Finals Week Life & Study Tips

Monday, November 30, 2015

It pains me to say this, but there is only one week left until finals. For me, at least. Regardless, I'm sure finals are creeping up on everyone within the next couple of weeks and it's leaving a sour taste in my mouth. It's a weird conflicting feeling where you want the end of the semester to end, but you also don't want to go through the pain of the homestretch. I, personally, am dreading the next eight days and would be more than happy to zoom through them. However, that is not possible, and I must spend the next week or two putting in quadruple the work to make sure everything turns out the way I want it do. While this isn't my first time at the rodeo, finals week still comes in like a wrecking ball at the end of the semester. Over my first two years of college, I've picked up a few tips here and there that have been able to help me cope with and get through the struggle of the week before finals and finals week. Not everything will work for everyone, but it's always worth a try.

1. Eat breakfast/lunch/dinner

Try to stay on a regular eating schedule, even if you're dedicating all of your time between classes and free time to studying. You need to nourish yourself, truly, to ensure that you'll be healthy and focused all week. There's not point in trying to study through a growling stomach. You won't be focused! Stay hydrated as well! Keep a reusable water bottle by your side through it all!

2. Sleep and power nap

For the love of god, get some sleep. This is rich coming from someone who doesn't nap and prefers to stay up late and wake up early, but pulling all-nighters isn't good for your health and it is possible to succeed without them! It's all about better time management and making room in your schedule for necessary things like eating and sleeping.

3. Keep yourself focused

Easier said than done, I realize, but keeping your main focus on schoolwork during the period of finals is incredibly important. It's only a week to a two week period of time in which you dedicate most of it to schoolwork. While it's not entirely plausible to dedicate all of your time to it because of things like work, you might have to push some other things aside in order to truly give yourself to studying or your projects. But then think about it this way: once you're done with the project or finish writing your exam, you're done! You have all of that free time for winter break to do the things you might have missed out on during your finals preparation and finals week.

4. Know when to take your breaks

Now, despite needing to stay well-focused, you also have to know when you're overworking yourself. Don't drive yourself into the ground trying to focus on something when you've been slaving over it for hours. You're allowed a break or two or ten for yourself, depending on how many you need to feel like you again. If you're going to take a break, give yourself some sort of limit so you don't drift away and detach yourself from your work completely. Set a timer, give yourself a one to two episode limit on Netflix, five videos on Youtube, etc. You still have to relax! The constant high stress of finals week isn't good for you, even if it is temporary!

5. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite

This is my biggest study tip and one of the only things I use now. Only one of my classes this semester had exams (the rest are all writing classes) and I think I had forgotten how to study because of it. I would fill out the study guide and stare at it and wonder how I was going to make sense of all of the information in front of me. So, I wrote out the study guide, filled in what I knew in one color and then went through and filled in the rest (shorthand, or an abbreviated version to get the gist of the definitions). Then, I did it again and again until I got to the point where I could fill in the whole study guide with one color. Yes, it's a bit of a pain, and yes it can be time consuming, but it's my foolproof way of making sure I retain the information. If you have a longer study guide, I recommend using a web version for this to avoid rewriting over and over again, but generally mine are shorter and it's not too much of a hassle.

6. Buddy up

No matter how good your notes are and how much you focus during classes, there are going to be times where you miss something or that you don't hear something as clearly as a classmate does. You might not have the same perspective on something you learned or have different examples written down. If you buddy up and collaborate with a classmate or two, you can really maximize the amount of information you have in front of you. You can bounce ideas off of each other, verbally quiz each other, or even just talking about the material helps you retain it. There is strength in numbers!

7. Put it into your own words

Another study tip, adapted from my friend's method. She has current event quizzes in one of her classes and rather than just reading off of headlines and studying off of various articles, she creates her own list of current events. But, instead of using somewhat stale and straight forward headlines, she creates her own and adds in a bit of humor. The news is still there, the important pieces are still noted, but there's an entertaining twist that makes studying not only somewhat funnier, but then it gives you a pun or punchline to remember. Now, I'm not saying you need to make everything funny, but even just rewriting something into simpler terms or into terms that you understand better can make the studying process easier.

8. Don't give up

It's really easy to be working on a project or be in the middle of studying and just want to slouch down or plop into your bed and ignore your responsibilities. I know this will be me dozens upon dozens of times this week, but you just have to push through it. Studying sucks. Finals are the worst. The stress at this time of the year is so high that giving up seems like the most viable option 99% of the time. Don't let it win! As I said earlier, once the week-two week period is over, you have time to breathe again. Just power through it because brighter days are on the other side.

What is your biggest struggle during finals week?

Good Reads

Sunday, November 29, 2015

1. Holiday Gift Guide // Rose Gold I, must like Jess, have also fallen for the rose gold trend over the past few years. The Youtubers got a hold of me a few years back and I haven't been the same since...

2. 5 Simple Rules for Choosing Your Essential Coat As a person who most certainly does not know how to choose their essential coat, I know that this post will come in handy the next time I go to expand my outerwear collection.

3. Adele Congrats to Adele for selling three million albums in her first week. I'm very, very glad I could contribute to that number and my ears are also pretty happy about it.

4. When It's Ending I'M NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING.

5. Christmastime in the City Other than the fact that Jessica's outfits are always incredible and the photography is out of this world, CHICAGO LOOKS LIKE SO MUCH FUN. I mean, I know it's fun, but I just want to bundle up and walk around the windy city ASAP. I need to go back!

6. NY Closets: Edie Parker Designer Brett Heyman I love the NY Closets series so, so much! The Valentino scalloped poncho and matching shorts are adorable!

7. Fall-ing for Maroon The Burberry quilted coats are one of the most comfortable jackets I've ever tried on (I might've given one a whirl at work...).

8. Festive Plaid As much as I love the plaid, I think my favorite part of this look had to have been the red bow tied around Carly's ponytail!

What have you been reading lately?

My Top Five Mascaras

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Once upon a time, mascara used to be my favorite beauty product to purchase. I know, shocking coming from the person whose lipstick drawer no longer shuts without a bit of struggling. I went through a lot of makupe phases before I settled in with my lipstick spree, and mascara was certainly one of them. My eyelashes are naturally long, but they're quite light compared to my eyebrows. you can barely see them without mascara, therefore it is an absolute necessity for me, even when curled. Over the years, I've tried many different mascaras, both high-end and drugstore, and found what has worked and what hasn't for me. A lot of them have been repurchased and some were one and done's based solely on the price.

1. Benefit They're Real

I am not even kidding when I said that I have had two full sized versions of this mascara and at least six sample sizes, if not more. This was my favorite mascara for a solid two years of my life and I still love using it to this day. I love that the brush has a little ball at the tip, making it easy to reach your inner corner as well as making sure your outer lashes have product on them as well. It doesn't clump on me, it separates my lashes well and makes them look incredibly long, and it doesn't make them feel uber heavy.

