November 30, 2015

This is Not How I Planned Things...

In freshman year English, we were asked to write a letter to our future selves. It would be put into a "time capsule" and we would get the letters back senior year to see what our past self had to say.

I gripped a purple pen with purpose and began to write a letter to senior-year Cristina. I remember this all like it was yesterday. Mrs. Edwards was telling everyone to be quiet and get to work as this could not be taken home for homework and a kid named Ryan kept peering over my shoulder and constantly asking "whaterr you gonna write?".

I don't remember my entire letter verbatim, of course, but I do remember the key points.

"I hope you're still with Cameron. I don't see why you wouldn't be as you really love him."
"Hopefully you know what college you're going to and what you're going to major in."
And the kicker...
"You better be captain of drill team."

It's what I'd always wanted. I guess it was my high school 4-year plan. Cameron was a pleasant surprise as no one expects to find their best friend/soul mate at such a young age, but I was adamant about the whole "get straight A's and be drill team captain" bit.

I had been dancing for years and I was good. My coach was already urging me to try out for junior officer and I practically had my try out routine choreographed a year in advance. Girls that were in my grade on the team always cooed that I'd be captain when we were seniors, and though I acted bashful and reddened in the face when they said it, I had always hoped they'd be right. I treated every day like it was my chance to prove I was right for the part, even if I had three years until I could even go out for it. Always on time, hair slicked back in a ponytail, smiling and doing the moves the biggest and sharpest.

But then everything changed from the way it was in the picture in my head.

Things happen and sometimes they're the type of "things" that make you decide to transfer to a different school for your senior year. I had people at a school five minutes up the road that I really cared for that I felt I needed to be with for at least a year before going our separate ways.

It turned out to be one of the best decisions ever. I really met some good people and my priorities really fact I really changed. And definitely for the better.

I never got to read my letter. I'm sure when the teacher found it and said my name aloud to pass it out everyone piped up "she moved!" and it was discarded into a trash can or something. I don't really resent this. I know what it said and I know the goals I had set for myself as a fifteen year old who's sole worry in the world was that she'd be well-liked and accepted.

Here, I was a few miles away graduating with a class of 50 kids rather than 900. I had argued my points in Bible class enough to make my Bible teacher tell me on the last day that he would "definitely remember me". I had accepted my admission to a school I never thought I'd be going to and was excited for the adventure. And though I didn't dance anymore, I had taken up teaching at a place close to home and realized that it wasn't the spotlight I loved so much as helping people get better at their passion.

So this is definitely the longest story that has ever been shared on the blog before and what for? Because I learned through all this that you can't worry about the future. You can't try to plan for it. You can't write yourself a letter and expect all your hopes and desires to be exactly in tact when you get there.

I've been worrying lately even though I know I shouldn't. I'm almost halfway done with my second year of college and I really don't know what the next few years will bring. I know what classes I have to take and all that, but what internship will I do next summer? What kind of job do I want to pursue? Where exactly where I live and work post-grad?

We all have worries like this no matter what chapter of life we're in. Just think, college kids: a couple of years ago you were worried where you'd go to school and what you'd study and look! You're there now. And it's probably pretty hard sometimes, but you've made it.

Nothing is ever accomplished by worrying and they say God laughs when we make plans. These are two things I hold on to when I start to feel anxious about the future. I know the facts: I will graduate, I will get a job, and I will start my own home. I don't know how any of this will unfold, but that's the whole point.. I'm not supposed to.

If I could write a letter to my past self that she would open in freshmen year English I would write: "Don't worry. Let things happen organically. Strive for grace, not perfection. And when something is not good for you anymore, it's ok to walk away."

Thanks for hanging in there for a long story today. And stop worrying; it's bad for your skin.



November 27, 2015

Simple Ways To Spread Holiday Cheer

'Tis the season of giving and what's the best part about gifting during the holidays? Picking out presents for your loved ones? Shopping around during Black Friday for the best deals? Or the look on their face when they unwrap a heart-felt present from you? '

I'm leaning towards the latter.

The best gifts I've ever received are the ones where I felt thought of. Where someone took the time to think of something that would bring a lot of joy to my life in whatever situation I was currently in. The sticker price may be lower than a new pair of shoes or a purse, but it's the act of someone having you in mind and maybe even helping you out during the holidays that warms your heart.

Definitely read all the gift guides and sale alerts, but also remember the little things you can do to spread holiday cheer this season. 

