Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Reflection

Well, I did it, I survived May with minimal tears. This was the month that in my head I've been counting down until since, well, probably fall. I think it was a date I was inevitably looking forward to when I first started college. The difference was that freshmen year me was yearning for the day that I could be done with college and CSU. Senior year me was excited for new beginnings while simultaneously being torn up by the fact that I had to leave. I think that's character development, right?

The beginning half of the month was jam packed with trying to fit in as much as possible into a fifteen day period. There were restaurants to eat at and people to see and loose ends to be tied up and it was a whole thing. It was go, go, go (which is not too dissimilar from the rest of my life, but this was on a whole other level), but I really loved every second of it. I don't think I need to delve too deep into what happened post May 15th. I think there's about two weeks worth of overly emotional blog posts that will explain that topic just fine.

I spent practically a whole week unpacking my room and getting it to my new standards. There's still work to be done, mainly cleaning off the top of my dresser from all of the crap that has been accumulating since the Jonas Brothers hit the scene in 2005/2006. At least my closet is set up and organized. That's truly all that matters, right?

Unpacking was stressful though, don't get me wrong. I had a full on meltdown on the second day I was home because it's much easier to move into an empty space and make it your own. Moving into a place that's already lived in and semi-full is a task that I was not prepared to deal with. It took a few days and a lot of crying to get things to where they are now, but all is well in the world of my childhood bedroom.

I started one of my old jobs again last week, which is fine I suppose. Not my favorite job in the world, but I have to do what I can to save for New York City, right? Can't be too picky with the things that will hopefully help me afford food. I'll start babysitting sometime in June, which is always a good time. I'm looking forward to hopefully a relaxed summer for the first time in my life. We'll see how that goes and how I'm able to handle the concept of "relaxed." Historically speaking, the word relax and I do not get along at all. Maybe I'll see things in a different light this summer. Or maybe I'll just continue to force myself to run around like a chicken with its head cut off.

I'm looking forward to a lot of fun stuff in June though. First thing, even though it's not June, I get to see The 1975 tonight, which I'm super stoked about. My dad is opening for Eddie Money at the end of the month, my brother's old band is getting back together for a show, and my cousin is having a princess themed birthday/dance party. Hopefully there are other concerts and what not sprinkled in there, but only time will tell!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

One Last Consignment Haul

Saturday was my Official Last Day Ever™ at the consignment store and I might have done a little bit of damage for one last chance to use my discount. Do I think this is my last time shopping there? HECK NO. I've already planned on stopping in at some point before I move to New York City because I'll need some nice new additions to my wardrobe, of course. I'm sure these will all end up in some outfit photos at some point (if I ever stop being lazy and refusing to get ready for the day), but for now, here's some fun flat lays of the goodies I got!

I've been eyeing this Markus Lupfer sweatshirt for a while now so when I saw that it was on sale I had to finally bite the bullet. How flipping funny is this?

I've had this shaggy Worth cropped jacket on hold in the back for literally months now and I kept forgetting to buy it. It's just such an odd ball piece that I'm so excited to style when the weather is right!

These Rebecca Minkoff sandals were an impulsive purchase, I must admit. They had just come in a few days ago and I had seen them for the first time on Friday but didn't get a chance to try them on. I wore them around the store for a few minutes on Saturday and decided that I needed them. Oddly enough, these were the most expensive piece that I bought, but they're practically brand new and something unlike anything in my collection. First thing, they don't have a heel, which is a rarity with me when it comes to shoes. I like a little bit of a bump in my height, but I also can't always wear heels. My feet will absolutely hate me. These seemed like a fun substitute for them because the lace detail and the metallic trim make a pair of espadrille sandals a bit more interesting.

Joggers are my favorite type of pant ever and I don't think I own enough of them, in my opinion. These Joie army green joggers were calling my name before I left two weeks ago, but I never got a chance to try them on. Plus, I assumed they'd be too big. I mean, they kind of are, but I like when things aren't clinging to my thighs, which means I sacrifice things fitting nicely in the waist. I plan on trying to get these fixed so they fit me in all areas on the legs, but for now I just need to wear the drawstring tight!