2. TooFaced Better Than Sex

I was afraid that I hated this mascara at first. It applied terribly my first few times and I genuinely thought that I wasted my money. It wasn't until I started truly playing around with it that I realized how great it actually was. Once you learn that you have to make sure the brush is fairly clean before applying, it's smooth sailing from then on. This gives my lashes a nice full and voluminous look. They always look thick, dark and healthy when I use this product.

3. YSL Shocking

Much like the TooFaced mascara, I thought that I completely wasted my money on this product. I bought it on a whim at a Sephora in Madrid because why not? I paid way too much for it without any knowledge about it, aside from hearing Fleur (FleurDeForce on YouTube) saying that she liked it. My first few weeks of playing around with it was just a clumpy and thick mess. I absolutely hated it and was so upset that I spent so much money on a mascara that wasn't going to work for me. Then I learned that I had to wipe the brush off a bit on a tissue before applying and after that, it was my favorite mascara for a long, long time. Of course, you lose some product doing this, but honestly, it was worth it. I remember this making my eyelashes look incredible. They were curled and long and outstanding. I haven't repurchased this one solely because of the price and because I've wanted to try other mascaras, but I could see myself buying this again down the line.

4. Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes

I can't talk about mascaras without mentioning my favorite waterproof one! I recently purchased the full-sized on this mascara because I ran out of the sample and could not imagine my makeup routine without it. I use it on my bottom lashes because I have the tendency to get watery eyes during class and whenever I would wipe under my eye to get rid of the tears, it would completely mess up my mascara and I'd constantly have streaks under my eyes. I don't get that with this mascara. In fact, this mascara barely budges even with eye makeup remover (you really have to work with it). I use it as my final coat of mascara after I apply my normal one on my upper lashes and it just holds the curl so well. I need this product with me at all times, honestly. When I saw my sample size getting dry I wanted to cry because it wasn't working the same!

5. Maybelline Lash Sensational

I couldn't make a list of my favorite mascaras without including a drugstore option. Now, I'm sure there are dozens of other incredible drugstore mascaras that I haven't tried yet and this is a new favorite, but I think it's worth mentioning because I love it right off the bat. It has a curved wand and synthetic, short bristles that really guide through your lashes to separate them. I love that how it holds a curl and really pushes them up and out to maximize voluminosity. I was concerned about the brush when I first saw it because I thought it would be hard to grab the inner and outer lashes, but really if you flip the brush around, you can use the tip to reach your inner corner and make sure that the product applies evenly.

What's your favorite mascara?

Things I'm Thankful For

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Changing up this week's Things I'm Loving post to reflect the holiday. Here are just a few of the things that I'm thankful for.

1. My family for being the weirdest people I know.

2. My roommates for putting up with my weirdness.

3. My friends for being wonderful rays of sunshine.

4. Harry Styles for being a jerk. I actually hate him. Stop being so perfect.

5. My employer and co-workers for giving me a positive and lovely work environment to be in every week.

6. Starbucks baristas FOR GIVING ME THE STUFF.

7. Pugs for just existing and making everyone's lives better.

What are you thankful for this year?

Finals Week Prep

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It's that time of year again, that period at the end of the semester where it's not quite finals week, but you're still scrambling like it is. I have finals and final projects due in two weeks and I think you can just about guess where I am with that: absolutely nowhere. It's though, especially when classwork doesn't end so you're trying to juggle actually going to class and classwork with studying for finals or doing final assignments and it's just tough.

I did a month before finals week post with a mini checklist a couple of weeks ago and while most of those things are still relevant, timeliness plays a bigger part in what needs to be done now. Here's a list of things you should do to prepare yourself for the final few weeks of school, whenever they might be for you.

  • Make sure you have food stocked in your house and your apartment and not just snack foods. Make sure you have some sustenance and your fruits and vegetables. Eat right, even if you have accepted death as your punishment for your performance on some of your finals.
  • Write down your due dates and exam dates. I cannot stress this enough, you need to know what days are special for you during that week to avoid forgetting to turn a project in or not go to the classroom for an exam.
  • Finalize any flashcards and study guides, or as much of them as possible. I understand that you're still going over material for the unit before the semester is over, so just create those later on after the chapter is finished. 
  • Start your projects, if you haven't already. Get your interviews, start your research, film some clips, do whatever you need to do in order to get you on the right track for your final assignments. 
  • Sleep, sleep, sleep. Ironic coming from a person who finds it impossible to sleep for long periods of time. But trust me, you need the proper eight or more hours to be able to function to the best of your ability. You're not too cool for sleep. No one is.
  • Remind yourself that you can do it. Finals are scary and stressful, especially if it's your first or your last time, but remember that it's just one exam that you've essentially been preparing the entire semester for.
What do you do to prep for finals week?

Things I Forget To Do

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

No matter how many to do lists I make and how many agendas I keep, I forget things. Or maybe I choose to put certain things off. I'm not entirely sure which order this happens, but there seems to be a pattern with certain activities that can't be ignored. Maybe it's just because I forget or out of pure laziness, but the trend of things I forget to do is can't be ignored.

1. Responding to text messages

Yes, I am that person who reads text messages, comes up with responses in their head, and then proceeds to forget to text back from anywhere between ten minutes to an entire week. I don't mean for it to happen and sometimes I will open a message thread and discover a message that never sent. I don't ever do it on purpose (unless I hate you)(but I don't hate anybody so I suppose I really never do it on purpose), I just genuinely forget. Sometimes I think I don't want to respond too quickly to a message, so I'll wait a couple of minutes and then forget entirely because of that. Sometimes I have nothing to say and hope that something will come to me and then a week later I think of my response and realize how much time has passed. Just know, it's nothing personal.

2. Laundry

I don't forget to do laundry. It's more like a blatant disregard for the necessary act. It's my fault entirely. I purposely stocked up on wash clothes and underwear, so I won't do laundry until I run out of both of those things. That could, no joke, leave me with a laundry basket full for about three weeks when I finally decide that maybe I should wash something because I'm out of whites and want to wear my turtleneck again.

3. Grocery shopping

I hate spending money on food. I hate spending money on food. So this might fall into the blatant disregard category as well. I'm in that dorm/meal plan mentality where I convince myself I can survive off of bagels, coffee, protein bars, a box of pasta and a bag of apples. So far, so good?

4. Washing makeup brushes

I can have a neon pink post it note with "WASH YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES" written on it taped to my wall for an entire week and I will forget to do it. I don't know what it is about washing my makeup brushes, but I just genuinely cannot remember to do it until I notice that my foundation isn't applying as nicely because my stippling brush is all gunky. That's usually when I kick my butt into gear and finally go into the bathroom to wash my foundation brushes along with the rest of them.

What is one thing you always forget to do?

