Monday, July 17, 2017

Seven Summer Essentials!

Summer has officially hit here in Seattle, and it keeps getting warmer and warmer. I'm so happy that it's been a really sunny summer so far, and honestly this 70 degree weather has been pretty nice. I can go outside and comfortably eat my lunch without getting too cold or hot, and the weekends have been perfect for hiking, going to the beach, or doing anything outside!

With how busy I've been doing fun things, (keep up with me on Instagram to see!) I wanted to share with you my summer essentials! I was inspired to do this post by Warby Parker and their new sunglasses collection - definitely check them out because they have some really cute styles right now! I've been a fan of their glasses for a while now, especially since I had to get glasses of my own recently, after years of swearing I had perfect vision. I guess that's what five years of blogging does to you ;)

1. Polaroid camera

I invested in a polaroid camera a couple of months ago, and I'm so glad I did! It's so nice to be able to print photos right then in there, instead of just keeping them on your phone and computer, and never having them in person. I also love the "vintage" quality of the photos, and there's so many cute ways to display them! You can easily turn them into a focal point in your room, and hang them up wherever you want.

2. Versatile eyeshadow palette

If you read my last post, you saw that I got the Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Palette! It's perfect for the summer - and all year round, honestly - since it has some really pretty turquoise colors, as well as a warm shades. You really get it all with the palette! If that's not your cup of tea, though, there's plenty of palettes out there that are perfect for summer, like the Urban Decay Heat palette.

3. Comfy pair of shorts

I went to Pacsun this weekend and got a couple of pairs of shorts, and they're so comfy! They're mom jeans so they're high wasted, which is perfect for summer since there's so many crop tops to wear. I've been needing jean shorts for so long now, so I'm really glad to have picked up a couple of pairs! I'm really picky with them because I wear them a ton over the summer, so it's super important to me that I can wear them for the whole day..

4. Comfy sandals

I have had Birkenstock tan lines for probably three consecutive years now because I wear them year round. I wish I was kidding, but there's also a little part of me that's proud of the lines. They're seriously the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn, though, and I highly suggest looking into them if you haven't before! There's also a lot of cute sandals at Target right now, I recently got a pair for around $20 and they're really comfy!

5. Cute swimsuit - bikini or one piece

I finally got a one piece this year that has a really low back, and I absolutely love it! It's really convenient to just wear with a pair of shorts over them if I'm walking around but want to swim later, and it honestly just looks like a cute body suit. The plus side is I don't even have to wear a bra, so it's a win win. A staple swimsuit is definitely a summer essential though, even if you don't live by the beach. They're great to wear while tanning, going to the lake, or swimming in a friend's pool! You don't have to break the bank to find a cute one, either, which is great.

6. Sunglasses

My eyes are really sensitive to light, so a great pair of sunglasses is definitely a must! They're also great to add a little something to a more plain outfit, and of course they're really useful on bright summer days. The great thing about sunglasses is there's an option for everyone, and you can spend as much or as little money as you want on them, since pretty much most clothing stores have them. Like I said in the beginning of the post, check out Warby Parker to find a cute pair!

7. A bag to hold all of these things

A nice, big bag is definitely a summer essential, especially if you're having a beach day, or are going somewhere you need to carry all of these things in. I like to just get a large bag from Forever21, or Nordstrom in the BP section because they aren't too expensive and they have so many cute options. It's also nice to have a smaller bag in addition to a larger one, in case you're going to an amusement park, or somewhere you can't bring a large bag.

Alright, well there are seven of my summer essentials! I'm so excited for the rest of summer, and I definitely hope it's filled with lots of bonfires, beach days, and warm summer nights.

What are some of your summer essentials?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)

Not all photos are mine.
This is NOT a sponsored post.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Palette | Swatches, Review, and a Look!

I've been a fan of Jaclyn Hill for at least four years now, so when she announced that her palette was finally coming out, I was super excited. She's been working on it for two years now, so the anticipation was definitely high! I bought my palette right at 8 a.m. on the launch date and it came in the mail last week. I filmed a video that afternoon, which you can watch below!

