
Both Katrina and Angela suggested getting a trim to promote healthy growth. As Angela pointed out, layers may hinder the growing out process, so a little snip seems to be my best bet.
For heat protectant:
Again, there was a unanimous vote for CHI heat protectant spray. Angela suggested Tresemme as a more cost friendly option. Definitely going to try it!
Katrina uses Biolage smooth serum for extra conditioning and shine. (She also says it smells divine!) Angela suggested trying an olive oil mask once a week. That definitely sounds manageable for this dorm room diva.
If you're in the Fayetteville area, I have also gathered two recommendations for hair salons. Kat has heard great things about Crown Beauty Bar and my Ole Miss rep Anders suggested Tramps.
Because I like food and feeling good in my clothes, I like the gym. With the school year in full speed, I'm usually only left with two options for exercise: use the gym early in the morning (before my 8ams...yikes) or attend group classes at night. Both have their list of pros and cons. However, with finals coming up, my evenings will be reserved for study groups and espresso. I'm going to be an early bird these next couple weeks when it comes to my dose of daily fitness. Here are some tips, tricks, and motivational bits I've gathered to share with you:
1. Here's some motivation...you'll kick butt during the day if you bust it in the a.m.!
-I found an article in Cosmo on "15 Very Good Reasons To Exercise In The Morning". In a quick summary, you'll be less stressed when facing the rest of your day (remember what Elle Woods says about endorphins), you'll actually spike your appetite for a good breakfast, and you'll be an overall shinier you.
2. You can have carbs!
-My cousin is one of those fitness gurus and we recently were on the subject of morning workouts. He said that on days you put in work, you can have some carbs throughout the day - and you actually should! A bagel before a workout is good and try some whole grain pasta with veggies for lunch or dinner.
3. Lay out your clothes the night before
-Not only do I do this, but I try to put my clothes and sneakers in plain sight, so that when my lazy self reaches for the snooze button, I can see my nikes giving me the stank eye. Set your alarm tone to something happy and "pumped up". The entire first month of school I used T Swift's "Shake It Off" to get up early.
4. Look good, feel good
-My best gal pal, Sadie, told me that she felt better going to workout if her workout #ootd was on point. I can't argue with that! I love how cute and affordable Forever 21's Activewear collection is. Try bright colors!
5. Pinterest it
-If you're not quite sure where to start when you walk into the gym, pinterest search a few workouts. Check out my "Health" board for some of my favorites.
6. A little inspiration...
-Glamour recently published an article on your fav celebs instagram-straight-flexin'. I don't know about you, but when I can see that I am not the only one with a lifeless ponytail on the struggle bus, I feel a bit better. I recommend checking out the fitness tips on LaurenConrad.com....after all, I think we all can agree LC is flawless and our body-inspo.
7. Drink up!
-An article on Livestrong.com says "Drinking water after you exercise helps you to replace the fluids lost during physical activity to ensure you stay properly hydrated. When you work up a sweat during exercise, your body loses large amounts of water which can lead to dehydration if you don't replace them by drinking water and other fluids."