My Every Day Makeup

Monday, November 23, 2015

I am a creature of habit. I eat the same things, I go to the same places, I say the same things...are you catching my drift? I like the same, so there's no surprise that I follow a general morning and the same makeup routine just out of ease and because it works. The only thing that switches from day-to-day for me is my lipstick and my blushes, though my fall colors are very limited and I generally only wear a select few. My things is, if it's not broken, why should I fix it? I think eventually, when I have the time, money and patience, I will pick up a few new products to replace the ones that I have been using religious for years (see: my foundation and concealers).

I suppose the joy of having a steady makeup routine is being able to write about it and still have it be accurate weeks later...I kid, I kid. Before I even think about applying my makeup, I always prep my skin by washing and exfoliating (my acne products give me dry skin) with my current cleanser (right now, I'm still using my First Aid Beauty one, but I also love Philosphy, Lush, and The Body Shop cleansers). Then, I put on a layer of moisturizer (currently, Neutrogena's Oil Free Lotion but I have an unhealthy obsession with Origins Ginzing moisturizer). I'll usually wait anywhere between five to ten minutes for this to set in before I start to apply my face makeup.

Face Makeup

I've been using the same foundation since my freshmen year of college: Covergirl's 3-in-1. I know I should probably switch it up, but I used to have a huge issue with foundations making my skin break out. I have no idea if my skin is still as sensitive as it used to be, but this foundation works really well for me and I am hesitant to change out of fear. I apply this over my Physician's Formula concealer in the shade fair light which I put under my eyes in a V-shape and around my nose and my chin if I have a lot of excess product. If my skin is being particularly pesky or my foundation didn't apply evenly, I use my Covergirl foundation in a compact and used the sponge provided to add a bit extra coverage over trouble areas or to smooth out any foundation lines from my Real Techniques stippling brush. If my skin is particularly rough, like around my period, I will use my Origins Quick Hide! concealer on my trouble spots and redness.

I usually proceed with my eye makeup at this point, as I like my foundation and concealer to set before I apply powder to it. But after my eyemakuep, I used a powder to set the places when I applied the extra concealer (currenly, L'Oreal Color Match) and then I use a big fluffy brush and mix together all three shades in my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette to give my face and overall glow. I go in with my Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (or, occasionally, Tarte's Park Avenue Princess) to use as a contour in the hollows of my cheek, down my neck and jaw, on the sides of my nose and around my temples. My blush shades typically rotate between NARS Sin, Benefit Rockateur, and NYX Terracotta and I apply them closer to my contour and back toward my ear (as opposed to closer to my nose). The final step to my face makeup is my highlighter, which I use mainly on my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose, my forehead, and on my cupid's bow. Right now, I'm loving the Becca highlighter in Opal, but Mac Soft and Gentle mineralized skin finish is also a favorite.

Eye Makeup

This step always comes between my liquid/creamy face products so I can let them set into place before I try to apply powder on them. The first step to my eyemakuep is always always using an eyeshadow primer. Right now I use Lorac's and MAC Painterly paint pot, but I love the Urban Decay Primer Potion as well. I typically go for a matte neutral eye, using either my Naked palette from Urban Decay or Natural Eye palette from Too Faced. After that, I use my Kat Von D liquid liner to do my usual winged eyeliner and will occasionally set it with Urban Decay's Oil Slick eyeshadow, though it lasts forever long without setting it. My mascara is constantly changing just because I purchased so many samples at the beginning of summer and am finally starting to run out of them, but I always apply it after I put my contacts in. And the last step is to fill in my eyebrows with Anastasia's brow powder and set it with their tinted brow gel.


I always tailor my lipstick to what I'm wearing and what I'm doing that day. There is no true rhyme or reason behind it, I just go with the flow! But my favorite lipstick brands are NARS, Revlon, and NYX!

What's your favorite part of your everyday makeup routine?

Good Reads

Sunday, November 22, 2015


1. White Marble Nails Carly Cristman, killing it with pretty nails since the beginning of time.

2. Stockholm I can not think of a circumstance in which Sonya Esman has not been the epitome of perfection.

3. Texts from the Group Chat: What Are We Wearing Tonight? This literally happened on Saturday night, so honestly, #RelatableTweets.

4. Cashmere Under $100 I have a terrible habit of touching all of the cashmere sweaters at work because they are just so soft and buttery and luxurious.

5. Turkey Day Duds Just give me all of the turtlenecks and I will be a happy, happy girl.

6. Dressing for the Season I am head over heels in love with camel colored coats and I've been super into hats lately. I really need to pick up one with the faux fur baubles on top!

7. An Eccentric Holiday Give my pussybow blouses or give me death...DVF prints are to die for!

8. How to Get Creative With Branding Your Business Filing this under things to remember!

9. Gucci Is Changing How We Fashion...Fashion A very interesting read indeed. Fashion is more than meets the eye!

10. Let's Grab Coffee I still need to figure out how to style my blazer...Jessica makes it look so effortless.

11. A Young Adult Now that I am officially not a teenager anymore, I feel like this blog post was perfectly aligned!

12. The 2015 Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide This is the most intense gift guide I have ever laid eyes on. It is absolute perfection.

What have you been reading lately?

Finally Twenty

Saturday, November 21, 2015

I was going to do this post on twenty things I learned by age twenty, but as I've been getting older (yes, I know, I'm so old), I've realized that I don't really know anything at all! So, here's to being young and free and is this a Ke$ha song? 

Happy birthday to myself!!!

How To Write An Outline

Friday, November 20, 2015

With the amount of agendas I own and use and to-do lists that I write, it can't be surprising that outlines are my key to success when it comes to final assignment, can it? I love being able to see a written version of my thoughts organized into one list. It might take a bit more work up front, but I find that it saves me in the long run. It keeps me focused and from straying from my topic of choice. Plus, it just gives you a general template to follow and should ultimately take you less time because you have one singular focus. Making an outline is just as simple as it sounds, but here are some steps that I follow to make my final outlines for my big assignments.

1. Start with your idea

WELL DUH. You can't make an outline for a project without having your main idea or your thesis statement! You should have this before you even think about starting your project. But again, this should be an obvious point but just incase, I figured I'd make it anyways.

2. Make a list of your points

I do this on a separate sheet of paper if I'm handwriting an outline. From my topic, I generally pick three to four points to use as subheadings. It usually depends on the length of the assignments. Obviously, the longer the assignment, the more points I will make about my topic and the more in-depth I will make them as well. Make them follow up questions or answers to your hypothesis question. Have them stem off from your main point without being a complete restatement of it.

3. Research and brainstorm

At this point, you have an incomplete outline. You could, conceivably stop there, but you're going to have to do the research for it anyways so you  might as well put some of it towards your outline. While you're finding articles and essays to use to cite in your project, pick out the most important parts and add them in bullets underneath your subheadings so you know the general idea you want to take with that paragraph or section. Figure out what information you need to make your paper more interesting and informative through researching and trying to find the answers to your questions.