Of course I wanted to do a blog post on it as well and share some photos and swatches! I definitely wasn't thinking, and didn't actually take photos of all the swatches, so I had to screenshot them from the video - sorry! I took photos of the palette itself though, and of the look I created using the palette.

I did both brush and finger swatches!
Swatches from the first row

The rest of row one

Row two

Row three

Row four

Row five

The finished look I created!

Overall, I really love this palette! Sometimes the matte colors were a little bit splotchy when I swatched them, but I think it was a combination of me not having enough product on my finger, and the fact that they're so buildable. They weren't splotchy at all on my eyes, and they builded up so nicely. They also blended really well! It was super effortless to create this look, and I was so impressed with the shimmers in this palette. They went on so well with both finger and brush.

I really love all of the colors, too! Even though there's a couple colors in the palette that look really similar on my skin, I do appreciate that there are a couple of options to similar shades. There's so many looks you can create, and it's definitely a palette I'll be bringing with me when I travel so I can have options with the looks I want to create. There's so many neutral looks you can make, as well as more bold, smokey looks. I'm really glad I have this because I definitely don't have a palette that's this big and versatile!

This is the first Morphe palette I've gotten, and I'm impressed, so I'll probably try more Morphe products in the future. The only thing I wish this palette had is a mirror so I could get ready literally anywhere. I have other mirrors, though, so it isn't too big of a deal. That probably would've made the price go up, too, so I can't complain too much! 

This palette retails for $38, but there's so many coupon you can find through Morphe affiliates on YouTube, and Jaclyn herself has one which is JACATTACK (I'm not sponsored to say this!). This code gets you 10% so definitely use it! The palette is sold out right now, but will be restocked on Tuesday, July 18th at 8AM PST! I recommend getting this palette whether you are a fan of Jaclyn or not - you will not be disappointed!

What do you think about the palette?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)

This is NOT a sponsored post, and all opinions are mine!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dear Junior Year

My junior year of college has come to a close, and it's been a crazy year. This was definitely the most difficult year so far - my classes were tough, my schedule was busy, and trying to stay afloat was a struggle. I made it out, though, and I've learned a lot. Since it's over, I wanted to do another "Dear __________ year" because I did that for freshman year and sophomore year.

Dear Junior Year,

I was almost crushed by you. Not only was the academic side of you hard, but all of the real-life things were rough, too. My classes had a workload unlike any other year, and I had to start answering some questions about my future, and think seriously about what I want for my life. That's not an easy thing to do as a 21 year old. Who knows where I'll end up in life? Have a plan, you told me, and for most of the year I tried to come up with one.

Well, I did and didn't succeed, but some things I do have now are options and ideas. I have a couple of thoughts about what I want to do after college, and I don't know which one I'll end up following, but you taught me that's okay. See, you pushed me to think about these things so I'd be comforted in the fact that I'll be able to figure it out, and I understand that now. After many breakdowns and panic attacks, I've found (some) comfort in the unknown, and it's a little bit exciting. Instead of being stressed about the future, you taught me to be excited about it.

While you were stressful, long, hard, and gruesome, Junior Year, you also gave me so much happiness. You brought people - especially one in particular - into my life that have changed it for the better. I made so many memories with new and old friends that I'll truly cherish forever. I can't think of better people to have spent the year with, honestly, and you were there to put them in my life. Everyday I'm reminded by how lucky I am to have people in my life whom I love so much, and give my life so much more meaning.

You have made me stronger, and though I doubted myself - a lot - you also taught me that it's okay to have off days, sometimes off weeks, and that the sunlight always finds its way back in through the cracks. I made it through the challenges you gave me, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The outcomes from all of these trials are worth way more than the stress they caused, and I'm thankful for all of the mistakes and hardships I went through. My life is better now, because of you, and I have a better idea of who I want to be. I learned that it will most certainly take even more time and even more hard work to get to where I want to be one day, but you taught me that it'll be worth it, in the end.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

How to Succeed in College: Surviving Finals

You've probably noticed that I haven't been posting very often, but I've been so busy with studying for finals - go figure. This quarter was one of the busiest I've had at the University of Washington, and because of that my blog and channel have suffered slightly. I'm going to have a busy summer as well but I'm trying to get a hold on my schedule early so I can keep up to date. I have a couple of weeks before I start to get super busy, so I'm going to be getting ahead of the game!

