What I'm Loving: March 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

  1. Friday Night Lights and Don't Trust the B---- In Apartment 23. Pretty much just Netflix in general. I put on my big girl panties and bought myself my own account instead of mooching off of my cousin. Since then, I've been binge-watching television shows and pouring my free time into movies on movies. I finished Don't Trust the B---- over Spring Break and the week following. The second I finished that, I hopped right in Friday Night Lights and I'm still making my way through season 2. If you've seen that show, please tell me that you love Tim Riggins as much as I do.
  2. Divergent. I did a whole blog post on how much I loved this book, but to emphasize how much I did, I would like to reiterate that I started this book at around 10:30 PM and did not put it down again until 1:30 AM when I finished it.
  3. Spring time nail and lip colors colors. I've switched out all of my winter nail polishes for my spring shades, and let me tell you, nothing has made me this happy in weeks. That's a lie, but I really am delighted by the amounts of pastels and brighter colors sitting in their box (coordinated by color and brand, of course).
  4. My new Kate Spade bag. I treated myself to the major sale Kate Spade was having online in February and got myself two new treats: the Call to Action "Play the Field" Terry and the matching Gia clutch. The bigger of the two items has been my saving grace. I use this bag as my schoolbag and it is so much easier than carrying a purse AND book bag. It's an adorable one stop shop.
  5. Tarte's Dollface Blush. In addition to switching out all of my winter nail polishes, I've also substituted winter blushes for my brighter spring shades. This one by Tarte is my personal favorite. It's a universally flattering pink and even has the stamp of approval from my mother who isn't the biggest fan of makeup and my spending habits.
  6. 5 Seconds of Summer. This is less of a March favorite and more of an ongoing favorite since the summer (unintentional pun). Regardless, I've been listening to these Aussie charmers a bunch this month. I'm sure my roommates could attest to this based on the amount that I belt their tunes in the shower. 

What I Miss About High School (And What I Don’t)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

There was a time when I hated everything about high school. I hated my uniform, I hated my hair, I hated the morons I was in classes with. I hated having to read really bad books and pretend that I cared about Geometry. I was just generally an unhappy person, and I took it out on high school. To say it was the root of all of my problems would be a lie made up by an unhappy girl with bad skin and bangs.

Later in my high school career, something clicked in me and I started to enjoy getting up (well, sort of) to go see my friends and my favorite teachers. I started liking the books I was reading and found the people I used to think were morons amusing. High school was what you made of it, and when I started wanting to enjoy it, I did. Now that I am in college, I miss the way my routine was set up less than a year ago.

Wearing a uniform, or dress code, is something that I miss. Picking out an outfit every morning is exhausting and stressful. Wearing jeans every day is uncomfortable and irritating. I miss wearing dresses and skirts and not having to squeeze into pants every morning.

I miss my classes of 20-something people. As much as I like being under the radar in my bigger lecture halls, I miss teachers knowing my name and feeling comfortable enough to answer a question without having 100+ people listening. I have classes in college with a small amount of people. Heck, I have classes that are half the size as ones that I had at my small high school. Those classes make me feel a little less on edge.

Being able to afford to miss a day of school is something that I miss. If I needed a mental health day, I could take one in high school. But now I feel guilty missing classes, no matter the situation. I had to skip a class last semester so I could catch a bus home for a long weekend. I felt awful for doing so and made up the class a couple days before I left. You pay for every single class and a lot of money, at that. It's painful to watch all of that money go down the drain just because you didn't go to class. It makes everything a little more stressful when you can't take those extra few hours to sort out your life. Sigh, I suppose that's what weekends are for.

I miss playing sports. I miss the bond between my soccer team and tanning at softball practice instead of listening to coach. I miss the feeling of winning and the amusement I got out of having completely defeated seasons.

At the same time, I don't miss gym class and frockey. I don't miss eating the same thing for lunch every day and having to deal with the lack of heat in the school when it felt like winter for a majority of the year. As much fun as I had making jokes about my softball team, I do not miss losing every game and putting all of the blame on myself. I don't miss my nails breaking every time I pitched a ball. I don't miss the leaky ceilings or religion classes. And I most certainly do not miss the girl I was at the beginning of high school.

Why I Can’t Watch Movies & Why My Favorite Movies are So Special

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I am the absolute worst when it comes to watching movies. I find it hard to sit that long without getting up and walking around or chatting. I get jittery and yes, I am the type of person who talks during movies. It is incredibly hard to see something bizarre and not make some sort of comment about it. I like to add in silly commentary to amuse myself more than anything.

Needless to say, I don't go to the movies very often and I don't watch that many movies. I prefer binge-watching television shows on Netflix over dedicating a couple hours to a movie that I have to watch all the way through.

Before I came to college, I acquired quite a few DVDs from the $5 racks in Target because I told myself that I was going to have a lot of free time on the weekends and would need something to keep me occupied if I ran out of books or magazines to read. I had about four DVDs to my name before I raided those cheap movie racks at Target. The original four were Mean Girls, Juno, The Devil Wears Prada, and 13 Going On 30. I typically only buy books and movies that I've already read/seen and enjoyed. The only time I go out on a whim and buy something I've never experienced myself, it's because they were dirt cheap and I couldn't turn them down.