Treat someone to dinner
If you're not sure what to get your BFF, text them and ask what their favorite restaurant is and then surprise them by treating them to it as their gift! College kids especially will love to have a meal with good company (especially one where they don't have to split something or order a water to keep the cost down). 

My sister made my parents a scrapbook on our first Christmas as a new family together. She put pictures of everyone in it from the first few times we all hung out to funny snapchats we took at various dinners and outings. It was so special to have something like that. Everyone started crying...and then we laughed till our stomachs hurt at the fact that we were crying!

Do a "service" for them
Maybe your mom has had absolutely no time to go take her car in for an inspection. Take it in for her, get it washed, and bring her home a big Diet Coke. She will be so thankful to have a couple things checked off her to-do list as a present.

Go see Christmas lights
In middle school I had twin friends who had birthdays right before Christmas, so for their party we all got in a hayride trailer with hot chocolate and went and looked at lights in this one neighborhood that always went all out. Recreate this with your friends and family and treat them to some hot coco or cider while you go admire the decor around town.

Bloggers: Exchange a simple treasure this holiday season
Tiffani of Not Your Average Southern Belle and I are hosting an ornament exchange that we're calling #BloggersDeckTheHalls! If you would like to get to know other bloggers as well as receive and send a cute ornament, fill out the form below! All the information (guidelines, dates, and contact info) is there. We are so excited and can't wait to have you in this exchange with us! 

What are some simple ways you plan to spread holiday cheer?



November 25, 2015

What I'm (Really) Thankful For... #galpalholiday linkup

There you are, minding your own business while helping yourself to yet another helping of mashed potatoes when someone decides it would be a "splendid" idea to go around the table and have everyone say what they're thankful for.

Umm, don't get me wrong, I'm one mega-thankful gal, but showing real life emotion in front of a table full of people is scarier than running out of pumpkin pie.

For this month's #galpalholiday linkup, I'm provided a list of 20 things to be thankful for, so you don't get stumped this Turkey day. Some of these are heavily sarcastic and some are heartfelt, but I'll let you decide...

1. Well I'm like really thankful we have all this food, because - YUM. Do you think anyone will notice if I stand on my chair to get an Instagram pic?

2. Also REALLY thankful for this chunky sweater dress because it's doing a magnificent job of hiding my food baby...bless.

3. Thankful for all my family here today!!

4. Thankful that no one has asked me about school or my post-grad plans yet.

*your uncle pipes up from across the table with "so, how's school?!" and you're...

5. Thankful that my mouth is full of food so all I have to do is nod my head and give a thumbs up.

6. Thankful for Thanksgiving break - especially because it involves my two favorite things: family and free food.

7. Thankful that I have a roof over my head and that my house is filled with love.

8. Thankful that I have great friends as company during the holiday season.

9. (a.k.a. Thankful to have someone who will watch childhood Christmas movies with me and not think it's weird)

10. Thankful for Black Friday and Cyber Monday because it makes me feel united with all the other Americans who have a shopping addiction and a burning desire to pull an all nighter at Target.

11. Can I be thankful for social media? Is that shallow? I just don't know where else I can watch videos of puppies in the snow AND a holiday version of Drake's "Hotline Bling" music video.

12. Thankful for puppies. And Drake memes.

13. Thankful for the gift of education and being able to better myself while learning in a prestigious environment.

14. Thankful for at least one week where I'm not stressing about any tests or assignments!!!! CAN I GET AN AMEN?!

15. Thankful for my health and the health of those I love.

16. Thankful for this Christmas cookie-scented hand sanitizer that's keeping flu season jingle-all-the-far-away-from-me!!

17. Thankful for whoever's idea it ways to get not one, not two, but THREE pies. I made myself a sample platter and it's delicious.

18. Thankful for technology so I can watch the snapchat story of the dog show while waiting on dinner.

19. Thankful for everyone posting pics of their food on Instagram because we need more positive images in this world and what's more uplifting than a heaping platter of carbs?

20. Thankful for this link-up. Add your links at the widget below and be sure to check out all the posts for this #galpalholiday 'Give Thanks and Get Stuffed'!

Hope you enjoyed a little chuckle. Happy Thanksgiving!



November 23, 2015

Let's Chat...

I'll spend hours creeping celebs, bloggers, and second cousins of classmate's to find out more about them. It almost bugs me how people don't share more about themselves sometimes. I guess I'm just a curious person and I wonder what the person behind the screen is really like.

So I've noticed recently that there have been more of you visiting my little corner of the internet and I'm stoked about that. However, I'd like for you to know more about me so we can favorite each other's tweets and comment "omg girl same" on each other's pictures. You know what I mean?