As you're ending the term for your school, I'm sure the scariest part is all of the finals you have to take. It can be so daunting to study for multiple tests, and you'll probably end up feeling like a zombie. I've done a post on how to survive finals, but I really wanted to do an updated one in the "How to Succeed in College" series, especially since I've been studying like crazy these last couple of weeks. So, here are my tips!

1. Write down when each and every one of your finals are.
This may seem super basic and obvious, but it's a great place to start and keep coming back to. If you need reminders, write them on sticky notes and post them around your desk, or wherever you'll see them a lot. This really does help - it's so easy to get unorganized and lost while studying for finals, because you're just focused on reviewing content.

2. Actually make study guides.
I remember doing this in high school was always so annoying, but it can be so useful in college. When you're writing down all of the topics from your classes, you can get a feel for which ones you need to study more on, and which ones you know really well. It's also great to have a reference that you can go over when you're doing simple things like eating breakfast, or even walking to class (if you take a photo of it on your phone, which I highly recommend!).

3. Prioritize your time.
This can be with what you study for certain classes, as well as which finals you study the most for, and when you actually study for them. If you get a head start on studying for your finals that you have first, you'll have more time to study for finals that come later in the week. It's super difficult when you have multiple finals in a day, or one after the other, so it's important to schedule time to study for each different class. I definitely struggled with this Freshman year, so it's something that just takes a lot of practice and a lot of tests! Also, it really helps to have a planner to organize your time!

4. Block social media websites, and delete the apps if you get distracted easily.
I know a lot of people who actually block websites that they go to often, as well as delete apps on their phones so they don't get distracted. This is a really great solution if you get side-tracked easily while studying, or you find yourself constantly checking your phone and computer. I personally don't do this, but it does work well for a lot of people.

5. Change up where you study.
If you are getting tired of the scenery you're studying in, try simply changing it up by going somewhere else. Getting bored of a certain location that you're studying in can happen, so try studying in your room, other living spaces, different libraries, cafes, or other buildings around campus. If I'm feeling super burnt out for studying, it really does help me to go somewhere else. This really helps to keep your mind stimulated, and focus on studying!

6. Make sure you're getting enough sleep.
"Sleep" and "finals" don't often go together, but it's important to try and get enough rest during the week. I've learned the hard way this quarter just how important sleep is; you end up doing better on tests, and you have more energy to finish up homework. It really does pay off to take the extra time to go to sleep early, or take a nap throughout the day so you can feel refreshed.

7. Make study groups with friends.
Studying with classmates can be really beneficial if you're struggling in the class, and even when you know the content really well. Chances are you each will have stronger grasps on different parts of the class, so you can teach other in order to fill in those gaps. Also, when you are teaching someone else a concept, you end up really solidifying it in your head, which helps you out in the long run. It can also help to make you feel less alone and therefore less stressed, because you have others to talk to about the test!

8. Stay positive.
This might not seem too important, but it's really easy to focus on the negatives during finals. If you find yourself really down, try and think of the positives, like being done with finals and relaxing! Spring quarter/term finals can be really tough because you're thisclose to summer, and finals can feel like they're absolutely dragging along. Just remember that this is the last step before summer, and that you really are close.

9. Listen to classical music to help you study, or any other study music that helps.
I find that listening to classical music, study music, and even soundtracks to movies (Harry Potter is my favorite choice, of course), really helps me stay focused. If I listen to music with lyrics I find myself just humming along to those, but if it's instrumental music, I can better focus. This is especially useful if you're in a busy or loud place, like a cafe, but you still want to sit there and study. It's been proven that classical music helps, so definitely give it a try if you have trouble focusing! You can literally just search "study music" on YouTube, and they have videos that last for literal hours.