Finding a movie that I truly like is practically a miracle. That means that one thing has completely captured my attention for those couple hours. Picking out my favorite movie is much easier than trying to choose a favorite band (I don't have one, there are too many), but choosing my top 5 is tough. So why not try to do it?
  1. Moneyball. This is, hands down, my favorite movie of all time. I saw it five times before I bought it (God bless Starz On Demand for playing it pretty much every day over the summer) and have watched it at least ten times since. I love this movie more than I love my blush collection, and that is saying something.
  2. How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. This movie is pretty much why I want to be a journalist. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life until I saw this. Now when people ask what the hell I am thinking, I just tell them to watch this movie and another one of my favorites. 
  3. 13 Going On 30. This is the second movie that helped me decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. This movie makes me laugh and cry and make me want to hug my parents forever.
  4. Clueless. Young Paul Rudd. That's all you need to know about this. Oh, and as if
  5. This Is Us. Okay, this fifth one is more like a wild card sort of thing. Currently, it is One Direction's This Is Us documentary. I can't help it, those British boys and the lone Irishman just speak directly into my soul. I love them. 
Anyone else have difficult focusing for that long on something? What are you Top 5 favorites?

How To Save Money

Friday, March 28, 2014

As a college student with loans looming over my head and (currently) no stable income, saving money where I can really helps me out in the long run. There are a few things that I've tried to do in a desperate attempt to save myself a few dollars.

  1. Buy Tazo Tea (or any tea) from the stores. I just used Tazo as an example because I know that this what Starbucks uses and I go there the most often. Whether you're going to Coffee Bean, or another chain/local café, it adds up if you go regularly. I buy myself a box of Tazo's Passion Tea and Zen green tea for around 4 dollars. I'll brew up a few bags in a pitcher and throw it in the fridge so it's cold. I usually mix the teas with lemonade and voila, you have my favorite Spring/Summer/Early Fall drink. If you get a Passion Tea Lemonade from Starbucks, it could range from about $2-4 depending on the size and your location. If you get one, say every day for a month (30 days), you're spending anywhere between $60-120. That's a whole lot of money you could be saving right there. Even cutting down to having it three or four times a week will cut out a little bit of spending.
  2. Spotify and 8tracks. Apparently I'm one of the only fools who still likes to buy her music rather than finding a download link somewhere online. If you remember purchasing music, you'd know that it gets to be pretty expensive, especially if you love it as much as I do. I've had to slow down my purchasing and now rely on Spotify for a huge library of any music you could ever imagine. I also like using 8tracks and finding people's playlists. It allows for a lot of new music to be introduced to you. Plus, it's fun to see what other people are listening to and enjoying!
  3. Netflix. I know, I know, Netflix is not free. But $7.99 a month is a lot cheaper than renting a bunch of movies or going to the movie theater multiples times. And I'm pretty sure no one wants to dole out that much money to buy the entire series or seasons of shows that are on Netflix.
  4. Make a piggy bank. Or in my case, use an actual piggy bank. It may seem slightly elementary, but throwing in your change or some loose single bills that you have adds up eventually. I emptied mine about every two months and ended up with anywhere between $20-30. Once, I let it go for over a year and when I rolled all of my change and counted my bills, I had a little shy of $90. It all adds up eventually, and if it secured you are less likely to pluck some spare money from it.
  5. Go on a makeup, clothes, etc… buying ban. I had to put myself on a makeup buying ban, excluding necessities like foundation, concealer, and face powder as I go through those a lot faster than my extensive collection of blushes and lipsticks. When I buy makeup, I don't buy a little here and a little there. I go nuts and drop more than $50 a trip on products that I know I don't need. I haven't purchased anything new since the beginning of December (excluding, as I said, the necessities) and it has been hard, but I know it's for the best.

Is It Possible To Stay Active In College?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

When I say active, I don't mean sexually active (though what you do with your body is none of my damn business). I'm talking blood, sweat, and tears. Alright, that didn't really help my case, now did it? Rewind to the title. Is it possible to stay healthy and active in college? Yes! But, it isn't going to come easy.

Once college starts, even if you're living at home still, everything changes. You're not on that 8-2:30 schedule anymore with extracurriculars and the same amount of homework every night. College is extremely unpredictable. You can go four weeks without having any major assignments and then all of a sudden, you get a pile of work that it up to your ceiling and you have to get it done in one night. Talk about a buzzkill. It's easy to stress eat and spend a lot of your free time focusing on work, or using that extra free time to scroll through Netflix and watch The Office in its entirety. It's even harder when you're living in the dorms or on your own in an apartment. Cafeteria food isn't the best and if your university doesn't have many other options in its Student Center or in the other buildings, then you're SOL. Over-eating or just not eating well comes easily. Junk food is infinitely cheaper than fresh produce or healthy snacks. And sometimes you just want to eat an entire pizza by yourself because you can.

The first step to staying healthy in college is to want to be healthy. If you don't want it, you won't work hard for it. A lot of people say they're going to eat well or diet or whatever they so desire, but the drive is not always there. You need the drive to succeed with it. If you feel like you're accomplishing something then what you're eating will make you feel good and not like you've just eaten dirt.

Aside of eating healthy, exercise is key. My school has a new recreation center with a lot of nice equipment and an indoor track, but my dorm also has a small fitness center in the basement. I prefer going to the fitness center in my dorm because there are less people (I'm usually the only one in there when I go, aside from my friend who goes with me) around to observe. My school had one of those "confessions" twitter pages and I swear half of them were guys talking about girls doing squats or girls in sports bras and it was just very uneasy. I don't need to be over sexualized while I'm working out. That's just plain degrading.