4. Fill in under main points

With your research, you don't have to put everything in great detail in bullets, but you should definitely have your main talking points written out so you have a direction–some might say One Direction–for your assignment. Obviously, you don't need to write out every last detail of your assignment onto your outline. It's merely a guideline for you to follow as a sort of road map to the end of your assignment.

5. Voila!

And now you have your outline! Use it wisely on your journey through final projects, or any assignment you're assigned. As I said, it might seem like it takes a while (though honestly, once you get into the swing of it outlines become incredibly simple and still remain useful) up front, in the long run it gives you that skeleton of your project and all you have to do it fill in the blanks!

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, November 19, 2015

1. Made In The A.M. by One Direction

Okay, okay, I promise this is the last time I will talk about this album on my blog. But honestly, this album has been my everything for the past two weeks week. Every song is incredible, the boys sound great, and I don't think they could've done a better job with their "see you later" album. It doesn't feel like a goodbye to me. It's like a nice warm embrace after five years together before you go your separate ways to do your own thing only to come back together two years later and sit down for some coffee and chat like no time passed.

To listen to: ALL OF THE SONGS

2. Bite lipstick duo in Holly and Tennin

I have my Tangerine/Lingonberry Bite lipstick duo that I bought last year that I absolutely adore. When I saw that they released new colors for the holiday season, I sort of lost it because of how much I love my other one. They're just a nice compact little way to store two gorgeous and pigmented colors! The duo comes with a bright, siren red with the other side as a more deep, brick red. Neither are matte, but they're also not super glossy. I'd say they're a semi matte finish, which is something I can handle! Like the other duo I have, they're super pigmented and long lasting. I wore Holly last week at work and while it looked like a lot of product came off on my coffee cup, there was hardly a dent put into the application of my lipstick. I highly recommend these, especially for a gift for a friend or a little stocking stuffer!

3. NARS Audacious lipstick in the shade Vera 

I know, I know, so many lipstick shades coming at you in this post. I got a few new colors last week and I've been testing them out all week. Other than the fact that I adore the magnetic closure on the NARS Audacious lipsticks (I have the bright pink shade Claudia as well and would love to add Liv and Charlotte to my collection as well...), this color is incredible. The payoff is amazing, it's uber flattering, and it stays on. I love when lipsticks can hold up well during eating. Obviously, it's not perfect afterwards, but reapplication process is easy. There's no gross crumbling of the product or build-up in the crevices of your lips. It's a smooth, nice application process with an incredibly flattering color to boot.

Also, here are some bonus pictures of me being an absolute dork while trying to take picture of this lipstick. I've also finally been reunited with my Kat Von D Tattoo liner in Trooper! Oh how I've missed that liner...

What have you been loving lately?

Gift Guide According to Francesca #1

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

GUYS, I KNOW, I KNOW. I'M BREAKING MY NO CHRISTMAS BEFORE DECEMBER FIRST RULE! But I keep seeing gift guides popping up and I just get so excited that I couldn't resist throw ing my hat into the ring much earlier than I usually would. Forgive me for bombarding you with Christmas so early. Then again, this could easily be a gift guide for any situation... ;)

1. Candles because people like it when their rooms smell nice. Could be a Bath and Body Works candle, could be any candle brand, could be holiday related or not...get creative! Just, please, for the love of god, do not get that bacon scent from Yankee Candle...just don't.

2. CDs – because everyone likes music, right? And more specifically, One Direction's new album Made In The A.M...

3. Books – because Mindy Kaling's two books Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and Why Not Me? make two great gifts...and are two great rhetorical questions to ask yourself.

4. Thermal Cups or Tumbler cupsbecause these will slowly become your best friends and the only thing you drink out of...

5. Nail polish setbecause who doesn't love a fresh manicure?

6. Body wash because sometimes we just don't want to use a dollar bar of soap that we scrounged up change for.

7. Mini perfumesbecause who wants to dish out approximately one thousand dollars on the full sized Tory Burch perfume, no matter how glorious it smells?

8. Makeup bagsbecause you can never have too many, right? *mounds fall out of my closet onto me as I try to grab one*

9. Lipstick duobecause #ALLTHELIPSTICK!

10. Kate Spade earrings and ringbecause everyone needs a little more sparkle in their life.

Life in Mid November (According to Francesca)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I was originally going to blog about managing your free time today, but then I realized that I had already done that a couple of months ago and didn't want to be an outfit post repeater! I feel like a lot of my posts seem chatty, but I don't know if I've done a proper chatty post in a while. Or at least, one that hasn't been entirely too dramatic. I mean, this will probably be dramatic in its own way because that's just who I am as a person, but at least it should be uplifting.

First thing, it's almost my birthday and I am really stoked to be spending it in Cleveland with my friends. I work all day on Saturday and then we'll be doing something that I'm not entirely sure of yet. I told them I'd be fine with going to McDonald's and they told me to be a bit classier, so we're going to Burger King instead. I kid, I kid. I can't believe I won't be a teenager anymore! Crazy things happening over here...

Then I head home for a little (and much needed) extended Thanksgiving break. I'm excited to see my family and friends, especially to see my aunt get married the day after Thanksgiving! So yes, instead of hiding out in my house avoiding the Black Friday shoppers that invade Niagara Falls for the outlet mall, I get to brave the real world in my tulle skirt to see her marry her boyfriend who has essentially been just as much of an uncle as the rest of them.

I do feel the need to mention (or rather, when asking my roommate what I should blog about she told me to mention) the fact that I recently counted and reorganized my lipstick drawer, only to discover that I have 55 at the moment. My first reaction was "really, that's it?" and my second reaction was to cry because I can't even imagine how much those have cost me over the years. But yes, if you've ever wondered how many lipsticks I hoard in that drawer of mine, that is the magic number that will most likely increase over the holiday season because I have a problem. I can admit it.

Things have slightly cooled down in the realm of Francesca. I have a better handle on classes and final assignments. I have a couple of more rough outlines to go through, but other than that, I think I'm on the right track to not crying my way until the end of the semester. Three cheers to that, am I right?

How has your November been so far? 

Campus Style #4: Late Fall

Monday, November 16, 2015

It's starting to get pretty chilly up here in Ohio and let me tell you, the trek to campus is already unbearable. It was awful when it was hot and it's awful again now that it's starting to get cold, especially when I leave for class relatively early in the morning. Luckily, there are some really cute ways to stay warm on campus!

Good Reads

Sunday, November 15, 2015

1. Save, Spend, or Splurge // Holiday Red Lip Faves I am fairly certain that I need all of these shades now. I have lipsticks from NYX and TooFaced and I actually nearly swatched the melted velvet shade on Friday! Things to consider...

2. Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts Recipe My first two years of college in the dorms consisted of me eating mass amounts of Pop-Tarts (I used to stock up on the Pumpkin Pie flavor) because they were the cheapest and easiest option for me. I'm getting some hardcore nostalgia from this recipe and feel like I need to try it out, just for this reason.