So here we go - some facts about me....

-In middle school, I used to rewrite Taylor Swift songs (circa "Teardrops on my Guitar" and "Picture To Burn") by making the lyrics more applicable to my 7th grade life. I kept them all in a notebook with a collage on the front of all the hot celebs in my Tiger Beat magazine.

-I had a "blog" in 7th grade, but I kept all the posts as drafts so no one would see them. So it was basically a secret online diary. I forgot the password and disabled the email I used for it, so I'm not able to look back on my 7th grade problems.

-I tell a lot of stories from 7th grade.

-I'm a book worm, but I like to reread books instead of find new ones. I read The Time Traveler's Wife every Christmas because in the book, the main character reads Wuthering Heights every Christmas. (And if you've ever attempted to read Wuthering Heights, you know The Time Traveler's Wife is an easier holiday read.)

-I have three sisters. One's old and two are new. But they are all beautiful and smart and cooler than me.

-I'm obsessed with dogs. All dogs are cute. I need to hug all the dogs.

-My last name is hard to pronounce because I'm half Honduran. My dad was born in La Ceiba and moved to the states when he was 15. No I am not fluent in Spanish. I can understand it pretty well and I'm getting better at speaking it.

-I love really sucky movies. Like movies that did horrible in the box office. For some reason they're my favorite, especially if the acting is bad/corny.

-I've watched the Gossip Girl series seven times through. Seven. I even know the names of the episodes by heart. Occasionally, someone will say I look like Blair Waldorf and I cry.

-I was a studio dancer for 13 years and danced competitively for 8 years. I was best at tap, but always sought to improve in jazz. My best accomplishment was runner-up Miss Drill Team Texas - I went home and cried and wore my tiara to bed. I go to Zumba now to fuel my love for dance.

-I'm a candy addict. I try not to buy it for myself, but somehow it just keeps getting in my house.

-I like oldies music and songs from musicals which really sucks for anyone who decides to give me the aux cord.

-My favorite place to eat at is Panera. It's my comfort food.

-I once got in a heated argument because a friend of mine insisted on calling it "Panera Bread". I told her you just say "Panera" and she got offended. Oops.

-Literally, every time I sit down to write a blog post I say I'm going to keep it short. And then you end up scrolling for centuries. I'm sorry, ya'll.

-I'm really bad at taking compliments. I usually just say "stop it" or "shut up" or "no you are!". But I really, really like compliments.

-I'm really stingy. Like it's bad. Like I won't buy a raincoat because I don't want to spend $80 on something that I only wear a quarter of the year.

-I did choir in middle school and high school and had a lot of fun with it. I got to sing the national anthem for the home baseball games and now I never make fun of people who mess it up on national television. (It's harder than it looks!)

-I like sending emails more than texts.

That's all, folks! Tell me something about yourself in the comments!



November 21, 2015

How To Deal: Holidays Away From Home

In college, the holidays have a different feel than they do at home. There isn't any room for an 8-foot tree in your dorm, there's no fireplace to hang the stockings by, and the dining hall can't do pumpkin pie like Grandma can.

Last year in the dorms, I fell into this "where-are-you-Christmas" depression when I couldn't really feel the holiday spirit. It's a little bit easier this year in an apartment (we can actually fit a Christmas tree), but I thought we all could use a post on how to keep the holiday spirit even if we're miles from home and living in a cement block (nice way of saying "dorm").

I asked my reps for their input considering most of them are spread out over the country on different college campuses. So without further a do (further a do? further to do? What's the saying?), here are the tips!

"Chai tea lattes are Christmas in a cup. I [also] have a little, 3-foot Christmas tree that I've had since I was little and I put it in my room every year and add a few little ornaments to it! Big sweaters aren't ugly, they are super comfy and festive! Watching Eloise at Christmastime, Elf, or any of the Holiday classics always gets me in the spirit."

-Caroline, Cy-Fair High School (Cypress, TX) 
*if you haven't noticed, this is my sister. And it's true, we love Eloise at Christmastime and used to reenact the scene where Bill and Rachel sing and dance at the piano together. #cute #sisterlylove

"I like to get in the holiday spirit by getting with my friends or roommates and creating a fun holiday themed recipe or even craft off Pinterest! I also like to add some decorations to my apartment. Just the other day I bought Christmas-themed hand towels for the kitchen...And lastly, getting started on my Christmas shopping gets me in the spirit! It's never too early to start on that!"