Having a friend, or a few friends, workout with you gives you more motivation to do it. I know when I go by myself I get bored easily. I like to compete, in the most friendly way possible. It's nice to feed off of each other's energy and have someone there who you have something in common with.

If your school does not have a gym and you don't have a membership to a local one near your home, don't worry. Never fear, Pinterest is here! I have a whole board dedicated to workouts that you can do in your room without any equipment. My personal favorites are the 30-Day Challenges because they keep you on a routine and make you want to work toward that 30-Day goal. I liked doing the 30-Day Squat Challenge the best, but there are a tone out there.  There are also a whole lot of YouTube videos that are whole workouts or challenges that can kick your butt. My personal favorites are Tone It Up and Blogilates.

So yes, it is possible to stay fit and active in college as long as you are willing to make time for it and put the effort forward. It's not all about what happens to your outward appearance, either. Being healthy makes you feel great on the inside as well. Sorry to be one of those people who raves about being healthy. In my defense, I'm not the healthiest person in the world. I drink my tea with loads of sugar and I currently have two pints of ice cream in my freezer with my name on it. You don't have to fully immerse yourself into clean eating and living. Have some fruit and veggies every day and maybe skip out on pizza a few days a week. Sometimes the little things are what make you feel the best.

How I Chose My University

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It's getting to the time of year where seniors begin picking which colleges they plan on going to come Fall. I went through this tough (ugh, tough is an understatement) decision almost a year ago on the dot. Choosing where you want to go to school is not something that most people come by easily. Even if you have that dream school that seems to trump all others, things may not always turn out like you wanted them to.

The first thing you want to do when even looking at schools is figuring out if you want to stay at home and commute, stay close to home but dorm, or go away to school. Since this is about how I chose my university, the clear option for me was go away to school. All of the schools that I looked at were over three and a half hours away. I considered schools in the Midwest (Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois), New York (around NYC), Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. From my home, most of them were anywhere between 6-9 hours away (with the exception of the university that I ended up choosing) and that was all depending on traffic.

Out of the 10 universities that I considered, I ended up applying to 6 of them. I made sure to apply to at least one state school (in New York, they're SUNY schools) as a safe choice incase everything went horribly wrong with my application process. I got my applications in around Thanksgiving of 2012 and played the waiting game until my first letter arrived in early January of 2013. The feeling that you get when you receive your first big envelope is indescribable, really. It's one burst of confidence, that's for sure.

I liked something about every school I applied to, but I had that one dream school that I had been drooling over since 8th grade. EIGHTH GRADE. That's a pretty long time to be dreaming about a college. I was really excited to fill out the application and I spent a lot of extra time doing the extra essays for it, making sure they were perfect. This school was everything I thought I wanted and more. I knew from the start that it was a difficult school to get into, but I was praying that my test scores and GPA were up to that school's standards.

Come late February, I had received all of my letters except for my dream school. I was getting worried, but I told myself that nothing was wrong. They probably had a lot of applicants to sort through. Some odd weeks later, I got a letter from them. Not a big, manilla sized envelope. A regular old one with nothing special about it. I didn't even want to open it, but I did. I remember crying a lot and thanking God that I was home alone. I threw the letter that told me I was wait listed in the trash and told myself that there was still a chance that I could get it, even though I knew there wasn't. Sure enough, a few weeks later I had gotten my official rejection letter and cried even more. I was set on this college since the 8th grade and I wasn't admitted. I felt pretty worthless for a while, despite getting accepted to my five other colleges and getting some pretty nice scholarships. None of that really mattered because they weren't for my dream school.

Around the end of March, I came around and pushed my rejection to the back of my mind. I still told everyone I got into all of my schools, a little embarrassed by my rejection despite it being a difficult school to get into in the first place. I liked my five choices for different reasons. One had the nicest dorms and was the most affordable, one was a state school, another was close to NYC (aka my favorite place on Earth), one had a great location in Boston, and the other had the best program for my major. If you're lucky enough to find a school that you love everything about, take it and run with it. Because I was left with five schools that I liked, but didn't think I loved.

To make a decision, I went through a few steps.

  • Pros and Cons list. I know it's totally a Ted Mosby thing, but this was by far the best thing I could have done. I made myself a T-Chart for each school and started dishing out the advantages and disadvantages of each school. Never be afraid of a pro or con being silly. I'm not even going to joke, I had squirrels on one of my pros list. I didn't want to go to a city school where I couldn't see animals other than birds living on campus.
    • Some things you might want to consider for your list: Dorms and their amenities, food on and off campus, parking, whether freshmen can have cars on campus, distance to public transportation, weather, the area of the school (is there anything to do on the weekends within walking distance? Driving distance?), laundry services, fitness center availability, prices for instate and out-of-state tuition, and most importantly, your program.
  • Talk to your parents/family members. My dad stayed local for school and my mom went away to school for her first year of undergrad, came back home for her last three years, then went away again for law school. Your college decision is your choice, but it never hurts to get a second opinion from your parents. My mom knew that I wasn't really interested in the two schools in New York and really helped talk me through the decision between the Boston schools and Cleveland. If it wasn't for my parents, I probably wouldn't have ended up where I did and I think that I would have been miserable any other way.
  • Ignored my friend's plans. This is in no way to be offensive. I love my friends dearly (Hi guys, if you're reading right now), which is why I knew that no matter where I went to school, we would remain friends. I didn't want to let it get in the way of choosing my schools because I was afraid of going too far away. If your friends are true friends, your friendship will withstand any distance. 
    • This can go for boyfriends/girlfriends/significant others. The amount of times I heard people wanting to go to school where their boyfriends were going made me want to stick my hand in hot lava. A romantic relationship should not determine where you go to college and start the first step of the rest of your life. Your education is more important than a relationship. You can argue it all you want, but my opinion will remain the same.
Through this whole decision process, I just want you to remember that it is YOUR decision. Not your parents, not your friends, not your great aunt twice removed. You are going to be the person attending classes for four years (or even more!) at that university, not anyone else. Best of luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!