3. Print Mix I love mixing prints and textures. I had no qualms about doing it and I think Jessica did it incredibly with the dark tartan pants and the neutral printed sweater. She looks so cute and cozy!

4. Joe Fresh Winter You know how I feel about turtlenecks....

5. 5 Ways to Style a Blanket Scarf I love my blanket scarves more than anything in the entire world, so I always look forward to the styling posts around this season to find some ways to switch it up.

6. J. Crew New Arrivals I haven't been inside of a J.Crew in absolute ages but I just curious every time I walk past the store, especially now that it's all decorated and set up for the holidays! I might have to pop my head in very soon!

7. What's Your Favorite Social Media App? I'm a massive Instagram fan. I used to love Twitter a lot, but I think with the new updates I just don't enjoy it as much. I also can't think of any funny things to say anymore, so what's the point? Nobody cares that I've been listening to Made in the A.M. on repeat for over a week since Friday. Also, buy Made in the A.M. on iTunes.

8. Dark Denim This just reminded me of how much I need new jeans, like as soon as possible. Mine are hopeless. They're too big and won't shrink and belts are the worst thing to happen and I have no time with them. Plus my only belt might have just broken and I'm not keen on buying a new one...

What have you been reading lately? 

Dream Closet, Vol. 11

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I honestly think one of my favorite parts of the month is making my dream closet posts. Scrolling through Net-A-Porter is one of my indulgences in life. Everything on that website (and in Porter magazine) is honestly immaculate. I could spend hours on the website just scrolling through and drooling over some of the pieces (see: all of the pieces). You would think that by handling designer clothes at work, I would be somewhat over my fasciation and adoration for designer clothing, but I think it's just heightened my love and appreciation for the art of fashion. Anyways, sentimentalities aside, here's my eleventh dream closet post! Also, BUY MADE IN THE A.M. ON ITUNES. 

What's in your dream closet?

Made In The A.M. First Impressions

Friday, November 13, 2015

Clearly, the first time I heard One Direction's new album Made in the A.M. was when it was officially released today...definitely didn't hear any of the tracks that weren't singles beforehand. What leak? Do you mean leeks, the vegetable? Or a leak in a pipe? Hmmm...

I digress, One Direction's fifth studio album officially released today and it saved me. I feel rejuvenated, like a totally brand new Francesca. Those four boys ruin my life day by day and I accept it with open arms. I pay for them to break me. It's fine, I'm fine, everything's fine.

I don't remember if I did this four their fourth album Four, but I'm fairly certain I did this for their album Midnight Memories. Or maybe I did that on my music blog...I don't remember. Who cares. Basically, I'm just going to ramble on about each song on the deluxe edition. None of it is going to make sense. Most of it is going to me screaming about Harry Styles. But maybe it will be entertaining.

1. "Hey Angel"

More like HEY "BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY." I love that song. The Verve are a great group and I was totally digging the vibe I got from this track. Definitely a good start to the album.

2. "Drag Me Down" 

This song is my sh*t. This released over the summer and I lost my sh*t then and lost it again when I listened to MITAM all the way through for the first time. Even my seventeen year old brother likes this song. You can get down to this song (especially the Big Payno remix)(I cannot say that with a straight face)(he's cute though). I love driving to this song. I love driving to One Direction in general. I just love driving to good music and One Direction just happens to have great music.

3. "Perfect"

It was 40 degrees this morning and I was still driving with my windows down so I could scream this song out of them. The amount I love this song should be illegal. ILLEGAL.

4. "Infinity" 

Harry's note at the end of this song is the reason why I'm going to graduate college. Again, this song was released a while ago as a single or early track, whatever you want to call it, so this wasn't a new listen.

5. "End of the Day" 

I love verses for this song. I don't dislike the chorus (I find myself singing it more than I'd like toe admit), but the verses for this song are just so great and they make me want to sway and swing and just be a total goof.

6. "If I Could Fly" 

More like IF I COULD CRY. This song makes me miss somebody that I never even had. My heart aches when I listen to this song and I was literally like crying on my drive home when this came on. Warning: this song will make you emotional for absolutely no reason. You'll probably want to hug Harry afterwards and coddle him and ask who hurt him.

7. "Long Way Down" 

I always forget about this song and I don't know why. It's quite nice! It's very relaxing and it makes for a very peaceful drive home. I am just so, so proud of these boys for this album. This is a very non-1D song and yet it still works. They're so versatile, I can't stand it.

8. "Never Enough" 

If you want to dance around and shimmy and just have a good old time, listen to any One Direction song. I'm kidding (but not really). This song is just all around great and the grunts are an added bonus, honestly.

9. "Olivia" 

Okay, beyond the fact that this is a fun song, I literally will snap a video of myself every time I'm listening to it to send to my roommate whose name is Olivia. It gets awkward when I sing it to her, but I generally do it anyways because I am a piece of trash and find the need to make 1D always relevant and come up in conversation. Harry did a nice job on this one, yep, mhm.

10. "What a Feeling"

WHAT A FLEETWOOD MAC TRIBUTE. I'm still crying over the mere existence of this song. It's perfect, it's absolutely freaking perfect.

11. "Love You Goodbye" 

Oh look, another song Francesca can bawl her eyes out to. I'll love you goodbye, Harry. Or Liam. Or even Niall, like I'm genuinely not picky.

12. "I Want to Write You a Song" 

Also known as the song that will make you want to cry for no reason because it's so delicate and cute.

13. "History"

This is just such a feel good song that makes me want to stomp my feet around and make like get up on to a bar and start dancing like I'm in Coyote Ugly or something. I dunno. It's a solid tune!

14. "Temporary Fix"

*everything Francesca said about this song has been removed because none of it was appropriate for this blog, let alone the internet*

15. "Walking in the Wind" 

This is my favorite song on the album, without a doubt. Harry said it was Paul Simon inspired and from then on I was head over heels in love with it. Give it a listen so you can understand what I'm talking about. It just gives you that road trip feeling where you sort of feel on top of the world, if that makes any sense at all.

16. "Wolves" 

When I first saw the title "Wolves" on the track list, I assumed it was going to be a darker track or something along the lines of "Clouds" from Four. Boy was I surprised when I heard this upbeat song that makes me shimmy my shoulders and bop back and forth.

17. "A.M."

This song made me cry because it's just so raw and it's just the perfect end to the album. It's sort of one of those "it's been real" sort of songs where it gives nice closure to the album. I don't know, I just think it was the perfect way to end their last album before they go on their little hiatus.

Jesus Christ, either Made In The A.M. was the greatest goodbye album of all time or the best transition into a more adult song when they've all matured some over their small break from touring and making music as a group. As always, I am optimistic and hopeful that those four idiots will be back at it in a couple of years. But even if not, they have an incredible five album discography and this fifth album was the perfect cap on the end of a musical evolution.

