October 28, 2015

31 Ways to Celebrate Halloween if You're Not a Halloween Person

When I was little, I joined in on all the Halloween hooplah because the candy was delicious and the Disney princess costume options were endless. Now that I am almost 20, I have fallen into the category of someone who is "not a Halloween person".

I don't love dressing up in costumes and I don't really have a good reason besides just being un-creative in the fashion department to throw something together. I also am not crazy about consuming large amounts of candy...I'd really rather have a smoothie. Is that weird?

I'm really excited to be co-hosting this #galpalholiday link-up with Classy Cathleen and Seashells and Sparkles and wouldn't you know it - the first post is Witches, Gouls, and Goblins.

So, for all you non-Halloween people, I've devised a list of 31 ways to celebrate if you're not a total zombie lover. Enjoy!  Be sure to check the end of the post and see all of the other posts involved in this linkup (a.k.a some great Halloween-inspired recipes, the dish on scary movies, and some costume ideas, too!) And don't forget to visit Rachel and Cathleen's blogs!

So here you go ya'll - 31 ways to celebrate if you're not partying or trick-or-treating:
  1. carve pumpkins
  2. watch a romantic comedy instead of a scary movie
  3. put on a face mask and declare it your "Halloween costume"
  4. bake something festive
  5. wear Halloween pajamas around the house
  6. paint your nails like candy corn
  7. watch a Disney channel Halloween movie (Twitches is pretty scary, yeah?)
  8. hand out candy to trick-or-treaters
  9. be a designated driver for your friends (wear your vampire fangs to be extra festive)
  10. invite all your other "anti-Halloween" friends over for a movie night
  11. wear a really nice all-black and edgy outfit to dinner out
  12. take advantage of deals going on at restaurants for the holiday
  14. watch Elf instead of a Halloween movie
  15. go buy the on-sale candy and stuff your face
  16. light all your fall candles and soak in a bubble bath
  17. do your homework and declare that letting your GPA drop is pretty teeth-chattering, scary stuff
  18. call your grandma and have a nice, long chat
  19. do a good deed such as baking some Halloween cookies for your neighbors
  20. watch fall Youtube tutorials
  21. organize your closet and say you were just making sure the boogeyman wasn't in it
  22. perfect an at-home pumpkin spice latte
  23. go to the gym and do a treadmill sprint workout (pretend to be running from zombies)
  24. start scoping out what you want to get at the Black Friday sale (you can never be too prepared)
  25. go to Panera and get one of the fall soups and a pumpkin cookie 
  26. go to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard 
  27. make healthy fall treats
  28. listen to Christmas music (just getting ahead of the game, you know?)
  29. take Halloween-themed Buzzfeed quizzes 
  30. get on Pinterest and pin Thanksgiving recipes and fall outfits
  31. dress up in a costume and go out anyways because hey, free candy
I hope this post gave you some good ideas. Don't forget to check out the other posts that have been linked up and have a great #galpalholiday!



October 26, 2015

The "Skin Diet" You Need To Try

I wish I could go back in time and tell my fourteen-year-old self the one thing she could do to clear up her skin. Forget the white toothpaste remedies and the expensive facials. Don't waste Mom and Dad's money on Proactiv. (Adam Levine was totally wearing cover-up in that commercial, there's just no way.) All you have to do is just make one little change in your daily routine and you should really see results...

I haven't worn face makeup more than twice a week for the past couple of months and my skin is the clearest it has ever been. 

I wasn't even trying to clear up my skin when I started this new "routine". My skin was really looking clear, so I just didn't see the need to spend extra time in the morning concealing and blending. I already have early classes and I'm a breakfast eater, so I already have to get up early to eat and get dressed. It's been nice to sleep in an extra 10-20 min and just simply wash my face and moisturize in the morning.

It wasn't until I was scrolling through Twitter that I saw an article calling what I was doing the "5:2 skin diet".

Basically, this means you don't wear makeup for 2 days out of the week; you let your skin breathe as you go completely natural. I've actually been doing it backwards: I wear makeup two days out of the week (usually weekends for blog shoots and church) and the other five I only wear mascara and lip balm. 

It's supposed to promote glowing, younger looking skin since it asks as sort of a "cleanse". There are a couple tricks to it, though... 