Last but not least, these might be my favorite thing that I got. They're a pair of Rag & Bone silk....pajama pants? They're called the Rudy pant on their website, if that means anything. I don't know what to even call them, but they remind me of a handkerchief and I am absolutely obsessed. I cannot wait to style these thing summer. They fit so loosely and lovely and are going to look so good with sandals and t-shirts, as well with booties and sweaters. Ugh, I cannot believe that I managed to snag these before anyone else.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Ever Since New York | A May Playlist

I'm going to be frank, once Harry Styles' new album came out at the beginning of the month, I figured that was all I was going to be listening to throughout the month. I definitely surprised myself by sprinkling in some other jams throughout, though some of those jams belong to Niall Horan ("Slow Hands") and sir Liam Payne ("Strip that Down," which CHANGED MY LIFE). What can I say, once a fangirl, always a fangirl.

Paramore's new album is also the bomb dot com, which came out on the same day as Harry's debut album. I've also been O B S E S S E D with Haim's "Want You Back." It's kind of an issue. It's just such a bop and I cannot help but swing my hips and bob my head back and forth. I just want to drive down a long stretch of road in the summer with all of my windows down blasting this tune. Also, QUEEN CARLY RAE JEPSEN RELEASED A NEW SONG A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO. Honestly, we were just #Blessed with a bunch of new music this month. I don't know what we did as humanity to deserve these bops, but I'm grateful for them anyways.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Good Reads

1. Making Friends in Your 20's: What I've Learned and What I'm Learning Have I ever related to a post more in my life before this moment? No, I don't think so.

2. Memoirs of the Maldives I've never been one for secluded vacations (AKA anything without some sort of time in a bustling city involved), but Lydia has put the Maldives on my radar and I cannot stop thinking about it. Gorgeous photos with such a lovely sentiment attached to them.

3. My Most Embarrassing Fashion Phases, Ranked The other night I had to explain the double polo look to my friend and her boyfriend and it was an eye-opening experience. I'm so glad that those days are over and my body is not cased within two different colored Hollister polos.

4. What Happens When Getting Dressed is No Longer Fun? I like this post in general because the constantly questioning yourself and not feeling totally you is #Relatable, but the comments section on this post was also incredibly interesting.

5. Striped Paige Jeans & A Button Down I love that the pants are the statement with this outfit! Plus, the combination of the striped pants and the studded handbag (plus the red shoes!) are just a really fun combination to make a punchy outfit without dozens of pieces layered upon each other.

6. What Do Bloggers Do All Day? A nice little insight into what goes into our favorite blogs!

7. An Interview with Sophia Amoruso & Visiting The #Girlboss Costume Department I love that we got a behind the scenes look at the costume process for this show. I find costumes so interesting, especially when the style isn't modern. I mean, 2000s is a bit different than dressing for an entirely different century, but even still, super fascinating!

8. I’ve Never Told Anyone About My Eating Disorder Definitely do not read this if you'll find this triggering, but this was such an honest and raw guest post on Man Repeller and it had me in tears.

9. Step Back This is such a cool concept for photoshoots and I'm loving the direction that Lizzy is taking!

What have you been reading lately?

Saturday, May 27, 2017

My Current Makeup Bag

I feel like the easiest way to assess what you like and what you love in your makeup collection and cannot live without is best tested when it comes to packing. Obviously what you bring takes into consideration where you're going, what you're wearing and all that jazz, but for a pretty standard trip, packing opens your eyes to what you need when you're away from your makeup collection (or at least, what you think you need). For me, I'd say this is pretty accurate, aside from the lack of lipsticks. I didn't need any fun colors with what I was packing, which was a sad day whilst packing. I LOVE MY LIPSTICK COLLECTION SO MUCH.

Since I'm away for the weekend, I'd figure I'd share everything that came along with me this time around!

My makeup bag is an old Carolina Herrera medium sized bag that came in a set of three during the Target x Neiman Marcus collection a few years ago. It's the perfect size for a long weekend trip and fits just about everything (besides my brushes).

I talked about the Too Cool For School Egg Mellow Cream on Thursday, so it's no surprise that this moisturizer came along with me. I'm still using my Makeup Forever hydrating primer as a moisturizing base for the rest of my face makeup. For foundation, I actually just finished up Too Faced Born This Way. I use Tarte's Shape Tape concealer underneath my eyes and the Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer for #AllTheZits and random redness. I normally use a loose setting powder for my foundation, but since I don't like to travel with it, I brought out my trusty Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette. As usual, I'm using my Too Faced Chocolate Soliel Bronzer for, uh, bronzer? To finish it off, I brought Benefit's Rockateur blush and the Balm's Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter.