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, November 12, 2015

1. Get Weird by Little Mix

Most of my dramatic Snapchats that include me lip syncing to music have been of Little Mix's new album. I cannot and will not go a week without mentioning these four girls. I won't do it! I love them! I want to be them! God, these girls, I swear, they just get better and better and better and eventually I might just explode from all of my love for them. They knocked it out of the park with their third album Get Weird. It has tracks that make me want to cry, and dance, and just make me feel like a cool confident lady in charge. Buy the album! Stream the album! Tell your friends to get it! You will not regret it one bit.

To listen to: THE WHOLE THING

2. Target Moto Jacket

I can't remember the last time that I bought myself a jacket that wasn't a long, wool coat. I think it might've been a Northface jacket my freshmen year of high school and I would genuinely just not like to talk about it. What a horrible time fashion wise in my life. I still wore it through freshmen year of college too. I made some pretty heinous life choices, didn't I...

I digress, I don't buy normal jackets. I nearly bought a denim aviator style jacket from Topshop in Nordstrom last year but the sleeves were a bit snug and if I wanted to wear it with a sweater, I would be SOL. So I passed on it and decided I would solely rely on my winter jackets to get me through. However, it's just too warm to do that! But it's also too cold to not wear anything at all. I was going through these wardrobe dilemmas where I was more inclined to layer and layer just to keep myself warm outside and then I would sweat bullets by the time I got into the campus buildings.

So I caved. I caved and I bought the jacket I was eyeing at Target about a month ago because it was on sale and adorable. I love it so much. I didn't think I would love it as much as I do because I am stubborn and don't like to admit defeat to mother nature. BUT YOU WIN MOTHER NATURE! And so do I because I feel like a little cutie when I walk around in it.

3. Trader Joe's

I was looking at my list of things I was loving this week and I saw like, three Trader Joe's products on here, so I figured I would just condense everything under this one umbrella because I genuinely have been loving the store. I used to do all of my grocery shopping at Target and Aldi, depending on what time of day I went. Directly across from where I work, there's a Trader Joe's and it has just become my Saturday ritual to go after work and do most of my shopping there. The prices are good, the food is great, and it is just so convenient. My favorites? Obviously the Cookie Butter (and the Cookie Butter cheesecake), their macaroni and cheese, and their peanut butter cups. They also have some incredible apples and their pre-marinated pesto chicken is to die for.

4. Leaves Candle

Yup, I'm going the basic route and declaring this as one of my favorites for the week. I finally started burning this more liberally this week just because the candle is so strong and there is a lot of ground to cover in this apartment scent wise. This is just a classic, crisp fall scent and if you don't like the smell of it then I probably don't like you.

I wish I was joking.

What have you been loving lately? 

Thanksgiving Outfits

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Typically, Thanksgiving makes me feel like my outfit the night should be a tracksuit from Adidas or a massive mumu to hide my food baby (I got in on the mashed potatoes and desserts). But somehow I managed to pull myself together every year for a somewhat cute ensemble. Though my shift dress last year certainly helped conceal the tiny bump I gave myself after eating one too many rolls with butter and servings of both mashed and scalloped potatoes. There is no shame in eating all you can on Thanksgiving (or ever!!!).

Thanksgiving is my all time favorite holiday, therefore I always find it necessary to look as cute as possible while still being comfortable. Here are three different variations of looks you can rock on Thanksgiving, no matter the occasion.

What's your ideal Thanksgiving outfit?

Things I Would Do If I Had Free Time

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Free time is a thing that feels like a figment of my imagination. Even when it feels like I have free time, I'm typically doing something that's not exactly leisurely. There's always readings for class or this blog or something for work. True free time is a rarity that I miss dearly. But, if I did have a spare moment or two or twenty, these are some of the things I'd surely do first.

1. Read 

I miss books so much. My goal was to read 30 this year and I think I'm at the grand total of six. I used to carry two books around with me at all times just incase I finished the first one while I was out. I'd walk around the library with my arms dragging because they were full of stacks of books. I miss reading books and magazines and articles and stories online. I just miss feeling like I could transport somewhere else for those ten minutes or hours or however long I spent holding the publications in my hand.

2. Learn how to cook

Ha-ha, I know, hilarious. Physically impossible. Or maybe not. I don't have the time nor the money to try to experiment in the kitchen, nor the extensive food palette to want to. I'm very picky, but I feel like I've always lived on times constraints between school and work and sports and family. There was never a chance to learn how to cook and it just never became a necessity. Who knows, I could be a great cook. I've never dedicated the proper amount of time to it.

3. Explore Cleveland 

I've been here for over two years now and I know nothing about this city. I go to the same places and barely venture out. I didn't even know the area I work in now even existed and it's five minutes away from the only mall I knew my first two years of college. Not even just new places though. My favorite spot in Cleveland is the pier and I haven't been there once since moving back here. How is that even possible? The pier used to be my Sunday reading and writing spot and I haven't been bothered to visit. It makes me so sad.

4. Watch Netflix

I dish out the money every month, I might as well get some use out of it!

5. Unlimited time with friends

If I could just hang out with my friends uninterrupted for hours upon hours, multiple times a week, I'd be the happiest little peach in the world.

What would you do if you had more free time? 

My New Hair Style??

Monday, November 9, 2015

Okay, so I haven't done anything but make an appointment, but my hair is in desperate need of some new styling and a trim. I am very, very picky about who does my hair AKA my hair stylist (shout out to my queen Mary) back at home is the only person who is allowed to touch my hair. Now that I no longer reside in the ever so lovely Niagara Falls, I have to plan my haircuts around long weekends home. Therefore, I have a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving break and my appointment on the 30th. Still, it's never bad to plan ahead of time. In fact, you probably should plan what you want ahea dog time so you don't end picking the first style you see in a magazine while you're waiting to see your stylist.

I don't think I want my hair long long again, but I'm definitely going to try to stay around the length I have now. I liked having shorter hair and I think it was a really important stage in my life after using hair as my security blanket for so long, but I'm definitely happy to hair hair I can style easily and throw up into a messy bun if I need to. I'm also really happy with my hair a bit lighter and it's been a, eight months since the last time I got it done I believe. Which, in retrospect, totally explains why my hair is an absolute abomination right now. My apologies in advance to my homegirl Mary who will most likely be horrified by the state of my hair currently.

No amount of bleach or styling could ever make me as flawless as Karlie Kloss, but her hair is absolute goals right now down to the color and length and texture. While Miss Swift might have been my inspiration to chop it short last fall, Miss Kloss is going to be the inspiration for the next stage in my life, the mid length Francesca! Lob Francesca was a fun year, but it's time to move on!


Good Reads

Sunday, November 8, 2015

1. Los Angeles: Off Duty Sonya Essman's style is so on point that I don't even know if I can form coherent sentences about it anymore.