On the days you do wear makeup, make sure you remove it really well 
Since I have white bedding, I've been very thorough with removing my makeup every night before going to bed. I use makeup remover wipes and then I cleanse my face. I'm also on prescription Epiduo, so I dab that on as well. (More about my skin story here)

Make sure your makeup isn't what's causing your breakouts
Do what I did and google "dermatologist recommended makeup brands". That's how I fell in love with this powder

Clean your makeup brushes
It's super easy, and you don't need expensive solutions! Just follow these steps.

Keep your hands away from your face; makeup or not!
I noticed when I didn't wear makeup, I was more likely to touch my face. Despite the fact that I wash my hands, there's definitely germs there, so I try to keep my hands away from my face as much as possible. If I feel like my skin is dry, itchy, or just kind of needing a pick-me-up, I spray some Evian face mist!

Don't worry 'bout the haters
Maybe "haters" isn't the right word, but I know it may be a scary thing to go without makeup. I'm super self concious about my acne scars, and these babies are on full display when I don't have any make-up on. I just remind myself that everyone has insecurities, and if we let them get to us, we can't really enjoy ourselves. Go to brunch bare-faced, take a selfie with your friends sans makeup, talk to cute boys without any bronzer on. You can do it! 

I promise it's worth it! Let me know what you think about this skin diet, and if something like this has worked for you.



October 22, 2015

"Keeping Your Chill" 101: Hacks To A Simpler Life

I believe we've graduated from our unspoken communal aspiration of being on MTV cribs and are now on to bigger and better things with our goals in life. Once you get to be in your late teens, you want less social acclamation and more order. Just take a look at all the tweets on your timeline that say something along the lines of "my life is a mess" and realize that we're all chasing after this goal of "keeping our chill". No one likes being stressed or feeling like they have too much going on.

I've devised a few tactics that help me to feel like I have two solid feet on the ground and have no need for chill pills. Since most of ya'll are in high school and college and it's that crazy, my-teachers-think-I-have-nothing-better-to-do-than-TONS-of-work time of the year, I thought this would be helpful for your Thursday.

Here we go, ya'll -

Reply to emails right away
I am one of those people that checks their email very often, and I also reply back pretty quickly. If it's a business-related email, I don't reply back right away (because I like to think about my response and formulate a good message), but I do begin drafting a response to review later. I'll just make a sticky note that says "reply to ____" and come back to it.

Don't "read receipt" people
I also reply to texts right away - unless someone texts me after I fall asleep, which is often because I go to bed probably 2-3 hours before most people. In that case, you'll get a reply from me early in the morning when I wake up.

I really don't understand the whole "read receipt" generation and why you would want to "read receipt" someone. I guess I understand someone saying something nasty, and in that case: yeah, don't respond. But when someone is texting you asking if you have the notes for lecture, it's polite to get back to them promptly. For a simple and stress-free life, don't leave anything hanging over you head...and by "anything" I mean emails and texts. 

It's ok to say no
It's no fun to have too much on your plate; that will definitely drive you crazy. Another thing besides read receipting people that I don't believe in is this whole "FOMO" thing. (Fear Of Missing Out).

If you have two meetings, a test, and an endless laundry list of things to do, it may not be the best idea to accept your friend's extra ticket to the concert that's coming to town the night before said test/meetings/etc. Forget about FOMO! I guess I'm just someone who suffers more from FOLMGPAD (Fear Of Letting My GPA Drop). Just say: "No thanks, I have a lot of homework" and pretend you don't see your friend's cute Instagram pics.

Don't procrastinate (this doesn't just go for school work)
I was so scared that when I came to college I would have to spend all-nighters in the library with loads of textbooks and empty coffee cups scattered around me. This has never happened. When I'm given an assignment, I write it down in my planner and vow to complete it as soon as possible. I get most work done in the first couple hours when I'm home from class; I've yet to work past 7 pm this semester.

I've realized it's helpful to avoid procrastination in all areas of life. Need to go grocery shopping? Better now than later since you don't want to walk down to the pantry and find you have absolutely no food. Need to go get scantrons for a test next week? Might as well get them now since you pass the bookstore on the way to class. See what I mean? Cool.