College Getaways

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Being in college is stressful. Every college student will tell you that, and if they don't, then they are clearly lying about being enrolled in college and you should probably follow their car in the morning to see where they're really going. You have mounds of work to accomplish in short periods of time. You might have to work to pay for your education. You want to keep your social life in tact. The fact of the matter is that when you're in school, you have serious responsibilities that can drag you down. Add onto that living with strangers and not having a second of private time to yourself, and you'll want to cry. But never fear, there are ways that you can get away of the stresses from school and your roommates.
  1. Go for a walk! Go for a run! Just get out of your dorm/apartment as long as the weather is nice. I love getting out and walking down to the waterfront. As long as it's sunny and above freezing, you can find me sitting on the steps near the lake reading and listening to music.
  2. People watching is one of my favorite things to do when I have free time. I'll sit on my window sill and watch people come in and out of the buildings. My favorite way to people watch is to sit out in front of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The people who go there and take pictures out front are always so happy. When the weather is really nice, people get their wedding photos done. Earlier in the fall, I once witnessed three different wedding parties getting their pictures taken in front of the Hall of Fame and it made my heart warm.
  3. Go out and get yourself a coffee. Curl up in the corner of a Starbucks or your local coffee shop with a book or magazine of your liking. Sometimes just getting out of your room for a while is enough to clear your head.
  4. Work out in your fitness center. If the weather isn't nice enough for you to walk outside, go blow some steam off in the weight room on a treadmill or do some sit-ups or maybe yoga is more your thing.
The key is to just escape from the confines of your room for a little bit. Even an hour away from your work and stress at your home can be your saving grace. Contrary to popular belief, you are allowed to take breaks in college. It is not a constant stream of reading text books, finishing lab reports, writing papers, and cramming for your exams. It's original intent was not to stress the living daylights out of students just trying to further their education. 

If you want a few minutes to yourself to just relax, then take those few minutes. You'll feel better in the long run. Trust me on this one.

Why Was I Afraid of Liquid Liner For So Long?

Monday, March 24, 2014

If you asked me a few months ago my opinion on liquid liner, I would have automatically burst into tears and dug a spoon into a fresh pint of Ben and Jerry's. Liquid eyeliner was an art that I could not quite master no matter how many times I tried and accidentally made myself look like a panda. There are only so many lines you can draw all over your eyelid before you give up on something and deem it a hopeless cause.

For Christmas, a dear friend gave me a set of mascaras and eyeliners. Inside was a liquid eyeliner pen that I glared at for a few minutes before putting it back and wondering who would find a use for it. The next day I looked at it again and decided to use it just for fun. What could be the harm in it? Stab myself in the eye and go blind for the rest of my life? Small price to pay for experimentation.

The first time I used it, I royally fudged it up. It looked like my eighty-something year old grandfather had gotten sick of my fear of liquid eyeliner and took matters into his own hands. Truly a terrible look for me. I wiped my mess off and tried again. This time only one side looked a little wonky. Sure enough, after the tenth time I got my lines to be semi-even and not entirely wonky. I grew to love my eyeliner pen and I know that the day it dries out, I will have a memorial service for it. That's how much I love it now.

Liquid eyeliner pens save me so much time. Before, I used a dark eyeshadow as a powder liner, but that always faded after a few hours of wear and took a while to make opaque. Gel eyeliner took a while  to make a thick enough line. But, with the convenience of the eyeliner pen, I got a thick, decently lasting line that took mere seconds.

What's your favorite way to apply eyeliner?

What To Do While Your Nails Dry

Sunday, March 23, 2014

If you enjoy the thirty minutes to three hour time of pure stress that follows after putting on the final coat of nail polish, you are not human or are fortunate enough to have a very great manicurist at your fingertips (literally). Everybody knows that those few hours of being extra careful not to mess up your freshly painted are truly just awful. You are basically held hostage by your wet nails. Even if you think they are dry, they're not. Smudging your nails feels like you just lost one of your children to a freak accident. It's just not a good feeling.

In order to maintain a smooth manicure, you have to be extremely careful until you are confident that your nails have actually dried. This means you must adapt all of your normal activities to cater to your wet nails. There are a few things that you can do to most definitely keep your nail polish from smudging while simultaneously making them dry faster.

  1. Lay down with your palms down and be careful not to move at all. Basically, play charades by yourself in which you are acting out "corpse".
  2. Swing your hands around wildly. The more windmill like you are, the better.
  3. Steal every hairdryer on the floor of your dorm and point the nozzle at your nails. You may need help setting them all up and getting them into the power strips.
  4. Stand on a stool and hold your nails up to the register blowing out heat or air conditioning, depending on where you live and what the temperature is outside.
  5. Hire people to blow on your nails while you catch up on Parks and Recreation
  6. Give up and curl up into a ball as you sob about how your future is going to be doomed if you cannot even stop yourself from smudging your nail polish. Consume a lot of food as you emotional eat your way through a week's worth of groceries.