10. Take plenty of breaks.
It can be easy to just drone along and study for hours on end, but it's really important to take small breaks every now and then. Bring along a book to the library to read, listen to your favorite music, take a nap, waste some time on the internet, talk to your friends - do whatever helps you take your mind off of studying. Don't feel like you have to be constantly studying, because this can make you burn out really quickly. You'll lose steam, and the studying you're doing won't actually be very productive. Make sure you're scheduling in breaks!

Alright, there's 10 tips on how to survive finals in college! Just remember that you'll survive, and it's alright if you don't do well on a test - don't be too hard on yourself! College really is a learning process, and I promise it gets easier.

What are your favorite ways to study?

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you're having a wonderful day! :)


Sunday, May 14, 2017

I'm Turning into My Mom

I'm turning into my mom, and that's really not a bad thing. My mom is a strong, confident woman who always speaks her mind. When I was younger I was always amazed by this, and I wanted to grow up and be like her. While I am not as outspoken as she is, I'm definitely working on it. She speaks out with grace and passion, and isn't afraid to show how she feels. My mom has always supported me in whatever I do, and I've grown up with a best friend who's always been there for me.

There's so much stigma about "turning into" our parents, but for me that has never been a bad thing. If I end up half as strong of a woman as my mom, I'll be happy. I don't know how she does everything that she does, while still being such a wonderful person and mom. She is so kind and selfless, it truly does amaze me. She treats all people the same, and will show the same kindness to a stranger as one of her closest friends.

I don't think it's a bad thing to turn into our mothers, or at least be influenced by them. They selflessly took care of us as children, and oftentimes still do so much for us when we're adults. There's no love like the kind mothers have for their children, it's one of the most beautiful things in the world. They carry us for nine months, but end up carrying us through the rest of our lives, too. Once we're old enough to go out on our own, they still support us from afar, and constantly worry about our well being.

There's so many ways mothers say "I love you," through asking if we're eating enough, sleeping enough, how we're doing, what our plans are for the future, and so much more. They care about you like no one else, and love you more than anything. My mom certainly cares for my brother and I in a way that I hope to have for my children one day, and I'm eternally grateful for her. She made me feel so loved growing up, and when I'm having a rough day the one voice I always want to hear is hers. I know I can call her up regarding anything; if I have happy news she'll be the first one to congratulate me, and if I'm having a horrible day she's also the first to console me.

As I've grown older I've noticed how similar my mom and I are, and I'm grateful for it. She taught me to be strong and speak out against the things I feel aren't right. She always tries her hardest to succeed, and she fights for what she believes in. I'm thankful to call her mom, and I'm happy that I grew up with her influence. We're still different, of course, because we are different people and she taught me to be my own person, but we're similar in the best ways possible.

I love you Mom, and happy Mother's Day :) 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

You're More than a Pre-Existing Condition | "Slam" Poem

It's probably obvious that I love writing, since I have a blog and everything, but I've never really shared any of that writing on my blog, or my channel. I've never actually done a slam poem before, but I was inspired by all of the talk about pre-existing conditions, and the possibility that health insurance will be affected by them (in the US). 

As someone with "pre-existing conditions, this news is upsetting. It's unfair that people should be judged and labeled based on diseases they were born with, or disorders they have no control over. Why should that affect the care that people receive? We don't have a choice in these matters, it's all up to our genetics. Yes, sometimes diseases can be caused by our actions, like lung cancer, but many of the "pre-existing conditions" are out of people's control.

Not only are people of all ages affected, but parents of newborns with these conditions are suddenly forced to face the consequences of paying more for their child's health insurance, on top of the sheer costs of having a child. All of this talk about "pre-existing conditions" just perpetuates labels, and further makes an "other" category for people in society who are facing hardships and suffering. We should help these people, not force them to deal with their problems in an even more isolated way.

Who are we to judge someone based on something they're born with and have no choice about? Being able to judge someone because of a condition they are born with make it that much easier to judge them on a more personal level. We're all different, and instead of letting those differences divide us, we should try and let them connect us and learn from each other.