I prime my eyelids with my MAC Painterly Paint Pot (again, I talked about this one on Thursday too). I've been using my Urban Decay Naked Palette for my eye looks because, well, I don't really have any reason. It's my tried and true palette and while it's certainly a bit basic and doesn't have the most shades, it does its job! I use the Soap and Glory Supercat liner to liner my lids and the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner to wing it out. I fill in my eyebrows with Faint and Crave from the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette and use the Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel to set them. I've been using the Maybelline Lash Sensational, MAC False Lashes and, and Maybelline Great Lash (the royal blue version) for my mascara this week. To finish off the looks, I have NARS Claudia and NYX Sydney with me for a fun punch of pink!

What's in your makeup bag?

Friday, May 26, 2017

HELP, I Miss My College Friends!

It hasn't even been two weeks and I'm in deep sh!t with my attachments issues. I don't like change all that much, to an extent at least. I can usually cope with change because I typically just detach myself from everything so I don't miss it any more. Unfortunately this method doesn't work with everything so now here I am, less than two weeks later wishing that these photos could be recreated in real time.

I don't really know what you're supposed to do when you miss people that you can't easily visit. Send endless memes? Spam them with sixteen messages in a row about absolutely nothing? What about #AllTheGifs? Singing via text message does not give the same entertainment value or level of satisfaction as singing a duet in real life. Living that virtual friendship life isn't all that fun when you know what it's like to chill with your friends on the daily.

I feel like I'm cheating. I got to have lunch with one of my old roommates yesterday and tonight I'm going to hang out with another, even if it's only for a few hours. It's a really weird adjustment going from walking down the hall to say hello to driving from Buffalo to Cleveland, stopping by for a few hours before heading back. In the words of Chris Evans, I don't wike it.

This post was originally supposed to tackle how to deal with missing your friends, but I don't even know if it has truly hit me. Guaranteed it will hit me as I leave Cleveland on Monday after a long weekend here. A song will come on that will spark the tears and I'll spend the three hour drive ugly crying. No unsolicited advice will be doled out today, just a few paragraphs of sentimentality and me reverting back to my emotional self. I should temporarily rename this blog Emotions According to Francesca. And now I have "Emotions" by Mariah Carey stuck in my head. Dammit.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Things I'm Loving

1. Too Cool for School Egg Mellow Cream

This was one of those purchases that I threw into my Sephora cart last minute because I knew that I wanted to buy some stuff while there was 15% off but I didn't necessarily know what I wanted to buy. I was popping around various skincare sections of Sephora and found and entire section dedicated to Korean skincare (K-Beauty if you're checking it out for yourself). I'd already had more than enough masks in my cart and I wasn't due for a new cleanser yet, but I was pretty intrigued by just about everything when it came to this moisturizer.

The pastel yellow packaging stood out to me at first, followed by the large "Egg" that's written in pretty large text on the front. I'm distracted by aesthetics and sources of protein, what can I say? The description says it's a five-in-one firming moisturizer that helps boost younger looking skin. It's infused with collagen fiber that makes the skin feel more elastic and does a bunch of other cool stuff apparently. Honestly, by this point I think it's clear that I don't know why I like certain skincare products, but I just do. This is definitely one of those situations.

I don't know what to look for when it comes to "elasticity" in my skin or any sort of firming properties #FakeBeautyBlogger. I like the consistency–somewhere between a cream and a gel. I don't mind the smell, even if it is fairly strong. I like that it comes out in a pump and I especially like that it doesn't make my skin break out. It's a really nice moisturizer for daytime and nighttime, settles nicely onto the skin without making it feel slick, greasy or tacky. All in all, I'm really liking what it's doing for my skin and I just feel like my skin looks and feels better when I'm using it.

2. "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" by Shawn Mendes

Y'all, Shawn Mendes came for me and he came for me with vengeance. I managed to avoid the Shawn Mendes train the first time it came around with his first album and "Life of the Party." I have this thing where I like to focus on one thing at a time when I'm fangirling hard and my life has pretty much been dedicated to One Direction since the Jonas Brothers split in 2013. All of this sounds like a big ole joke but it's not. THIS IS MY LIFE.

Ahem, I digress...I started accidentally getting into Shawn Mendes when he literally took over the radio and pop culture with his stupidly good vocals, songs and cute as heck smile. I had been mildly into his album Illuminate over the past few months, but this song came out of nowhere and punched me in the neck. It showed up on my Release Radar Spotify playlist and the second I heard his rasp in the first chorus I nearly fell to the floor. I'm probably too old to be flailing over Shawn Mendes, but whatever. As I said, this is my life and I am doomed to a future of perpetual fangirling.