2. Elbow Patch Turtleneck Sweater When my three favorite things collide: turtlenecks, elbow patches, and the color navy.

3. My Favorite Fall Combo Man, I really need to find a flattering drop waist dress. I admire them in stores and on models/other people, but I can never find one that's right for me.

4. November Bucket List While I probably won't be able to do anything on Carly's list, I really like the idea of doing smaller monthly to-do lists (as opposed to my yearly lists!)

5. How To Effectively Network On Social Media Pro-tips to all of my millennials!

6. Green Plaid High Rise Skirt My plaid high waisted skirt might just be one of my favorite things in my wardrobe at the moment. I've had it for quite a few years now and I'm finally starting to get my wear out of it!

7. Old Navy Scarves I need to hit up Old Navy soon because this store has incredible things. They've really been stepping up their clothing over the past few years and I'm loving it.

8. All In Good Taste *cries because Kate Spade is perfect*

9. On Social Media & Being Aware I couldn't have said it better myself. Kelsey puts my thoughts on the current conversation of social media–courtesy of Essena and her departure from it–into coherent sentences.

What have you been reading lately? 

I Was Apollo 13 // A November Playlist

Saturday, November 7, 2015

IT'S THE HAPPIEST MONTH OF THE YEAR! Okay, that's a lie. We all know the most wonderful times of the year are February and September for the fall and spring collections (respectively). But other than those four glorious weeks, November has to rank at the top of my list of favorite months solely because of Thanksgiving and my birthday. The true sign of a narcissist, I'm sure, but this is not a new personal establishment.

If I'm being honest, my true November playlists are usually the newest One Direction album since they typically come out mid-November. Hell, the newest comes out next week and I'm already itching I cannot wait. So, this is my "fake" November playlist because everyone knows my real one would include solely songs from Sounds Good, Feels Good by 5 Seconds of Summer, Get Weird by Little Mix, and Made In The A.M. by One Direction.

What's your favorite kind of music to listen to in November? Do you tailor your music choices to the seasons? Am I just a super weirdo who needs seasonal organization? 

Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas

Friday, November 6, 2015

Thanksgiving is, hands down, my favorite holiday of the entire year. Well, besides National Coffee Day and National Kindness Day (next Friday!!!!). Everything about Thanksgiving gets me hype, especially the one thousand different types of potatoes and ALL THE PUMPKIN!!! Last year, I made pumpkin doughnut holes and a crumbly pumpkin bread for my family's Thanksgiving dinner and I wanted to one up myself this year. Though, I will admit, I've been thinking a lot about those doughnut holes and might have to give those another go if I can find the recipe I used somewhere in the depths of my Pinterest boards...

Alas, I've decided to make a brand new list of Thanksgiving-centric treats that you could make up for your family's Thanksgiving. Though, really, who needs a holiday in order to consume all of these lovely goodies? Not me!

1. Cinnamon Swirled Glazed Pumpkin Coffee Cake
2. Pumpkin Empanadas 
3. Baked Pumpkin Fritter Bites
4. No Bake Praline Cookies
5. Pumpkin Cookie Cheesecake
6. Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
7. Pumpkin Cannoli Recipe
8. Cinnamon Sugar Pecans
9. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake Balls
10. Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

I usually try to make a few things to share with my family for Thanksgiving, especially since our dinners have been getting increasingly larger as the years go by. That's generally what happens when families expand and your mom has like one thousand siblings (or 11, but honestly at that point, what's the difference?).

What's your favorite dessert around this time of year?

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, November 5, 2015

1. "Grown" by Little Mix

Will I ever stop ranting and raving about how great Little Mix is? I don't think so. I cannot see a time in the foreseeable future in which I am capable of going hours without talking about how much I love and adore these four talented ladies. Their newest album Get Weird actually comes out tomorrow, but this is their most recent single off of it that came out sometime last week. They performed this at the iTunes Festival as well, which was the first time I personally heard this. I was waiting anxiously for the recorded version to come out and was somewhat blindsided by it's amazingness last week. Needless to say, this track has been virtually on repeat since. It's the best song to dance, strut, drive, shower, do whatever to, honestly. I'm really looking forward to hearing the rest of the album tomorrow!

2. Harney & Sons Peppermint Herbal tea

My all time favorite tea, other than the Wegman's cinnamon tea which I will rave about until the day I die (much like Little Mix, apparently), is Celestial's Candy Cane Lane. Sadly, I haven't seen it out yet this year and I ran out of my supply from last year as of a couple of months ago. I've been trying to find the perfect replacement tea for it! I have a peppermint black tea from Celestial that is good, but I really just prefer peppermint green tea for those nights when I'm just not feeling sweet or if my stomach is upset, I find the peppermint soothing. But, lo and behold, I found this peppermint tea that didn't have any spearmint in it and decided to give it a try. I've tried this brand before, but I remember not being a massive fan of the holiday flavor that I bought last year (my mom loved it though, so it must've just been my taste buds). However, I love this peppermint herbal tea. I definitely made the mistake of making it way too strong my first time, but every time after that has been a pleasant experience. It's a pretty light tea and it never fails to make my stomach (or cramps, during that cursed time of month) feel infinitely better after drinking a cup.

3. Leap Year

Not even an hour after I posted my Netflix list, my friend told me that I had to watch Leap Year. I got home after classes that night and decided that I deserved a movie during my free time. So, I loaded up Netflix and found this guy at the top of my list and didn't look back. And guys, seriously, guys, how did I go this long without seeing this masterpiece of a romantic comedy? I laughed, I cried, I hugged every possible throw pillow I could. I was squealing and making weird, non-human noises and was very grateful that nobody was here to witness this purely pathetic moment. All I gotta say is god bless Irish men. I'M LOOKING AT YOU, NIALL HORAN.

What have you been loving lately? 

The Month Before Finals

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

More like the dreaded month before dreaded finals, am I right college students? We're all around that one month or so mark before finals week and nothing seems to be dying down. That's just how it goes though. Class continues like normal and then you tack on all of the extra work necessary to prepare yourself for finals week. It's a pretty sucky set-up, but that's just life as a college student. Luckily, there are a few things you can do in the mean time to at least somewhat prepare yourself for finals week and all of the studying that comes along with it.

1. Write down your due dates and exams dates and commit them to memory

I think I only have one final exam this semester and four final projects, so mine mostly revolves around the idea of needing to know when my projects are due. Most of them are due during what would have been our exam time, which makes it easier to keep track of when I need to get them done by. In your agenda or notebook or whatever you use to keep yourself organized, write down the date, time and even the place if it happens to not be in the room where your classes are normally held. If it's a final project, make sure you know what is due when and that you plan accordingly.