-Angela, University of Alabama

"Something to really make it seem like the holidays is to make your room smell like the holidays. Since no candles are allowed in the dorms, I'm going to use the Wallflowers from Bath and Body Works! The "Tis the Season" scent and "Sweater Weather" scent or the "Evergreen" scent would all accomplish the job of making it smell like the holidays.

A small wreath made of mini ornaments will be the final touch of holiday in my dorm room. I found a Pinterest DIY on how to make [one] and I can't wait to hang it up after Thanksgiving Break!"

-Emma, University of Arkansas

"Some things that I do to get in the holiday spirit in our little apartment is lots and lots of cheap Christmas lights! They are so easy and definitely make our home feel a little bit more like the holidays! We hang them up all around our living room and there are some hung up in my room too! ...Also, doing something as simple as making those little Christmas cookies from HEB (grocery store) helps keep the holiday spirit alive!"

-Morgan, Texas A&M University 

"I absolutely love buying Christmas lights and decorating with those...I'm also a huge sucker for those Christmas candles that smell like homemade cookies and Christmas trees! My roommates have bought those small fake Christmas trees in the past as well as wrapping the bedroom doors in Christmas-themed wrapping paper."

-Rachel, (blogs over at Seashells + Sparkles), Westfield State University 

"It is definitely very difficult to be away from your family during the holiday season because family is the first thing I think of during this time of year! To help get into the spirit of the season, the first thing I do is break out the decorations and the Christmas music! I am one of "those" people who has already been listening to Christmas music for about a month before Thanksgiving. I'm pretty sure my roommate will kill me if she hears Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas one more time!

Also my favorite holiday drink is apple cider. I just pour some in my little crock pot, put a dash of cinnamon in, and let it heat up slowly! It makes my apartment smell like a holiday wonderland!"

-Catherine, University of Arkansas

How do you get into the holiday spirit when you're away from home? Or if you do live at home, how do you make your room your own holiday wonderland?

Thanks for reading and thanks to my reps for being the best of help this season!



November 19, 2015

Be The Best "Online" You

We all know the horrific moment in elementary school when you showed up for picture day confident in your pink tee from Limited Too only to find Little Miss from homeroom wearing the exact same top. Is this a complete coincidence or did she hear you plotting your outfit with your BFF in art class last week? Either way, you shoot her a stink eye and complain to your teacher until she lets you call your mom for a change of clothes.

Ok, so maybe this didn't happen to you, but we've all had a similar experience. Maybe it was something more serious like someone copying your big history essay or your math test. Either way, it's relevant today. Imitation is not flattery.

This is the age of social media and if you repost, write essays, blog, and share statuses, these do's and don'ts will apply to you. And beyond that, some things in life just aren't nice of you to copy. So what constitutes these things?

It's not ok...

To use someone else's pictures without credit
Finding a picture on Pinterest and then posting it to your Instagram and pretending it's yours is not cool. Simply reposting someone's picture and not crediting them is not ok. Always tag the person you got it from and say "pic cred" or "repost"! 

To rip off someone's idea
Story time: I know a blogger who worked really hard to come up with her own product. She finally curated something that was a hot commodity on the blog market. To her dismay, she found that someone copied her idea after she launched! I mean, it wasn't just a similar product, it looked pretty dang identical. This was her baby, her creative project, and her business and it took someone a couple phone calls and a PayPal account to copy it. She was devastated.

It's pretty easy to follow the crowd or just copy someone. To be on the safe side, contact the person. All of us bloggers have a contact page on our site or in our social media bios. Let them know you liked their idea (whether it be for a product, photo shoot, or post) and would like to put your own spin on it.

To try to prove you're better, instead of just knowing you're awesome already!***
***This is like, so important
Do you know what I mean? Celebrate other people's accomplishments without having to talk about your own.

I'm in a really great group message with my two best blogging friends Cathleen and Rachel. We text about random stuff most of the time (like how cute Target's mugs are), but we also love to share our accomplishments with each other. It's so great because as soon as anyone shares their good news, everyone else replies with encouraging words and heart-eye emojis. We need more of this in the world!

No one likes feeling like their accomplishments are small or insignificant because someone else keeps putting them down or trying to "one-up" them. #1 Be happy for each other. #2 If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. 

It's ok...

To use popular hashtags and captions to generate an online presence
I'm sure you see a lot of us bloggers using the same hashtags on our pictures and that is totally intentional. This is our mating call to one another. When we search the hashtag we can connect with one another and network. This is how I've found a lot of the bloggers I work with today! 

