Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Touch of Canary

Well, spring finally seems to have arrived - in like a lion, out like a lamb, eh March? I'm busy running around like an entire flock of chickens with their heads to cut off as my to-do list is a full PAGE long.


 Anyways, tests and quizzes and projects are flying around here, but it's also the weekend of Awakening (the retreat that I'm on Leadership for), so things are extra crazy with managing my individual staff and making sure everything's running according to plan. I'm definitely haven't worn anything this cute for the past week and won't  - t-shirt + jeans/shorts/leggings for me.

But I am a fan of yellow cardigans on sunny days! This canary yellow one is a well-worn favorite. And that's all I have to say...because some days, you don't need a lot of words.

Happy hump day, friends! Hope your week goes well + please keep the retreat (and retreaters) in your prayers!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

If I Was Paid to Blog...

I'm not, obviously.

In case you were wondering. I don't have any sponsored posts or have ads on my blog, because, well, this little thing ain't in that stage of life right now. But I've always thought of my blog as a business - in that I'm serious about it and have grand plans for her.

But I also recognize that I have to work with the stage of life that I'm in right now (college, dorm living, etc.), so I can't go full-blown blogger quite yet.

But in an ideal world if I was paid to blog, here's what I'd do.

-I'd make my boyfriend/husband/assistant/personal photographer take pictures of me, outfit shots, detail shots 2-3 times a week.

This is an ideal world, remember? In a that la-la-land, I'd have a man in my life whom I'd force to use my camera...."No, make sure to tell me to raise my chin before you take the picture!"

-I'd paint my walls white and have a bright, air background for said pictures.

Instead of a tiny, cream/beige dorm room filled with books and clutter.

-I'd be able to afford lights and film stellar tutorial videos.

Thusly, companies would send me gads of products to try and I'd never need buy make-up again (even though top-notch professional YouTubers definitely do spend their own money on most of what they review).

-I'd live somewhere gorgeous with four seasons and thus have posts that appeal to readers on every coast/side/top/bottom of a country.

Like Virginia. Or Canada. They have four seasons, so I'm told. And Virginia is the state for lovers. Maybe I should move there first to find the photographing boyfriend/husband mentioned above.

Sounds like marvelous life plans. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to pack up my life, order lights on Amazon, hire a tall hipster photographer + get a gallon of white paint.

And you know, pretend I'm being paid to blog. Don't mind me. ;)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday Style: On the Run

Sweater//Aeropostale  leggings//George  flats//Target  Purse//Charming Charlies
 Happy Monday, friends! I'm easing back into the swing of things around here after enjoying spring break...of course, things are just picking up back in college life, so I have maybe a day or two to adjust and then it's time to hit the ground rolling! 

All the more reason to have a simplified wardrobe on hand. Between classes, meetings, dashing to meet people for meals, and everything else, I generally opt for comfortable outfits that are stylish while remaining no-fuss. And this one is a new favorite...perfect for studying, for running to and from class, for yoga, for errands, for grabbing coffee. Even for napping! 

I'm always a fan of ballet flats and big purses - functional and low-key are essentials for my style nowadays. Even on crazy days, I feel better knowing I can walk quickly in comfortable shoes and that I'm prepared with my Mary Poppins purse...
Also, I got my hair trimmed, finally tackled my eyebrows and shaved my legs (thank you pants + leggings), so I feel like I can take on the world. 

Which, the next two weeks basically entails. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Feelings

Helloooooooo, weekend. I'm glad to see you, because really, we shouldn't talk about how much coffee I've had this week. It's been a long, but not necessarily bad, one. There's just always so much to...and can someone please explain to me how you can clean a room, then turn around to find it a wreck the next day? How?

This is where I remind those who know me that there is a difference, as Adam Levine said, "between dirty and messy" (1:40). I'm not a dirty person - I like clean spaces and organization and color-coordination and a place for everything with everything in its place. BUT...I am also a human. Specifically a creative one, which means sometimes I think best in chaos and does it really matter if there's a pile of clothes on the end of my bed when I'm writing a scene or editing a photo or choreographing a dance? Nope. Nada. Not one bit.

Does that mean I live like a packrat? Of course not! I let things slide when life is just too busy to bother with hanging up clothes, and then I come to my senses + spring into my clean-ALL-the-things, reorder my life, empty my inbox, reply to comments, demolish my to-do-list frenzy. It's wonderful.  As Gina is fond of saying, if you wait 'til the last minute, it only takes a minute.