2. Make outlines and brainstorm

This is more along the lines of final projects rather than final exams, but it's still nice to outline your chapters or what you need to know for that final exam. I'm going to use my coursework as an example because, well, this is life according to Francesca after all and because it's what I'm the most familiar with. I have, over the course of the next four weeks, two movie projects, a final multimedia story, a feature story, and a publication design portfolio due. I spent all afternoon yesterday brainstorming ideas for the video stories, multimedia project, and feature story so I could start doing my research and legwork early. If I would have waited until the last minute, first thing, my professors would probably be like "what the heck girl, this is due in like two weeks and your ideas are the worst, fix it" and then I'd probably cry because of stress. Writing out all of your ideas (even the bad ones!) is a great way to put your thoughts into words so you don't forget them and so you can see what you're thinking of and can edit accordingly.

3. Remember that you still have four weeks to breathe

While preparation is definitely a good idea, just remember that you still have your normal classes to get through during this time. Don't stress too much about the impending final dates because you still have time to relax(ish)(can any college student truly relax?).

4. Plan ahead and start ASAP

If you have the ability and opportunity to chip away slowly at a project, do it. Do it immediately and don't look back. If you take your time on something and give yourself the opportunity to fine tune and edit, you're ultimately going to have a better product than if you rushed last minute to just get it done. Start early and give yourself ample time to finish so you're not pulling all-nighters in three weeks time to try to make something worthy of a C (which, I would like to stress, is not a bad grade).

5. Ask questions for clear guidelines

Again, this is probably geared more towards final projects and not exams (though you could certainly ask exactly what is expected of you for the final exam). Don't just accept the rubric without asking questions. Even if it is the most clear and pristine and well laid out rubric in the entire world, ask for clarification. Ask for an example. Ask for something so you know just what is expected of you for the project. You don't want to jump into it blindly and find out that you actually needed three more parts that you didn't include in the first place. It's better to be thorough up front rather than trying to play catch up last minute later on down the line.

How are you preparing for finals week? Or is it out of sight, out of mind?

My Netflix (and Chill?) List

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

If you know me, you know that I am the worst when it comes to watching movies and TV shows in a timely manner. I'm constantly behind on the shows I watch (I can't even tell you the last time I watched TV, honestly) and I can barely sit through my favorite movies without getting antsy or feeling like I'm wasting time. Therefore, my Netflix account generally goes to waste and I'm not entirely sure why I pay for it every month. Alas, that eight or nine dollars (how much does Netflix even cost now?) generally goes to waste every month because I just don't have time. 

However, my list is just chock full of new things to watch that I always tell myself that I'll get to. Any time somebody tells me to check something out, I'll throw in some smiley faces and a promise that I'll add it to my list, only to most likely forget about it unless I'm caught at the perfect time where I'm not feeling guilty for spending time on leisurely things and watch it right away.

In hopes that maybe I'll get excited about the prospect of checking things off a list, here's a list of the television shows and movies that I would really like to watch (or finish) at some point.

1. How to Get Away with Murder 
2. Jane the Virgin
3. Vampire Diaries
4. Saved by the Bell
5. Arrow
6. Mad Men
7. In Your Eyes
8. Frances Ha
9. Bill Cunningham New York
10. Leap Year

I swear, I'll get to these. Let's also add on Gossip Girl because I have yet to make it past season two. Or maybe I finally started season 3...I'm not entirely sure.

What shows or movies do you really want to watch but don't have the time for?

On Being Your Own Best Friend

Monday, November 2, 2015

Treat Yourself the Way You Want Others to Treat You

I've had quite a few conversations on this topic over the past couple of weeks, each stemming from different aspects of our daily life that we don't even realize that we do. It's true that we are our own worst critics. We say and think things about ourselves that no one would ever dare tell us. And we pass it off as self-deprecating humor. 

"I'm a mess" is my favorite thing to say. If I do something wrong or if I'm doing something particularly slow, my go to excuse is that I'm a mess. It's easy, it's cute, it always makes somebody laugh. It seems harmless. But I literally say it every day, sometimes twice a day, even three or four times a day. How many times can I say this to myself before I become numb to it and start believing it? What if I was saying something worse than the vague term "mess," replacing it with something about my appearance or pinpointing something about my personality? How many times can you say something about yourself before you start believing it and living out your life with that knowledge?

Along the lines of the phrase "I'm sorry, I'm a mess," I also find that I say "ignore me, I'm stupid" far more often than I should. Now, I know I'm not stupid. I'm a smart girl who makes mistakes, like any normal person. But I'm constantly belittling myself and my own intelligence just because I don't grasp something immediately or need to ask questions or just plain do something wrong. If I constantly berate myself, am I just giving other people the opportunity to do so? I'm not beating them to the punch, I'm giving them a basis to criticize me because they think it's okay.

One of my friends said a classmate of hers jokingly said that we all hate looking at ourselves. I sunk down so low into my chair when a video of me talking about my blog was presented during a class once. I hate the sound of my voice, I hate hearing myself talk about things when it's not just in a casual conversation. I don't want to see myself on the screen, ever, for no other reason that pure insecurity. I looked fine that day, what I was saying wasn't particularly interesting but it also wasn't embarrassing. But I just didn't want to watch myself do it, for whatever reason. 

I think I've talked about this part of an episode of The Mindy Project before, but I think it's too important not to mention again, especially in this post. Basically, Mindy is feeling insecure about herself in her state of pregnancy. She's wearing tracksuits as opposed to her glamorous and eccentric style. She instills the help of her co-worker and her co-workers cousin to help her get through this period of insecurity. There's a point where one of the girls asks Mindy to look in the mirror and talk about herself. She completely rips herself apart, like many of us do on a daily basis. 

The cousin makes a point that stuck with me since the episode aired. She said, basically, that Mindy would never say that to her best friend, so why would she say it to herself? We are our own best friends, we should treat ourselves the same way we'd treat another close friend.

I would never call one of my friends a mess, or stupid, or ugly, or fat, or worthless. I would never in a million years utter those things to them, so why in the world would I look myself in the eye in the mirror and think those about myself? Why do these hurtful things become acceptable when I'm saying them about myself?

The other day, my friend showed me a side-by-side picture of my during October of my freshmen year of college and a picture I took back in August. The differences were crazy, not just in looks, but in my facial expressions. My smile was forced in the first photo, I didn't look happy. It was weird looking at myself back then and I was remembering how I felt in that moment. I noted how miserable I used to be. Hating myself was exhausting.

She asked me how I learned to stop. 

I said it just happens. You sort of wake up one day. It could be a Monday. It could be a Saturday. And you realize how futile it ins to be your own worst enemy. And things don't change like magic, but you stop staring in the mirror and psychoanalyzing your ever nook and cranny and action. You little by little start complimenting yourself and taking more selfies and putting yourself out there. And it's not perfect and sometimes you regress a little, but slowly but surely you learn to become your own best friend, even if you have some of your own. It's a process, but it's worth it. It's so, so worth it.

*listens to "Love Myself" by Hailee Steinfeld on repeat for the rest of the day*
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