Sweating the small stuff clogs pores
Did any of ya'll see Bridge of Spies? (SO GOOD - you don't have to be a history buff or a Tom Hanks fan to enjoy it.)

In the movie, the (accused) Russian spy, Rudolf Abel, is to be tried for espionage and Tom Hanks' character, insurance lawyer James Donovan, has been recommended to defend him. He visits him in jail and offers his services to him, warning him that this is going to be a very hard case to win, and if they don't come out on the side of victory, Rudolf will face the electric chair. Rudolf simply gives him a slow nod and says something along the lines of "Ok, let's get started."

Now, Donovan is puzzled by his coolness and asks, "Are you not worried?"

Rudolph Abel looks at him and says, "Would it help?"

What really helps me to not go insane/keep my chill/balance everything is knowing that worrying doesn't solve anything. In the case of Rudolph Abel, I might have been sweating a little bit, but I haven't ever been accused of espionage during the Cold War, so I can't say I can relate. However, I do have random worries throughout the day, and if I paid attention to all of them, it would drive me nuts. What if I fail this test? What if I don't make this deadline? What if no one comes to this meeting? Worrying about any of these things won't make a difference, good or bad. I'll just feel miserable and nervous. Let go of those little worries. And go see Bridge of Spies because I'm not telling you here how it ends.

How do you keep from going crazy with all life's busy-ness? Hope you found this post to be a little bit inspiring and a whole lot informative regarding Cold-War international relations :) Talk to you soon!



October 17, 2015

What I Know Now That I've Left Home

This coming Monday and Tuesday is fall break for the University of Arkansas, so after a 7:30am Spanish test yesterday, Cam and I hopped in the car for our 9-hour road trip back to good ole H-Town.

This stretch was by far the longest since I'd been home. Last year, I felt homesick about a month into school and went home to celebrate my sister's birthday at the end of September. This time, as we pulled up to my house after a 9-hour drive, it had been a good two months since I'd seen my parents.

I always like to take note of the differences between my hometown and school: The speed limit is 75, the shopping center next to my house has yet another dry cleaner's, it doesn't feel like fall the way Fayetteville does, and drivers are definitely more aggressive here. 

Like I've said before, I'm glad I moved away from home for college. It definitely made me more independent and helped me overcome my separation anxiety of all things comfortable and familiar.

Just to sum it all up for you guys, here's what I've learned and what I want to share with you. It doesn't really matter if you're across the country or in the next town over for college; these things are important to realize as you grow up. I am by no means very great at "adulting" yet, but I am becoming the person I want to be just by taking some big girl steps. 

(Most) of the things I cared about in high school were very, very silly
Whether it was caring that my hair was perfectly straightened or something more in depth like caring whether everyone liked me...it was all just kinda..well..silly.

First off, if you can sleep in for 20 minutes or do you hair - choose sleep! But also, not everyone is going to like you/want to be your friend. If you put all your energy into making sure everyone thinks this, you'll be exhausted. I've met at least 3 high-school sized classrooms worth of people here and if I tried to make everyone be my best friend and see life the way I do, I'd be a wreck. Just be you, be kind, and don't worry about what your hair looks like.

A simple life is a happy life
In high school, what you had and how much you had of it was what mattered to many.

I blame the Webkinz movement of 2005. Not only should you have a Webkinz, but you should have several. (There was a boy in my class that had 36....36!!!!) This phenomena carried into the early high school years. You don't just need one pair of Kendra earrings - you need 10. Every color, every shape, and so on. Ya'll...come on, that's CRAZY.

Treat yourself - buy the earrings, but you only need one pair. This isn't kindergarten, so the theory of being more popular because you have more cookies does not work.

Other things to keep simple: your room (because cleaning up a bunch of stuff sucks), your closet (because if it's a mess, your life is a mess), your pantry, your list of clubs, your inbox.....keep. it. simple. 

Appreciate your car if you have one
(My dad will be so happy when he reads this, ha ha.)

I got a gently-used Mazda for my 17th birthday and named her Francesca. I was so happy that I could finally be like my friends and take random trips to Target and Sonic whenever I wanted! I could sit in the school parking lot before the warning bell and blast my music in my very own car. So cool. 