Also, I indulged in some prime procrastination last night by watching numerous clips of Ellen scaring people on her show - and if you haven't seen the episode where Gru from Despicable Me is a guest, fix that now - as well as all of Elaine Benes' finest moments from Seinfeld.

I laughed a great deal. And resolved to start watching that show on a regular basis. I always forget how essential laughter is for my mental health.

Happy weekend, friends! Hope you have some good laughs.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Feelings

Another week, another's a grey, foreboding day over here and I'm typing away in the library with the busy thrum of espresso machines clicking and hissing besides me as the line for that magical, rich, brown liquid stretches around the Starbucks. As I just told one of my favorite professors as we chatted in her office about fashion and design and planners, today is a day on which you can look like a mess and it's okay. Because some days, you just roll out of bed, put on leggings, a long sleeved t-shirt, vest + headband. And it's okay.

As always, I'm glad to see the weekend arrive and feel like waving gaily at the world as I walk to my few classes today (perks of being an upperclass; I love being done before lunchtime). Of course, this weekend's a little different as Ash Wednesday was the start of some of you might not read this until Sunday if you've given up the Internet or even (gasp) reading blogs. If so, I take my hat off in respect...that's a brave undertaking. 

I was talking with a friend about Lent and we agreed that while it's not a strictly enjoyable season, it's one that's good for the soul. I remind myself to think of it like working out (which I do not enjoy any more, but always feel better + stronger afterwards) - except Lent is discipline for the soul. 

Going without, being okay with uncomfortableness, practicing the art of discipline. 

And the real focus is not prove something to ourselves, but rather to draw closer to God. Which is why I'm changing what I've given up for Lent because my initial choice doesn't feel right...doesn't quite feel like a true sacrifice. Also, does anyone else feel pressure to choose something brilliant to give up? All week long, I was asked, "So, what are you giving up for Lent?" A question that made me grimace in awkwardness and search for an answer, much like Harry Potter when confronted with something he didn't know: "Er...."

But I finally feel resolved and content with my Lenten resolutions. I'm excited to go deeper into silence and prayer and try to root the start of my mornings in some quiet time with God. Also, get thee to Pandora and add the Gregorian Chant station. It's kind of ridiculous in the best sense. 

I've been struggling a lot with mornings lately, and really want to rework my schedule and routine to revolve around an energizing and productive morning. Which is both challenging and exciting. But I'm looking forward to putting some of those plans into action and taking better care of myself so that in turn I can care for others. 

Sarah's post about Lenten splendor and entering into a season of silence is lovely. And in lighthearted news, pop over to Caitlin's blog to check out the shots I snapped of her super cute retro style. Does she or does she not look like a cool musician/cafe owner/tattoo artist who lives in Nashville? 

Do you know your love language? If not, you should get on that. Mine has changed over the year's to Gift-Giving, so I was cheering with every line I read of Amanda's post.

That's all I have for today, friends - drop a note below and let me know how your week's been or if you're celebrating Lent + if so what, you're giving up.

P.S. If you haven't seen Maroon 5's insanely catchy and adorable new music video "Sugar"...well, you're welcome. 

P.S.S The Oscars are this weekend! And I might be watching them for the first time in....6 years? It's been long overdue. Hello, red carpet dresses, Benedict Cumberbatch, and all the beautiful + talented people in Hollywood/England. #Britishtakeoverftw #EddiedeservesBestActor

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Winter Skin Essentials

I don't know about anyone else, but so far 2015 is being quite snappy + cold in terms of day it's balmy and sunny (I wore SHORTS last week), then yesterday it was 30 degrees when I woke up. Ughhhh.

So while I've been trying to adjust to the rapid weather changes, I've found a couple things helpful for my skin during the colder days.

1. Bundling Up - Head to Toe

If I've just woken up, it's all too tempting to roll out of bed, throw on a jacket and run to class. But I've made it a priority to make sure I put on a thick pair of socks, wrap a warm scarf around my neck (infinity ones are the best, you can bury your face in them), and slip on a thick headband that covers my ears or a warm beanie. Gloves are also great if you have a long walk or bike commute ahead of you.