Why I Am Extremely Defensive About My Favorite Bands And Don’t Want To Share Them With Anybody (Not Even You, Mom)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A while back, a friend texted me out of the blue and asked if I was protective over the music and bands that I liked. At first, I assumed she meant defensive in the sense that if somebody poked fun at a band I liked, I would argue back and take the side of said band. She then clarified and said that she was referring to when you talk about a band with someone and all of a sudden, they adore them as well. We both agreed that it really bothered us sometimes, and we have no clue why.

I'd like to think of myself as someone with good music taste (don't we all?). Finding new music is a hobby for me, something that brings me great joy. I had, and still have to some degree, this obsessive tendency that when I found a new artist, I had to listen to everything they ever released. I'd listen to their EPs, full-length albums, live performances, interviews, the whole lot. I wanted to know everything about them, partially because I was legitimately interested, and partially because I wanted everybody to know how knowledgeable I was about so many different artists. I thought that knowing all this extensive information about all of these diverse artists was going to make people think I was interesting. In retrospect, I probably sounded like a snob.

The problem was, I couldn't help myself! I was unstoppable. I'd peruse playlists searching endlessly for new music. I would Google the opening acts at concerts I had seen the second I got home, or even on the drive back after the concert. I bought CDs that I listened to once. I became obsessed with being a human iTunes library, needing to absorb more and more music. It got a little out of hand at some points, but it made me happy. Music has always made me happy.

In addition to thinking that I have good taste in music, I like to think that I have a knack for finding bands right before they make it big. I don't know if it's just good luck, or if I purposely seek out incredibly talented musicians just so I can say that "I liked them before they were famous/on the radio/screwing that person". Whatever it may be, it has happened a few times and every single time, without a fail, I need to make it known to everyone within a fifty-foot radius of me that I liked them before anyone else. It irritates me to no end when other people do it, and yet I make excuses for myself.

I still do crazy things like this! I make sure that if I start liking a band, I tweet their lyrics constantly, or at least tweet about them. It's like I need to call dibs on them just incase someone else starts liking them. I need to be the superior fan all of the time. How annoying is that?

It's not that I don't want these artists that I adore to have no new fans. If people want to like them, then that's fine. I just need for them to know that I was here first. It's so childish and petty, but having friends obsess over someone that I introduced them to physically affects me. I get angry and sulk. I get defensive and start bragging a bit. It's not something that I'm proud of, but it is also something that I don't see myself getting over. I'm stubborn and will perpetually be stuck in the state of mind that I am a trailblazer.

I Hate The Cold More Than I Hate My Period

Friday, March 21, 2014

I love fall. Autumn is my favorite season by far. At the beginning, it's still warm enough to wear a light sweater and those cute flats that aren't practical enough for winters up North. The middle and end of fall is when you can break out your riding boots and corduroys, maybe even your adorable coat without having it buttoned up to your neck. Then the weather suffers a drastic change around mid-November, a not-so-graceful transition into the longest season of the year (at least where I come from and where I'm currently living).

Don't get me wrong, chunky sweaters and lots of layers are cute for a while. Snow is pretty from Christmastime to a little past new years. I don't particularly like snow when it's my Spring Break and I get snowed in at my house. I don't like that I still have to wear 4 layers to just grab lunch with some friends. I don't need to be weary fuzzy socks anymore!

It's easy to say that I am so over winter and cannot wait to jump head first into Spring. These are some of the items that I'm most looking forward to in Spring.

  1. Hunter rain boots
  2. J. Crew Colorblock Anorak 
  3. Ray-Ban Original Wayfayer Classic
  4. Essie's Spring 2014 Collection
  5. Benefit's Lollitint
  6. J. Crew Chambray Shirtdress (similar)
  7. Capri Espadrille Maise in 'Painterly Lemons' 
  8. Printed ballet flats

I Am Selfish. I Am Brave.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Divergent has been getting a lot of hype for a while now. With the premiere date of the movie creeping in (tomorrow, eek!), I felt like I had to get in on the action. And boy, am I glad that I did.

When I was home last week, I decided, on a whim, to pick up Divergent. I liked The Hunger Games series and Harry Potter, but other than that, I am not super into dystopian/science-y books. The few other dystopian novels that I've read, I didn't enjoy. It's not to say that I hated those types of books, I just hadn't read enough of them to form an opinion on them. Since Divergent (the book, and series) had so many people raving about it, especially people whose opinions I trust, I picked up only the first book. That was my first mistake. I should have bought the box set.

Tuesday, around 5:30 while I was waiting for my water to boil for my pasta, I decided to pick up the book and read a few pages. A few pages turned into about 50. I read while I ate my dinner and considered taking it down to the fitness center with me. I decided against that, setting the book down for the half an hour or so that I was gone. When I got back to my room, I showered and started watching my television shows for the night (Pretty Little Liars and Twisted. Side note: What in the hell happened on PLL? So nuts!) After they were over at around 10, I came back into my room and looked at the closed book on my desk. I did a few things on my social media sites and decided to pick the book back up to read a few chapters before I started doing some schoolwork. That was my second mistake.

A few chapters turned into the entire book. I sat in my bed from 10:30PM until, approximately, 1:45 AM reading Divergent. I didn't take a water break. I didn't stop to check Twitter or Instagram. I was completely enveloped by the story. As much as I love reading and some of the books that I've read over the past few years, no book has truly captivated me as much as Paper Towns by John Green did back in summer between 8th and 9th grade. These two books are the only ones that I've read in entire sittings without even thinking to stop for something.