To join in on the popular posts
Bloggers: It's ok if you make a "Holiday Gift Guide" even if you can name at least five other bloggers who have in the last week. It's gift guide season! Obviously, don't copy all of the things they listed on theirs, but if you happen to have some of the same, it's understandable. I mean, everyone really wants a pair of bean boots right? 

Non-bloggers: It's totally a-ok to re-blog or retweet as I'm sure you know. Literally will never get tired of the video of the girl with the bird flying around her room. 

To be in on the trends
So if you bought a poncho right now, I'm sure no one would try to accuse you of copying. It's just the latest trend! Maybe don't buy the exact one that your gal pal bought a week ago, but you know - enjoy what's in style and participate if you'd like!

What are your thoughts on what's ok and what's not ok in the realm of copying? Have a great rest of the week! 



November 16, 2015

How I (Finally) Got My Hair To Grow

So, let's travel back in time for a second, shall we? A 17-year-old Cristina had a short-lived, but very prominent mid-teens life crisis. She was feeling some kind of high-school induced angst and needed something to reflect her non-comformity in the age of messy buns and french braids.  She grabbed herself a Diet Coke from the fridge, located her keys on the Betty Boop key chain and sped off to the hair salon one spring morning for a "change". An 11-inch change.

I'll stop talking in third person now. So, what was I thinking? I don't know. I thought that change was good for the soul and was really feeling like my soul was a pile of high-school mush, so I took matters into my own hands and let someone liberate me of my long mermaid locks. Not my best decision.

The bob didn't look bad on me. Some days, I wish I had it back. But, alas, I missed my long hair and having several styling options each morning, so I sought to grow it back. As you can see, I've made progress. I don't really think I could say my hair is "long" at this point, but I've come a long way.

I didn't just sit around and twiddle my thumbs and wait to be able to put my hair into a braid or anything other than a headband...oh no. Just like I did when I decided to cut my hair, I took matters into my own hands.

So, are you wanting to grow your hair? Or maybe just give it a little extra TLC? Take it from someone who has (literally) been there and done that:

You don't have to stop applying heat, just be smart about it
I tried to go without heat on my hair, but let's face it - sometimes some great waves done by a curling iron are cuter than the natural look. I did cut back on how much I used heat (maybe twice a week at most), and I always used heat-protectant.

Shampoo sparingly 
Ever hear you shouldn't wash you hair every day? I think some of us do that just because we are lazy. It's ok girl, no judgement; that's actually healthier for your hair. Washing too much dries it out and causes you to "over work" your hair. Give it a break and give yourself a break. #winning

All caps because I'm obsessed and don't know how I went so long without it. I only brush my hair with a wide-tooth comb and only when it's wet or really tangled. With the wide-teeth giving off less friction, your hair doesn't break as much like it does with a regular brush. And an added bonus: it makes your hair super soft.

Trim regularly
Ugh, this is the hardest for me to follow, but it has really worked for me. We all know how it goes - "your hair will actually grow better if you cut it". Yeah, yeah, yeah. But really! So don't make a fuss, just book yourself an appointment and enjoy how good it feels when they shampoo your hair for you.

If you're in the Cypress/Tomball area you need to go see Kate at Sweet Olive Salon! (located in Vintage Park)

Use products that are gentle on your hair and the environment

I'm always into looking for the most "natural" way to see results with anything, and treating your hair with kind products is one of the best ways to promote growth and overall health.

My friends at HASK beauty sent me this Argan oil shampoo and conditioner set to try and I immediately fell in love. The oil, unique to Morocco, repairs split ends and restores damaged hair, leaving it super soft and delicious-smelling (orange-citrus scent). They also sent an Argan oil hair mask and shine treatment are my new BFFs.

I've been using this stuff for only a week now and can already see and feel a noticeable difference in my hair!

HASK products are free of sulfates, aritificial colors, dying alcohol and other harmful ingredients that are no good for your hair. They have a wide variety in their Exotic Oil Collection, so you've got to check them out. Find them at CVS, Walgreens, and several other locations.

Though my friends at HASK sent me these goodies, all thoughts and opinions are my own. (And my hair really does smell amazing.)

What are you waiting for? Hair envy starts here!



November 13, 2015

1,825 Days

I am full of joy this weekend. 

On our anniversary (this coming Sunday), I always think back to what November 15th was like five years ago. I picture myself in my favorite jeans and Very Bradley backpack walking down the math hall to meet the guy I liked because he said he had something to ask me. I didn't think that my life was going to change that morning. 