Now, I appreciate my car in a much better light. Not only is it cute, fuel efficient, and a fun place to jam to Beyonce,  but it is such a blessing. I literally smile walking to the parking garage to get it because I'm so thankful I can leave campus and get to live a couple miles away in a cute little townhouse. To my younger readers with cars - be thankful!

Money doesn't grow on trees
It really doesn't, I've checked! I kick myself every day for some of the things I asked for when I was younger. (Did I really need 3 pairs of Miss Me jeans? Think of what I could get for that money now!) 

Besides just learning how valuable the dollar is, I have also learned the importance of being frugal.
Whether this is collecting coupons or collecting moments instead of things, it's an important concept to get a grasp on.

Use the manners your parents taught you (especially to remind others they should do the same)
If you follow me on Twitter, you may see some of my rants about manners/being polite/kindness, etc. If there's anything that sticks with me from what my parents taught me, it's to mind my manners. This isn't just saying "please" and "thank you", but it's also being respectful of other people's opinions, spaces, and things. Warning: not everyone sees it as important as you do to hold the door open, but you should still do it anyway.

The people that still text you from high school/your hometown are keepers
I'm really thankful for blogging because a lot of my reps are from home, and emailing with them for the help on posts keeps me in touch with them. But those sweet texts out of nowhere from your hometown gal pal sending you an old pic of the two of you in an awkward-too-much-eyeliner phase? Priceless.

I can't wait to enjoy some time off with my family here in Texas. I hope all of you on fall break have a fun and safe trip, and I hope you enjoyed the post!



October 12, 2015

How To Succeed In Adulting Without Really Trying

I decided to have a little fun on the blog today and provide you with my fool-proof tips to "succeeding in adulting without really trying". (Does anyone get this broadway reference? Saw it in NYC when Daniel Ratcliffe was the lead and it was ah-mazing.) So sit back, relax, and nodd and laugh to yourself as you read this in public. 

Use Lysol wipes to clean your entire house
People that own fancy floor cleaners and scrubbers are the opposite of frugal. And adults should be frugal. You can buy a large pack of store-brand disinfecting wipes and give your house a good scrub in 15 minutes flat. If your mom uses them on her surfaces, they must be good enough for yours.

Eat breakfast  dessert for dinner.
Sometimes, it's practically irresponsible to waste your evening by putting together some elaborate meal that fits the MyPlate guidelines. Go out! Enjoy yourself! Have a cookie...have a cookie with ice cream in the middle. And get chocolate milk with it because, duh. (And if you're going to take my advice on this one, you need to stop by Chunky Dunk - it's the bright blue food truck just off the square, Fayetteville people!)

Don't be afraid to schedule your own appointments
It's that time of year to go get your teeth cleaned. Pick up the phone, repeat your mantra a few times (I can be a big girl, I can be a big girl...) and dial the number your mom sent you. Use a steady tone to show that you're not afraid and that yes, you would like a morning appointment because you are an adult and you like to get stuff done and get it done promptly. Don't let them see you sweat.

Schedule coffee with people
If you need to instantly feel more "adult", send a calendar invite to a friend for coffee. Notice I didn't say "text them". We are milennials - use your savvy technology skills and send them an official calendar invite. Go to a trendy place that people with briefcases and beards like to visit if you really want to be serious about it. When you're having coffee with said friend, use words like "essentially" and "likewise", and be sure to discuss current events you looked up on your WSJ app.

Feed your brain
Ok, so if you're going to be a real adult, you need to be in-the-know about real adult matters. You may not be the generation that has a paper subscription to one of the national newspapers, but no matter - subscribe to theSkimm. They do the reading for you and provide you with "the skim" on all the latest and greatest info. Never miss out on a conversation about the presidential nominees, the current economic crisis, or...umm....well I need to go read a bit more.

Write everything down
Always write everything down in your planner. Not only will you be giving your responsibility a boost because you never forget about an assignment or meeting, but you can also tell people "I can pencil you in" which is a very adult exchange.

Be nice
Try your best not to talk behind people's backs, curse in traffic, or eye-roll when the barista messes up your double tall soy latte with no foam. It doesn't really matter if you're a kid, an adult, or a senior citizen, but if you are (or want to be) wise, you should know this doesn't get you very far. Plus it's no fun to be a grump 24/7. So smile at people when you wave them on in traffic, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all, and just make sure you annunciate to the barista when you have a complicated order.