I was attached to the characters and each of their stories, even if some were awful people. Tris reflected parts of myself that I didn't even know existed. The plot kept unfolding and I had to clasp my hand over my mouth to keep myself from making comments out loud and potentially waking up my roommate. I always roll my eyes when I see reviews saying that you can't put the book down, blah, blah, blah. In Divergent's case, I see why. It is, no doubt, a page turner. It is addicting and just a truly great story. I have told at least a dozen people since finishing it that they have to read it immediately.

Unfortunately, I can't see the movie until I go home for Easter (crossing my fingers that it will still be out). My local movie theater is hosting an International Film Festival for the rest of March and the regular movies won't start showing until the beginning of April. So that's a major bummer, but that just makes me even more excited to see it.

Have you read Divergent? If you haven't, are you going to see the movie?

I Think My Roommate Is Trying To Kill Me

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Chances are that at some point in your life, you are going to have a roommate. Whether it be in the dorms at university or your first apartment. If you go through your entire life without a roommate, I would accuse you of being a liar. With roommates comes new challenges and feelings that you never thought possible. I came from a home where I had my own room and privacy from age six until I moved out before I went away to school. Even when I come home I still have my own bedroom to go back to, as I have not yet been completely replaced (though my parents often joke about getting a foreign exchange student to replace my presence in the house).

Some people choose to room with their friends, and some decide to go in completely blindly and hope that their Residence Life staff at their college does a decent job. Where I was going to school, I knew absolutely no one and therefore could not request a roommate. Instead, I filled out a little survey and fact sheet, saying whether I was a night-owl or morning person (Answer: both), what my study habits were, and some of my hobbies and interests, including my major and whatnot. About two months before I left for school, I got an e-mail telling me who was my roommate and who were my two suitemates. All we got was each other's names, where we were from, an e-mail, and if we were lucky, a cell phone number. That's it.

In my case, one of my suitemates decided not to live on campus anymore and about two weeks later, we got a new letter in the mail and e-mail letting us know about the newest addition to our suite. We communicated via e-mail about general interests and who was going to bring what to the room. Other than that, we were four strangers planning to move in together at the end of August. It sounds scary because, for me, it was. I was terrified that they were going to think I was this horrendously weird girl who did not know how to shut up and sang too loudly in the shower and cared too much about what she looked like. On another hand, I had tried to look up the three girls on social media to find out more about what they were like. I found two of the girls, one of them being my roommate. Her Facebook profile was full of, erm, darker interests. The music she liked was heavy, the authors she liked were morbid and depressing, and her profile picture was two slices of bacon, a cute play-on to those equality pictures that a lot of users had for a while. Needless to say, I was absolutely terrified to meet her on move-in day. I was half-expecting Lola Martinez from Zoey 101 (remember when she pretended to be a goth girl?) to be sitting on her bed, doing blood sacrifices and burning incense.  My mind likes to wander to the worst places sometimes.

I no longer anxiously awaited move-in day and instead felt scared and nauseous. Let me just tell you now that I was worrying for no reason. Sometimes Facebook can be dangerous when it comes to learning more about someone else. I still have not asked my roommate about her Facebook page and it hasn't come up in conversation either.

Roommates can be tough. You may not get along, or you may get along fabulously. My suitemates and I get along wonderfully. My roommate and I have our differences. We do not fight, but I prefer sitting in silence than chatting with her. And sometimes that is going to happen. There are ways to deal with it, some more proper than others.

Do not verbally fight. It's not worth it, and it will only make things more awkward and tense between you two. Plenty of girls on my floor yell and scream at each other (hell, even the guys do!) over silly matters and it a. annoys the entire floor because the walls are paper thin b. is usually resolvable by a civil conversation.

Leave the room if you are annoyed with something your roommate is doing. I will usually go out into the living room in the off chance that my roommate is actually home and is, for lack of better words, annoying the shit out of me. If you don't have a living room at your dorm, maybe the library, study room, or gym is an option. Headphones were also invented for noisy and irritating roommates, I think. In all seriousness, some loud tunes will drown out them asking their father to do their physics homework for them at midnight.

At the end of the day, you just have to remember that they're only your roommate temporarily. Think of them as a lesson that you have to learn.  You need to learn how to tolerate others, share a small space, and practice self-control as smothering them in the middle of the night when they tell you that your music is too loud even when your headphones are in. Wait, what?

Winter Coat Woes

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I don't know where you are from, but where I am from and where I'm currently living, winter hogs up about half of the year. Even when it gets warm, it doesn't last for very long before a cold front comes in and ruins absolutely everything. People are stuck in their winter coats for a good portion of the year, and those who get fed up with the weather and brave the chilling winds usually give up after a few minutes in the blistering cold. There are no real winners in this situation.

If you are a fortunate person who lives in a place where it is generally warm all the time, I am mad at you. No, don't leave. Come back. I was joking! What we have is real! 

In all seriousness, who else is sick and tired of having to wear multiple layers and heavy jackets? And the boots. Dear Lord, I love riding boots with every fiber of my being, but if I have to zip those suckers up multiple times a day for any longer, I might go insane. 

Let's all sign a petition to end winter, effective immediately. Deal or no deal?

My Life in Photos, Vol. 2

I am usually very determined to make my life seem more interesting via social media, especially with Instagram. If I'm out and about, I have the uncontrollable need to snap a picture of something, think of a pointless caption that usually consists of too many relevant emojis, and slap a filter on so people know that I don't just stay in bed all day reading and studying (only for ten hours out of the day, duh).