I obviously have a lot of thoughts about this, so I made a slam poem about it. This is my first one I've ever made, and I'm loosely calling it a "slam" poem since I still needed to look off of a paper for a lot of it! I didn't have time to memorize it before I had a chance to film, but since I really wanted to get the video up, I went ahead and used the paper for reference. If you want to watch the video, you can do so below! I hope you enjoy!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Why I'm Happy I Didn't Join a Sorority

Happy Friday! It's actually a pretty nice day here in Seattle, so it's starting to feel like Spring! I really need to get some good vitamin D soon, because all of this rain and cloudy weather is seriously making me feel so blah.

As this year is coming to a close, I was reflecting back on what this time was like during my senior year of high school, and what all has happened these past three years at college. I found myself talking to my friends the other day about Greek life, and I remembered the decision I was struggling to make just three years ago, about whether to join a sorority or not. Since I've never talked about it on my blog, I decided today I would do just that! I feel like a lot of bloggers out there are really involved in Greek life, and that's great! I just wanted to bring a new perspective to the table, and show people that it isn't the only option in college, and that you can still find really great friends and a wonderful place to fit in.

When I went to the "accepted students tour" at the University of Washington, I saw that there was a panel on Greek life (basically, sororities and fraternities). I was interested about it and read further about all of the sororities on campus. I had never really thought about rushing before, and I had just assumed that I would find a roommate and live in the dorms. I had never really had any exposure to Greek life; my family doesn't have some long line of being in a certain sorority, and none of my friends who had gone onto college had ended up joining sororities.  The idea of having a group of girls you could be close with sounded really great to me, so I started to think about possibly rushing.

A couple of girls in my orientation group had decided they were definitely going to rush. We were all on the same level, though, and none of us had joined sororities. They were nice, and we quickly became friends. They were fully consumed in wanting to rush, and were extremely excited to find their sorority. The prospect of living in a house with upwards of forty girls didn't scare them, like it did me. At the time of my orientation I had already been talking to my future roommate on the roommate finder app my school had (it was seriously like online dating!), so I was pretty sure I was going to live in a dorm.

Still, though, a little part of me wanted to rush and join a sorority. I don't have any sisters, so I thought it would be cool to experience what that was like. However, I am an introvert, and the idea of living with a ton of girls, and having to be energetic and sociable didn't appeal to me. It seemed a little overwhelming the sheer amount of events sororities hold, and a lot of work as well. I like alone time, and peace and quiet when I get stressed out, and I didn't think I would get that in a house full of girls.

I thought a lot about the possibility of rushing throughout orientation; I met a lot of different girls with a lot of different opinions about rushing. By the end of orientation, I decided I didn't want to rush, and my friends who did quickly lost contact with me. I don't hold any grudges about that, our lives are very different, and we made other friends with similar interests. It was a little disappointing that they decided they didn't want to remain friends with me once the school year started, just because I wouldn't be involved in Greek life.

When I got to school in September, I had so many mixed feelings. I was upset about leaving my family (especially my dogs!) for an extended amount of time, since I never had before, but I was also really excited to finally have some freedom. Ultimately, I'm really glad I was able to go through these emotions in a dorm room with my one roommate, instead of a giant house filled with a lot of noise and other people.

The dorms were quiet at first - people were nervous to open their doors and interact with others when it was their first day of college. That nervousness was broken, however, with a night of Cards Against Humanity in the lounge. We all got to know each other, and I made friends I'm still close with today - I actually met my boyfriend that night even though we wouldn't go on to date until December of 2016! Dorms most made me nervous because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make friends or that people would be really closed off. My floor was the opposite, though, and a lot of us kept our doors open most of the time so we could all hang out. We all quickly became close, and I found girl friends who I could talk to and spent most of my time with. I had found the connections I wanted from a sorority, without going through all of the other factors I had no interest in.

My experience not joining a sorority has been great; I have found great friends, and joined clubs that allow me to be as social as I want to be, and I'm so happy I lived in the dorms for the first two years for college. There is absolutely nothing wrong with joining a sorority if you think that's what you want, but if you're wanting to make friends in college, it definitely is not the only option out there. Don't let what your friends are doing influence you, it isn't bad not to join one.

What's your take on Greek life vs. dorm life?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)