Simple things, I know, but ones that have overall contributed to my happiness...I'm less grouchy in the morning and my skin is less red + chapped when most of me is protected from the cold + wind.

2. Water, Water, Water

Hydration is definitely still an area where I need to improve, but I carry around a water bottle in my backpack pocket and try to make sure I get 1-2 glasses at each meal. I always notice a difference in my skin when I'm not drinking enough water or getting enough sleep. One of my favorite ways to hydrate is tons of winter citrus (I keep a bag of grapefruit in my room) and fresh fruits in the morning. I also try to eat at least one salad a day for those leafy greens - so important to get clean eats in there. Like I said, I can always tell by my skin if I'm not doing #2 and #3.

3. Make Time for Sleep

This by far is one of my that I'm finally making it a top priority and it feels good to try being more disciplined about it. I love reading blogs, checking IG, and Pinning at night especially, so one way I like to wind down is by having a little routine.

I light a candle (if I don't have one burning already), change into a tank + yoga pants, put my slippers on, wipe off any makeup or wash my face while soft classical music plays in the background. I also like keeping my main overhead light off (not a fan of fluorescents) and use my lamp instead, which gives the room a warm, cozy glow. Then, a spritz of lavender mist on my pillows and sheets and off to bed I go. If I'm still not tired, I'll usually journal or write until I'm sleepy.

4. Take Care of Those Lips

In addition to skin cracking, my lips usually suffer during winter, so I'm that obnoxious girl who is always slathering on helps immensely though, because even lips need some TLC. I've gushed before about my love for Maybelline's drugstore BabyLips (the clear one is my all time favorite) because it goes on so smoothly but isn't sticky and it sinks straight in. Definitely does a great moisturizing job. Burt's Bee's has some great ones too, in almost every scent/flavor.

I also like to regularly exfoliate my lips with E.L.F's lip exfoliator (again, available in drugstores, not expensive + so worth buying!). It's essentially a compact tube of a brown sugar scrub with honey + vanilla and...oh. my. word. It smells + tastes so good. I swear my lips are softer and look larger afterwards!

5. Homemade Sauna 

photo one credit; a cup of joe

One thing that I've found so relaxing and good for my skin is to let the hot water run in the shower - as hot as possible for a minute or two with the shower curtain shut, even before you get in. The hot water rises and thickens into steam, creating a sauna-like atmosphere.

If I really want a spa feel, I spray a few quirts of this amazing mist into the stream of hot water and voila...instant lavender aromatherapy. I usually let my skin soak up the moisture (it feels so good) and let my pores open up. Then you can turn the water to a cooler temperature and shower like normal.

6. Face + Lotion

I've always had really bad cracked skin, mainly on my hands and knuckles, during winter, but I found this great cream by Neutrogena that I slather sinks in at once and leaves my normally-leathery hands feeling soft and rich. I haven't had an issue with my skin cracking this year, but I know it's a common problem, so I thought I'd share what's worked for me in the past. Bath & Body Works's coconut lotion is something I love for normal lotion purposes as the tropical scent is especially cheerful during the cold, grey dreary months.

I also try to give my face a gentle deep-cleanse once a week or so, and this stuff is amazing. I tried it after hearing EssieButton mention it in one of her videos...and I'm so glad I did. It's cool + creamy + exfoliating + smoothing + refreshing + hydrating all at once. I always feel like I'm pampering myself when I use it - and it lasts forever! I've been on one tube for over a year now.

So there you are, friends...a couple of ways how I take care of my skin during these cold months. Do you have any tips or tricks? I'd love to hear them below in the comments!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Style

In addition to my hair color changing this year, my style has evolved also...I'm come a long way from 16-year-old me. But then again, it's been a six year process. ;) I celebrated my 22nd birthday last weekend and it feels good to be heading into the mid-twenties. 

I find that my sense of style tends to shift slightly every other year or so...which I think is perfectly natural and just a sign that you're changing + growing up. I've gone from wearing bright colors head to toe during freshman year to slowly transitioning into a love of dark colors, neutrals + dark denim. 

There's something refreshing about a simplistic wardrobe, especially when classes + commitments + work begin to pile up. Dark jeans, a simple shirt, edgy jacket + ankle boots make for a simple outfit that takes less than 5 minutes to put together and makes you look like you've got it all together. I don't know about you, but during these chilly + busy days, that sounds perfect to me. 

Happy Monday, friends!