Go out into the great big world and have a great week!



October 10, 2015

Odd Ways To Stay Zen

Does it bring anyone else the upmost satisfaction to have a vacuumed room? When I'm feeling out of sorts, I like to take a few minutes to vacuum in my bedroom. For me, it's like getting a facial or sitting in a sauna to sweat out toxins; it's just so relieving to have a clean space to work in. And the act of vacuuming itself is rhythmically therapeutic.

After a crazy, hard test, I was huffin and puffin my way up-hill to the gym to work off some stress when it occurred to me to get on my phone and send an email to my reps. These girls are the ultimate gal pals and I wanted to know what they do to stay zen - especially when they are stressed to the max with school-related stuff. Here's what they had to say:

"I like to burn my lavender incense! Also...when my room is clean I am much more relaxed so I try and tidy it up every night and make my bed every morning". Caroline's other best tips are "don't let the homework and responsibilities pile up", "a bubble bath a week does the trick", and "(keep) fresh flowers in (your) room and...burn candles".
-Caroline, Cy-Fair High School 

I looked up this article for the best scents to de-stress. Did you know cutting into a coconut can stimulate your natural "flight or fight" response and slow your heart rate? Good thing they're in season!

"I stay zen by making a priority list. When I know what absolutely needs to be done by a certain time I can give myself some time to relax.....Other ways I stay zen is going to yoga at least once a week. By doing this I can look forward to an hour of my day spent completely relaxing and resetting my mind and body."
-Emma, University of Arkansas

Have you ever made a priority list? Emma recommends putting school first, and multitasking while studying by doing smaller housekeeping tasks like putting your laundry in the wash. 

"One way I keep the stress levels down is by going on runs. It lets you take a break from studying and it blows off steam and frustration that comes with studying."
-Katie S., Texas A&M University 

While you run or walk, try to intently study your surroundings. Look at the leaves on the trees or the roofs of the houses, for example. Focusing your mind on the pace of running and the scenery around you is proven to help maximize the calmness that comes from this activity.

"I personally love just getting my mind off everything by hanging with a group of friends. We love to play games and just talk about the important things in life. Most of the time we will discuss how God is using this situation to bring Him glory. It's the most simple way for me to just let it go and relax." 
-Emily, Texas A&M University Commerce

Try playing a board game where you really have to use your brain! Quelf and Telestrations are my favorites.

"...When I get super stressed I clean my room. More specifically though I do all my laundry and change my sheets on my bed...everything feels so much more clean and open and happy. Also, if the weather is nice, I always feel a million times better when I can open my windows and let the fresh, crisp air in!"
-Morgan, Texas A&M University 

"Cooking and cleaning always makes me feel zen and, of course, exercising, yoga and meditation also help me clear my head...I took some girls on my hall to a sunrise worship morning and it was amazing. We just sat on the dock of this lake, worshiped our King and just rested in his presence...(it) rejuvenated my spirit."
-Elizabeth, John Brown University 

                                        Look what I found! Best yoga poses for de-stressing.

"My kind of "chill" is just jamming to music, my favorites right now are Cody Johnson, Brantley Gilbert, Ed Sheeran. I also like taking my mind off things by hanging out with friends and just being silly..."
-Katie M., Stephen F. Austin University 

"One of my favorite ways to de-stress is working out....I can focus on nothing else but getting my workout done. It helps a lot more if you're in a workout class setting like kickboxing...rather than getting on the treadmill and contemplating all 500 things you have to do. Another way...is grocery shopping...there's something about going down the aisles of Target and getting food for the week that calms me a little bit..." 
-Angela, University of Alabama

Have you tried anything from Target's Simply Balanced line? Healthy snacks promote healthy brain power for those crazy test weeks!

"I stay zen by keeping the space around me organized...I try to maintain an organized planner so I can get all of my work done right away and check it off...if I get stressed I will go outside and run or kick the soccer ball for a bit."

Make sure you use my gal pal Rachel's code "HCRACHEL" for 20% off The Happy Planner.