My mom had dropped me off and made me a to-go cup of coffee, I had studied for my world geography test, and my clothes were laid out at home for dance practice after school. Everything was the way it always was, and then... it all changed. 

I just didn't know it had.

The cute guy from Spanish class asked me to be his girlfriend and I was completely giddy. I didn't know who I should tell first. Should I hold his hand? Should I walk with him after class? I didn't know much about what the future would hold, but I had this feeling that something wonderful was about to happen. 

I didn't know that at this moment a part of me would be filled that would never be empty again. In fact, I don't think I even knew it was empty to begin with. (Cliche, but so, so true). I would have someone with me for some very important moments in life. Someone to dance with, someone to cry with, someone to laugh with, and someone to learn with. But all I knew at that moment was that someone I cared about very much felt the same way about me, and that was the greatest thing I had ever experienced. 

I didn't know we would literally grow up together. Proms, graduations, new beginnings. I didn't know that one day soon I would be spending all my days with someone that I couldn't imagine life without. I didn't know the ways in which he would help me through the tough times in life and celebrate the good times with me. I didn't know how much love was about to fill my life.

I had always been obsessed with the idea of something like that. That all-consuming love. I loved watching all the Disney princess movies not for the sweet songs and pretty dresses, but for the way the prince looked at the princess with such admiration. I had assumed it didn't really happen in real life, or at least wouldn't happen to me. But, just like so many other things that a 14-year old girl with a spacey look in her eyes couldn't possibly know at that moment, that was one of them. 

This is a lifestyle blog and I enjoy sharing tips on how to be the best person you can be. And this, right here, is how I am the best person I can be. 

I hope you have an amazing weekend as always and that you get to tell the people you love how much you care for them. 

Thanks for letting me share this with all of you. Your sweet comments on our pictures and my posts about us bring us so much joy and encouragement. We are headed up to Kansas City for the weekend to celebrate and see one of our favorite singers in concert, so lots of tacos and jam out to some Gavin James to celebrate with us! 

Thanks to our friends Elizabeth and Parker for taking our pictures. We love them and are blessed to have ya'll in our life! 

Cristina and Cam

P.S. Go ahead and copy our outfits if you'd like; we don't mind. Shop below using the widget!

November 10, 2015

A Must-Have For Your Wish List

Everyone talks about the must-have coats and boots for the winter, but there's something, a new found obsession of mine, that people forget to mention. I mean, what's the first thing you see when you look someone right in the eye and wish them a happy holiday or ask if they want to watch Elf with you?

Glasses, ya'll.

I think the age of the glasses is upon us. Whether they're optical or to shade you from the sun, they're everyone's new favorite accessory.

Thankfully, Warby Parker's  winter collection is fully prepared to curve your craving for some great specs. This is "designer eyeware at a revolutionary price", so come get them while their hot (

This new line is introducing us to some great, cooler tones for winter. (I'm obsessed with Grapefruit cute!) After all, winter is a time to chill out and to reflect. Send a few cards, call your grandma, listen to your uncle tell the same story at Thanksgiving dinner that he does every single year. You need to be dressed for the occasion!

And college students, you're going to love the home try-on.  (I mean, who doesn't?) You know how the single worst thing about going off to college and being an adult is scheduling your own appointments and going to them solo? Yeah, what a nightmare. Luckily, WP allows you to pick out 5 frames to try, ships them to you for FREE, and then you just try them on and take a bunch of selfies until you find your perfect match.

I've listed my favorites down below to make the process a bit easier (because I know it's crunch time of the semester and you don't have all day.)

And one more thing before you go - for every pair of glasses you purchase, Warby Parker will donate a pair to someone in need!

Alright, check out how "cool" these are. (Get it? Cool? Because winter? Ok just keep scrolling.)

Whether you stayed up all night studying for finals 
or you're attending *the* holiday party of the season....

look sharp. 

Wilder in Whiskey Tortoise 

Whether you're shoveling snow
or you're an icy snow queen...

make a statement.

Baker in Glacier Grey

Whether your bustling around finishing holiday to-do's
or jetting off on a luxurious winter vacation....

stay warm.

Abbott in Heritage Bronze

Whether you're white elephant-exchanging
or making your own beautiful, white snow angels...

don't be afraid to get a little cold. 

Chelsea in Grapefruit Soda

Thanks for reading and thanks to my friends at Warby Parker for letting me help them spread the good cheer! 