  1. Waiting to catch a bus after the Parachute concert. The wait ended up being too long so my friend and I braved the 20 block walk back to the dorms. It was easily the worst decision we've ever made. Downtown Cleveland looks nice when it's frozen, though.
  2. It doesn't snow a whole heck of a lot when I'm at school, but when it does, it's miserable. I was severely unamused by the weather this day.
  3. Modern Vampires of the City vinyl celebrating Vampire Weekend's Grammy win.
  4. A typical weekend night: ice cream, a good book, and some tunes. Truth be told, I was only reading Anne Frank's diary to figure out if she was a Belieber or not. It wasn't explicitly said, but I'm thinking that the answer is "no". 
  5. Snapped a shot of my favorite building downtown coming back from the west side after my suite mate got her tattoo.
  6. I went to Chicago and ended up going to the top of the Sears/Willis Tower. And yes, I did totally sit on those glass observation rooms and yes I did nearly pee my pants when I realized how high up I was. 
  7. My ode to Jimmy Fallon (and The Beatles) above my bed. 
  8. I badgered my mom for a waffle maker and she surprised me with one when I came home from Spring Break. Nothing like waffles and Lilly Pulitzer on a Saturday morning.
  9. I went to Niagara Falls, NY and enjoyed the frozen scenery. It was bitterly cold the day I went but so worth it.
  10. My dog, Cash (like Johnny), is really bad at folding laundry.
  11. Catching up on some reading and putting our new smoothie blender to work. Gotta love lazy Saturday mornings
  12. It's never too late for a venti iced coffee. 9 o'clock is my favorite time to catch up on my favorite blogs. The College Prepster will always be one of my favorites. 

Knock Out

Monday, March 17, 2014

Vest: J. Crew  (on sale!)
Sweatshirt: Urban Outfitters (old)
Shirt: Target (old)
Jeans: American Eagle
Boots: Ralph Lauren (similar)
Necklace: gift (similar)
Lipstick: Party Parrot (LE) from MAC (Impassioned is similar)

I essentially live out of my brother's closet when I'm home for breaks because I never bring enough clothes home and his clothes are just so darn cozy. I borrowed this Cassius Clay sweatshirt from his closet to throw over my go-to outfit consisting of an excursion vest from J. Crew and my chambray top. I was heading out to lunch with some friends at a local university and wanted to make sure I was nice and warm if we walked outside on campus. Winter has not been treating the Northeast US kindly. Praying for nice weather in the tail end of March!

Why I Can’t Go Out In Public Without Makeup

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The answer: I just simply don't want to. 

I taught myself how to do my makeup at some point during my sophomore year of high school. My mother never wore much more than under eye concealer, pencil eyeliner (sometimes), and the worst mascara you could ever buy. I'm serious, you're better off without it if you're using the kind that she did and sadly still does. This meant that I slowly had to learn, on my own, how to transform my face that was not treated kindly by puberty. I went through about four different foundation shades before I found one that sort of suited my skin tone. I went through dry patches and oily patches, fighting tooth and nail to make my skin look decent. It never did, but at least I felt a little bit better about myself.

Flashforward to now. I like to believe that I can do a decent job when applying my makeup. I have acquired more than an average girl over the years and have practiced and practiced to make myself look presentable for any occasion. I've gotten so used to wearing makeup every day to hide my imperfections that is has just become part of my routine. I get up, wash my face, and then makeup always follows. It's almost automatic at this point in my life. Even if I'm going down to the lobby of my dorm, I have to at least put foundation on. This always poses the question, why can't I go out in public without makeup on? Contrary to the popular belief that I'm trying to put a mask on for the world, I really just don't want to go out in public without something on. And that is my choice that should be respected.

Is it hurting you that I like to make myself look nice? I don't want to confuse beauty with caking makeup on your face. That has nothing to do with it. If I'm going to be out smiling at the world and strutting my stuff, I'd prefer to do it with a little bit of makeup on my face. It's the thing that gives me the most confidence, adding that little extra skip in my step. Does that make me a horrible person? Am I any less intelligent if I have mascara or lipstick on? Does it always have to mean that I'm trying to hide my true self? The answer to all of those is HELL NO.

It's crazy what some people perceive makeup as. I've heard people accuse me of using it as a mask, a deceptive tool to lure in people that wouldn't otherwise like me, a waste of time, something that made me seem vapid and shallow. Hearing those things hurt me. I find it incredibly offense that I can't be my true self if I have foundation on and I can't be taken seriously as an educated and intelligent young woman because I have a little bronzer on my cheeks. I don't think it's fair to be judged for what you put on your face, and inversely, what you don't put on your face.

The moral of the story is to forget what everybody else says about your habits and routines. If you've never worn makeup a day in your life and don't have any intentions on wearing it, good for you. If you just want to wear mascara because your eyelashes are basically invisible, good for you. If you want to wear a full face of makeup on a daily basis, good for you. Maybe we should stop caring so much about the outward appearance others choose to show and focus on being a little more supportive of each other. That would be quite a bit more productive.

My Bang Phase

Saturday, March 15, 2014

We all had one, there is no denying it. Whether you were a four year old wearing the Zooey Deschanel straight-across bangs against your will, or a twelve year old who got a little scissor happy does not matter. My bang phase and the "dark" period of my life are directly correlated. And for as much as I dread remembering my few year stint with bangs, I sure do like to bring it up an awful lot.