3. MAC Painterly Paint Pot

MAC's Painterly Paint Pot is one of my tried and true favorites and has been for years. It's one of the only products (besides foundation and concealer) that I've ever finished and had to repurchase. I buy more makeup than I can handle and typically never finish anything, but I powered through this product this first time and have made quite the dent in my second. It's the perfect base color for my skin tone. I use it as an eyeshadow primer, as a base on days when I don't want to worry about a full eye look, even as a makeshift concealer to cover up any veins or discoloration I might have on my lids that particular day. My makeup won't slip and slide during the day when I wear this as an eyeshadow primer. It gives a nice base for the shadows to grasp too without being too tacky or tough, making the eyeshadows too tough to blend out. I feel like this is a major "DUH!!!!" product, but if you haven't tried out this Paint Pot or Soft Ochre (more yellow toned), I'd highly recommend it.

4. Adidas fitted track pants

I've come to the point in my life where I cannot avoid wearing sweatpants in public. That's right, I said it. I'M WEARING SWEATPANTS IN PUBLIC. There are some days where it's just too cold for running shorts and I'm too bloated and don't feel like wearing leggings on a quick errand. All of my other sweatpants are literally oversized disgusting messes that I got from Victoria's Secret when I was still in high school, so you know those five to six year old sweatpants have permanent stains and holes where there should not be holes.

My life was missing a pair of cool, hip track pants that I could wear in public and not feel like a massive pile of garbage. I should say that I don't think people who wear sweatpants in public are garbage. I think that I personally am garbage and anything and everything contributes to that, from the status of my hair to the amount of makeup I'm wearing. I'm roasting myself here, but the roast is over because I look cool in these track pants. I used to steal my brother's every time he brought them home because I suck and never bring enough clothes home with me when I come back. After stealing his for a solid year or so, my mom bought me a pair of my own and I cherish them dearly. They're my favorite lounge pants and I would be LOST WITHOUT THEM.

What have you been loving lately?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Let's Check Up On Those 2017 Goals

My yearly "to do" list is near and dear to my heart. I just realized today that everything has been so crazy since the beginning of this year that I haven't had the time to check up and see where I am in terms of my goals. I knew a lot of them were going to take a while, the whole year probably, but it's fun to see what I still have yet to accomplish in 2017.
  1. Move to New York City - The aim is September!
  2. Read one new book each month - So far, so good!
  3. Aim for at least seven hours (but really, eight) hours of sleep as many nights as you can manage a week - This might be one of my greatest accomplishments yet. 
  4. Go on a road trip
  5. Take more outfit pictures for Life According to Francesca so it can finally be the fashion blog you’ve always wanted - Kind of. I mean, I anticipated more, so hopefully this summer allows that.
  6. Compliment someone each day
  7. When it’s no longer winter, start running again
  8. Read more blogs
  9. Invest in a pair of black heels
  10. Narrow down the contents of your wardrobe, again. Keep downsizing to make the move to New York (because it’s happening) that much easier
  11. Wear all of your lipsticks at least twice
  12. Go to one new spot in Cleveland for the last five months of living in Ohio - I was mainly a creature of habit, unfortunately. I did try out a few new places though!
  13. Save a majority of your paychecks
  14. Go to the Indians home-opener
  15. Do not let stress consume your entire being - I am a ball of stress by nature, but I'm still working on it.
  16. Take more pictures–of yourself, with your friends, of your food, etc
  17. Survive the second year of One Direction’s hiatus
  18. Reach 1,000 followers on Instagram
  19. Become more adventurous with makeup–add something more to that signature winged eyeliner
  20. Vlog at least once. Like, just once. Come on. You can do it.
This list is certainly pared down from my lists of forty from all of the previous years, which makes everything seem that much more attainable. How sweet would it be if I could cross all of these off? I mean, that is the aim after all!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cleveland: The Wandering Wardrobe

Am I biased because I spent over two years working here? Potentially, but also, not really at all. I loved this store before I was the girl behind the counter checking customers out. I would've been chasing down this truck at as many events as possible waving my debit card in the air if it came down to it. I spent many o' paychecks at my own job, which was entirely fine with me most of the time (not really when it came time for utilities, but that's how I learned my lesson).

Wandering Wardrobe is a local (to Cleveland) traveling boutique that pops up at markets and collaborates with other small businesses to bring fun and unique fashion to Cleveland. The brain behind the operations is Caroline, Cleveland native who created a business on wheels that's going on its fourth season.

Caroline keeps the truck–aptly nicknamed Wanda–stocked with a combination of bright and colorful pieces and more neutral, solid basics. There's truly something for everyone on the truck, whether it's a  simple top, a cold-shoulder and ruffly floral dress, or even a pair of simple studded earrings or a citrus shaped handbag. There's only six of each piece, so if you're lucky enough to snag one of the pieces for your own, you probably won't have to worry about showing up some place and seeing someone with an exact replica.