And finally, 7 random things that keep me zen
1. A clear inbox
2. A 100% charged phone
3. Gavin James' "Live at Whelans" album
4. calling my parents
5. looking at pictures of dogs 
6. spraying my face with Evian 10x a day for no good reason
7. blogging (duh!) 

What helps you to stay zen? Which one of our tricks do you think you'll try?

Happy weekend!



October 8, 2015

Tips to Avoid the Freshman 15 (That actually work!)

Shoutout to the girl in the gym locker room for inspiring this post. 

After finishing up on the arch trainer, I was in the locker room changing out of my gym clothes. Two girls were perched on a bench near the lockers, coaxing their friend onto the scale. She was too scared to look at the number, she announced for several minutes.

I'm just shaking my hair out of it's ponytail when I hear, "5 pounds! I've gained 5 pounds!"

I've never heard the words sound so horrifying. As the girl weighing herself finally noticed me standing at the sink, she blushed and said she didn't realize anyone else was in there besides them and that she was so embarrassed.

I wanted to say something. Something like, "It's ok, I gained weight too my first year." I really wanted to tell her she was beautiful and that she wasn't heavy at all because this was the obvious truth. Instead, all that came out was a quick smile and "no problem" as I grabbed my bag and headed out.

So, girl-in-the-locker room, this is for you. And all that are worried about the weight they have gained or the weight they don't want to gain. I am not a nutritionist or an exercise trainer, but I have lost the weight I didn't need and I did so in a healthy way.  Don't let a scale tell you anything about yourself. It's all about being healthy....

To avoid gaining the freshman 15/excess weight, you have to first recognize what situations will cause you to put on unwanted pounds and go from there...

Meal plan 
At my school, it was pretty hard for me to find healthy (and still tasty) options while on the meal plan. Realize that if this is the case for you, you're just going to have to pick up the slack. Instead of spending money on another gameday dress, go to the grocery store and get some healthy food to keep in your room. That way, if the chicken salad you got from the dining hall wasn't satisfying, you can have something nutritious in your room.

Stop the glorification of eating out
It's very trendy to go to the most-popular ice cream stop near school. So much so that one can easily find themselves there a couple times a week. It's kind of like the old smoking ads from the 90's: "Just because it's 'cool' doesn't mean it's good for you." Have fun with your friends, but try to go to something other than ice cream/pizza/chicken nuggets. (But you should definitely go every once in a while because yum.)

Make the gym fun
You can do this by working out with a friend, creating a fun gym playlist, or queuing up some great YouTube videos to watch while you're on the treadmill.

>>I get a lot of questions about who I follow for health motivation and my favorites are BreeLovesBeautyThe Daily Marissa (Marissa Lace), and Gotti Gets Fit.

Get exercise in other ways
I love going for a walk either by myself or with a friend- especially when the weather is nice and the leaves begin to change! Just walk around your campus. (Especially if it's hilly like mine.) If you're really adventurous, you could try hiking! And as I've mentioned before, I also love taking barre classes.

Late-night study snacks
This is typically when us collegiates reach for the not-so-good-for-you stuff. This pack of skittles will help me get through this 10-page review, right? Ehhhh...not so much. Try healthy fats for brain food like avocado on whole-grain toast. Or maybe a sweet snack like a Kind bar is more up your alley. Make good choices and you won't see those extra pounds.

Watch out for liquid calories
I'm not talking about alcoholic liquid calories (but that can do it for ya, too). I'm really referring more towards coffee drinks. Trust me, I still sampled the smores frappe when it hit my Starbucks, but I knew it wasn't a healthy decision for me to get one every day before class. I do love coffee, but I only add a little bit of almond milk and sometimes stevia for extra sweetness. Try it!

Try to avoid mass amounts of stress
I know it's scary, but you can gain weight from stress. I know it's practically impossible to not be stressed as a college student, trust me. However, you can try to allieviate some of it, so you're not overburdened. And guess what helps to ward off stress? Exercise and a healthy diet! Who knew?! Also, I have some de-stress tips here if you'd like.