November 5, 2015

Dear, Girls With Boyfriends (And All The Single Ladies)

In the month of November, I like to do at least one relationship post since my anniversary with my Cameron is on the 15th (!!!)

I can't believe we'll be celebrating five years together. If you're doing the math right now in your head - yes, we started dating when I was 14. I met him on the very first day of high school in SeƱora Bradbury's Spanish class.

To this day, Cam is the most loving person I've ever met. From the first time he gave me a hug me when I was sad one day in class (didn't even flinch that I got mascara on his sweatshirt) I knew he was someone I wanted in my life. We were just friends at first, but I would always tell him that his future girlfriend was going to be so lucky to have someone like him. And then sometime a couple months later, than lucky girl was me! So there's the short version of "How Cameron and Cristina Started Dating".

This post isn't really specifically about me or my relationship. For this post, I want to share some valuable things I've learned with those that have significant others and those who don't; either way, you're doing life just right

Lately, girls who have boyfriends have kinda gotten a bad rep. I don't know how it is for guys, but I would say the issue arises for us females because of the rise of women today, which I am all by the way. Women are pushing so hard to be independent and seen as equally-capable to their male counterparts (again, all for it) that girls with boyfriends are sometimes mis-labeled as weak.

"If your boyfriend is your best friend, you're doing it wrong"
"If you have to text him in the morning, you're weak"
"You shouldn't have to ask him to come over and fix anything, you need to do it yourself"

I'm here to say, no. Just because YOU make the personal decision to let someone into your life and let someone be there every step of the way does not make you weak, unimportant, or over-dependent. I think that makes you strong. That shows that you have trust and compassion. And that is something I think we could all agree needs to be more prominent in the world.

I personally do not get a lot of grief, luckily. From early on, my friends and family saw how much brighter my life was with Cam in it. He was there for a lot of rocky moments in the history of my high school years that a girl really needs a best friend to get through. No, you don't need another person to make you feel special or help you to keep it together, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with someone thinking you're great and being there for you. If that's wrong, I don't want to be right.

I am a better person with my other half. I have learned so many things from him that I'll always carry with me in our life together and I wouldn't trade that for the world.

Someone was there for me when I was 15 and my parents got divorced.
Someone held my hand when I got my cartilage pierced at 16.
Someone took me to prom when I was 17 and stayed with me when I got a migraine instead of going to the after party.
Someone cheered at all the football games with me in my first year of college when I was 18.
And now....well I'm 19 years old and I need to finish writing this post so I can go see someone and ask them how their day was.

Girls without boyfriends: You are beautiful and you don't need a man. But when you find someone, don't be hesitant to let them in. You will not lose your independence, your spark, or anything. You don't need someone to complete you, but be prepared that someone is out there that one day just might.

Girls with boyfriends: Thanks for being a good example of someone that can be strong and in a relationship at the same time. Treat your other half well and don't be ashamed of loving someone. Loving someone shows the world something beautiful that I think it ought to see.

Next Thursday, I'll be posting our anniversary pictures that our friends Elizabeth and Parker took for us! So stay tuned for that and have a great rest of your week.



November 2, 2015

Being Your Own Person: Why It's Hard and Why It's Important

In fifth grade, my teacher had us write in our journals every day. We could write anything we wanted - an original fairy tale, what we ate for dinner the night before, or even our thoughts on current events. My journal entry was almost always about dance considering I spent 85% of my time at the studio and it was my favorite thing in the whole world.

One day, this girl (we'll call her Sporty Girl since I think we are still Facebook friends) yelled out at me when I was sharing my journal entry with the class.

"You always write about dance! It's not even a real sport! No one cares!"

I was shocked and hurt as I held back tears. No one had ever called me out like that before. So what if I liked something she didn't? Why did she have to go and do something like that? I just didn't understand.

The best thing I could do as a sensitive ten-year-old was to cry to my mom after school about how Sporty Girl had been mean to me. I'm pretty sure she emailed her mother or something ridiculous like that, but hey, it was fifth grade.

I never wrote about dance in my journal again. I was unhappy every time I opened my spiral notebook and had to half-heartedly fill three quarters of a page with a story about how I rode my bike after school and then helped my mom make cookies. Why did it matter that I was different than one of my classmates? Can't I still be proud of something like my dancing?

These questions didn't get answered for a while. In high school....well, it was high school. You either fought to blend in or fought to stand out. I think I spent some time doing both, to be honest. However, I don't think I was ever truly happy until I did my own thing. And not just "did my own thing", but was unapologetic about it.