In sixth grade, I got sick of my hair being one length with a boring center part sometimes adorned with a really cheap and heinous headband. One day, I experienced ten seconds of pure courage (or maybe that was just stupidity) and took a piece from each side of the part and snipped it off somewhere around me ear. That left me with two awkwardly uneven side bangs (if you could even call them that). Oddly proud of myself, I threw the pieces of hair into the garbage can, smoothed my hair back into a ponytail so my mom would not notice what I had done. The next day at school, my friend at the time saw the disaster I made and tried her best to fix the wonky side bangs I had cut myself the night before. They looked better than before, but if you saw them in person, you'd have to wonder how truly awful they looked before the fix.

Flashforward two years to eighth grade. I was virtually friendless, had terrible style (I still wore Abercrombie, enough said), and to top it all off, my hair reacted poorly to a botched highlighting job that my mom did and turned copper orange the week before school pictures. The same day of the botched dye job, I decided that I wanted bangs because Demi Lovato had bangs. I didn't just want side bangs again. No, I wanted full-on bangs that covered my entire forehead and would cause me years of trauma following. Looking back on this, why did my mother not tell me that bangs would be the worst decision I would ever make in my life? I understand that she wanted me to express myself however I wanted and probable felt bad telling me no, but if you saw these bangs in person, you would wonder the same thing.

I had these bangs until halfway through my sophomore year of high school. They got a little longer and shaggier with time and eventually migrated to the opposite side of my head. It pains me to do this, but I think I may have to insert a collage of my bangs. Only this will truly should how painfully hideous they were.

If you have vomited after viewing such a vile image, I truly apologize. I take full responsibility for any nightmares that may follow as well. 

Bangs just were not for me. I spent three years of my life thinking that I could rock bangs and that I was totally a bangs girl. In reality, I was more of a deep side part, no bangs kind of girl. Maybe someday, if I'm really wasted, I will get bangs again and repeat the cycle. For now, I will keep scissors far away from the hair framing my face.

Have you had any bad experiences with haircuts, whether it be bangs or a bad style? Tell me what your biggest hair regret was in the comments below.

Why I Need To Stop Shopping (And Why I Don’t)

Friday, March 14, 2014

I feel like being a shopaholic is a right of passage when you reach the age of about thirteen or fourteen, spanning until someone pries your credit out of your cold, dead (and perfectly manicured) hands. It is always the same old "It was fate!" or "I needed it!" or "I have nothing like this!". I use these every time I step foot into a store that I know I should keep a distance from (See: J. Crew, especially the Factory store). In reality, it is probably not fate, you probably didn't need it, and you already have six plain white v-neck shirts. But what's one more, right?

As a college student who needs to, you know, buy food, toiletries, and textbooks galore, shopping for unnecessary clothing or beauty purchases is not the smartest move. I have the tendency to use food money for a new shade of red lipstick or a sweater that I would end up wearing once. I get a lecture every time I come home from my mother telling me that I need to be smarter with my money. And I think I've finally started to listen to her.

First and foremost, at some point, I'm going to have to realize that maybe I do have everything that I need. Shopping for more and more trendy pieces clutters my closet and makes me devour ice cream by the pints when I see my bank statements dwindling to double digits. Dipping below $100 on my debit card gives me a feeling similar to what I imagine a bullet wound would feel like.

Second, one day I am going to want to go out to eat with some friends and realize that I have spent my entire earnings on things that I did not necessarily need. I have the tendency to put my frivolous purchases above the ones that will keep me alive, no matter how much I say that shopping keeps me kicking. If I keep telling myself that it is okay to buy over $100 worth of merchandise from Kate Spade because "it was a really great deal" and I "couldn't pass it up", where will I draw the line?

Third, I can finally prove to my mother that I can save my money. I'm pretty sure that every time I got a paycheck over the summer, she made silent bets with herself on how quickly I would deposit or cash it and come back with new clothing pieces or makeup. I get a little satisfaction knowing that I'm winning in a way. For example, I've put myself on a makeup buying ban and my mom seems to be proud of me for resisting the urge to buy eighty more blushes or six new shades of lipstick that I probably already have.

On the other hand, I love shopping. It's something that makes me happy. I get a sick satisfaction out of carrying a bunch of bags around the mall, even if each only has something small in it. I love bringing home new purchases and trying them on, or swatching them on the backs of my hands. After the initial stress I get from the overwhelming amounts of clothes surrounding me in stores, or in malls in general, I become absolutely jubilant. It's probably really embarrassing to be seen with me when I'm in the zone. I probably look a bit deranged and lost, but at least I feel happy on the inside.

Maybe I should just cut down on the shopping and not completely eliminate it from my life. Is that even possible in the first place?

Hello, Again!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

In the summer of 2012, I started this blog because I was a little bored and wanted to practice writing about things that interested me in my real life, rather than writing stories about fictional people (though I still do that quite often). My first blog post was a little bit about myself and I think it is about time that I re-do that post as I like to believe that I have changed quite a bit, including my physical appearance and situation.

Without further ado, here are a few things that you may or may not want to know about me.

I am currently a full time college student at Cleveland State University (Go Vikes!), a little ways away from home in Western New York.

As my Twitter bio (currently) says, I like clothes and crying over my bank statements.

My roommate once told me that her favorite thing about me was how obsessed I am with my eyebrows.

I spend too much money on coffee, blush, and music. But hey, who doesn't?
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