Beauty sleep is important
Make sure you're getting your 7-9 hours! Ask anyone - I go to bed early. And no, not like 10:30 early, like grandma-in-her-nightgown early. But, I really saw a difference in my physical and mental health when I started getting more sleep. People who are tired tend to make poor decisions when it comes to what they eat. Get a good night's sleep! Be a grandma like me!

Boost your metabolism
You're not 12 anymore, your metabolism isn't what it used to be. You can always give it a boost to ensure everything works properly! Do this by drinking lots of water and choosing beverages like green tea or anything with real lemon! Also, eating smaller meals more often can really give your metabolism a boost.

Do you have any tips on how to stay healthy? What has worked for you?



October 5, 2015

24-Hours in My City

When I first moved to Fayetteville, I had no idea the local wonders that awaited me. I had seen a few friendly coffee shops tucked in the city on my campus visits and had sampled some delicious thai food downtown, but I really didn't know what all there was until I explored. Today, I'm sharing an entire day in my city with you. Let's eat, sip, laugh, stop, smell, and live local.

Little Bread Company -homemade treats, hot drinks, and local flare
Cameron and I stop here every Saturday morning before we hit up the farmer's market. There's something about piddling around with a hot cup of love in your hand. (And their breakfast plates are to-die-for.) Learn more and let your mouth water

The Fayetteville Farmer's Market - a Saturday morning tradition
If someone told me they were coming up for one morning (and it was a Saturday, Tuesday, or Thursday) I would direct them to downtown for the farmer's market. There's local produce, coffee, baked goods, music, art, and puppies. Yes...puppies. More info on the market here.

Outfit details: Forever 21 chambray top (similar), Charlotte Russe cardigan (similar), leggings (under $13!), and Steve Madden combats

The local animal shelter brings a few friends to the market to collect donations and warm hearts. This is Madi, a sweet and energetic Lab-mix looking for a family to love. 

Mount Sequoyah - a local sight to see 
Many of us "locals" (a.k.a. students at the University who need a study break) come up to Mount Sequoyah to get a breathtaking view of the city. 

Dickson St. - eat, drink, be merry, go hogs
Dickson St. is a wonder in itself. You never know what you might find, which is why I like to explore it when I can. So far, I've found a labyrinth of a bookstore, a coffee shop where you can get hot tea in a chemist beaker and the best deals on delicious sushi.

Tokyo Sushi - sushi and light bites for a great price
Here I can get a sushi roll on a college budget (i.e. not over $10) and it comes with edamame, salad, soup, a house roll sample, and some fruit for dessert. I've never left without being stuffed and happy. 

After spending some time relaxing (see: watching football), we went out for an early dinner and some more exploring...

Loafin' Joes - the best pizza, subs, and homemade chips
A wise friend told us about this haven a couple of weeks ago. Warning: you might have a hard time deciding whether you want a delicious sub or pizza. Whatever you go with, you won't be disappointed. The same wise friend told us to get the jalapeño chips. So get the jalapeño chips...they're amazing. More deliciousness here.

Arsaga's at the Depot - everyone's favorite brunch and coffee stop, with good reason
I don't think there's anything better than having a beautiful spot to come study, socialize, and relax in. I like to stick with the simple house-blend coffee, but this is one of those spots where everything is good. Crepes, lattes, fries, eggs, breakfast plates, salads...the delicious list goes on and on.

Arsaga's new menu will be updated on their site very soon, so get excited. And if you're interested, they book bands Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. View their calendar of events here.

Old Main and Senior Walk - historic icon inspiring the present 
Ok, ok... if you've hit the up the farmer's market, sipped on some coffee, and had some jalapeño chips, you need to make a quick stop at Old Main. I'm so blessed to attend a school with a place like this. I've studied here, I've procrastinated studying here, and I've taken lots of pictures. I can't wait to come back after graduation and see my name engraved on the sidewalk. 

This post was inspired by Eventbrite who helps me find events locally. To find events in your city, while on vacation, or if you're just curious what's happening locally, visit their website. They also have Event Management Software where you can create and promote your own event! 

Though this post was inspired by my friends at Eventbrite, all thoughts, pictures, and opinions are my own. Especially what I said about the jalapeño chips. 
Pictures by Cameron Threlkeld

What is your favorite thing to do/see in Fayetteville? And if you're located elsewhere, where's your favorite spot in your city? Have a great week!