Now, running around your campus and hitting people with water balloons because you're "doing your own thing" is still not ok. When I speak of BYOP (my new acronym for Being Your Own Person), I'm speaking more along the lines of hanging out with the people you like and participating in activities you enjoy without caring whether it's "trendy" or "popular".

Just a short list of examples of how I try to B(My)OP before we move on to the meat of this post... (what? All this rambling wasn't the meat?! Oy.)

  • I freaking LOVE oldies music. I will jam to Billy Joel and the Beatles shamelessly. ("Sing us a song you're the piano man, sing us a song tonight.")
  • I don't have an excessive amount of clothes because I think buying something just because you've seen several girls wearing them on Instagram is a little pointless. I'm not spending $150 on a bikini so I can get a lot of likes on a picture.
  • Zumba is my everything. You may hate Zumba or think it's weird, but I will be there every Monday and Wednesday night. In the front row. Slaying.
  • I eat healthy because I love healthy food. I would rather have chicken and brussels sprouts than pizza. This bewilders many.
  • I like to be organized. Not in a stressed-out, obsessive way; it is fun for me. When I'm on the phone and someone gives me a date to write down, my heart feels warm and fuzzy as I grab my colored pens. I'm a freak, but at least I'm hella organized. 

So here's the meat ladies and gents...

Why it's hard

People aren't always the nicest
Sporty Girl could have kept that comment to herself, but things like this happen. Just because some of us aren't in grade school anymore doesn't mean we can't get picked on for being different/our own person. It may not be in the form of mean words spit across the sharing circle, but someone could just simply say something that hurts your feelings or make it a point not to hang out with us because of our differences. It sucks, but the best way to deal with it is just to remind yourself that you're being your own person, and if you pay attention to people who don't like that, you simply won't be happy.

You may find yourself alone
I go to Zumba alone, I go to Advertising club meetings alone, and I rock out to "best of the 80's" jams alone. It's all good! If you're happy doing the things you're doing, it won't matter who's with you or who takes notice. Maybe being alone and doing the things you love will allow you to meet new people who do like the same things you do. Just don't be scared to fly solo every now and then.

You won't get along with everyone because not everyone does things the way you do
99% of any conflict I have with anyone in life boils down to the fact that we are different people. We go about things differently and we deal with things differently. It isn't possible to be best friends with everyone or please everyone because if you're being you're being your own person, you can't be their person as well. Just respect everyone as you do your own thing, because chances are, their trying their best to be their own person, too.

But......Why it's important

Doing your own thing can help you to find great people in life that you're compatible with
I just met up with a good friend of mine over the weekend. We recalled how we first hip hop class. We both weren't the best at hip hop, but we loved the class and became friends there as we fumbled all over the dance floor trying to appear both graceful and well..."crunk" at the same time. Had we worried about what others thought about our dancing skills, we wouldn't have gone to class and met each other. I'm thankful for that hip hop class, even if we both looked completely ridiculous. (Love you, Elizabeth!!) 

Being your own person allows you to let your talents and passions shine
I think the best personal example I can come up with is my blog. Notice in high school I didn't blog? Oh yeah, that's because I was worried about what other people thought and I kept myself on the straight and narrow to do everything that everyone else was doing. Go to the football games, dress up, post cute pictures on Instagram of your legs in a bubble bath (still do this), repeat. Do not step outside the lines of conformity!!!

But now I'm doing something I really love and it's not only a great way to spend my days but it is also helping me learn things that are beneficial for my future. (a.k.a. I know how to work with HTML code and I remind myself that I am a rockstar for that every single day.) I really couldn't be happier with it!

You can be recognized for your own personal, special qualities...and you can be rewarded
Just think if you went into a job interview for a really awesome position and when they looked at your resume, all it said was "did what everyone else was doing".

What would they say? I'm assuming they'd be rather confused and I'm predicting you probably wouldn't get the position.

But what if they saw that you had done some incredible things? You were in some great clubs, you had some beneficial job experience, and you had many unique qualities you had put in practice. Sounds like an ideal candidate to me! Being your own person helps you to stand out in a positive light. Be kind when everyone else wants to be hateful, smile when everyone wants you to frown, and don't ever hide your passions or talents because they don't fit in with everyone around you.

Well, I've done it again - wrote a very long post with too many Billy Joel references. But that's just me being me. You guys are great and I'm always thankful for you as readers and friends. Just be you, because I really like that about you!