People were always fascinated by the fact that there was a fully functioning boutique on the inside of an old refurbished truck. I always joked that it was like a food truck but for clothing, which could arguably be considered better. It's such a fun concept, and the first to hit Northeastern Ohio!

Fear not if you're not from the area. Wanda's inventory is also all on Wandering Wardrobe's online store, with tons of new arrivals every week. Caroline runs fun sales and promotions every so often on Instagram too, so if you fancy a follow, you'll be kept in the loop!

Where: Everywhere (in Northeastern Ohio)!!! Check out Wanda's calendar to see where there truck will be parked next.
What: Cute and affordable trendy and classic wardrobe pieces plus really unique accessories.
For fans of: Shopping small and boutiques!

Monday, May 22, 2017

What Should You Do During Your Last Summer Before College?

According to Google Analytics, the most popular post on my blog is my post Tips for the Summer Before College, which sort of blows my mind because that also might be one of the worst posts on my blog. I wrote it in May of 2014, only a couple months after I decided to blog daily. In true perfectionist nature, I feel like I could do better, so here I am, trying to one up myself.

My first summer before I moved to Cleveland seems like it was ages ago, but I'm fairly certain I spent that whole summer working, trying to see my friends as much as possible, shopping in bulk for random bits I knew I'd need around my dorm, and most likely a whole lot of stressing out. I mean, I was gearing up to live alone for the first time in my seventeen years on this big 'ole planet. Some things might overlap, just because I apparently did get some of it right.

1. Save up your money

You may or may not have a job when you stat off your first semester as a freshmen. I personally didn't get a job until second semester of my second year at school, which meant for groceries and spending money, I had to rely on whatever I had saved to get by. It's a hard knock life when you only have a certain amount of money that you can spend and you have to ration it. I babysat and did some office work the summer before my freshmen year. I had some graduation money from my high school grad party that summer, but all of that went towards my first tuition payment, so I didn't have that cushion to rely on.

It's never too early to set up a budget or whatever will help you keep your money in line. Personally, I don't use a budget because I know I can't trust myself to stay on it and then if I break my budget I'll get really disappointed in myself and start reciting the father/son monologues from any sports movie ever where the son yells, "It's not my dream, it's yours" and things will just be all around emotional. Where was I? Oh yeah, save your money, kids. Because let me tell you, you are not going to want to eat on campus every single day unless your campus is literally heaven and has the best food on the entire planet. Even if that was the case, you're going to want to venture out and get at least a damn Starbucks drink at some point, which might as well be $200.

Bottom line: at some point during your freshmen year, you're going to need money. You might have nice enough parents or family members to bail you out, but you also might not. Save your money while you can. It'll save you in the long run.

2. Pack and prep for your first semester

I suppose this is all in relation to if you're going away for college. I think, in a sense, these tips could apply to any college experience, but this specifically might be geared more towards those who are living in the dorms. The worst thing you could do when it comes to moving away is to procrastinate. I've rummaged through that college section at Target towards the end of the line and it is #SlimPickings, let me tell you. Jump on that section early. You know you're going to need that stuff from the start. There are plenty of dorm checklists on Pinterest that you can mimic your list after. All of those lists want you to bring way too much crap, but it's a good place to start.

Shop for bits and pieces as the summer progresses. If you try to buy all of your stuff all at once, you're going to overwhelm yourself and tailspin into a panic about how old you're getting and how your life is going to turn into your old life while you move onto a new chapter. It's not a cute look, so spread out the inevitable shopping and carve a small area of your basement, spare room, whatever it may be, to start storing your college collection.

3. Spend time with your friends and family

In between saving your money and trying to shop so your dorm has some sort of proof that a human is occupying that space your freshmen year, spending time with the people you love (or tolerate...just kidding) at home is probably a good use of your time. You're probably going to get exhausted with all of socializing, but it's for the best. You're going to miss these people when you're gone and you'll cling to any memories you have of them while you're apart. You might as well spend some extra time with them and create new memories that you can look back on fondly.

4. Make sure your class schedule is accurate

I'm assuming that at some point during the summer, you're going to get your class schedule with at least your fall semester courses, if not your spring semester courses as well. I know you won't be super familiar with the system your school uses at that point, but maybe take a browse of your courses. Had I done this freshmen year and not just trusted that my advisor took all of my courses into consideration, I could've avoided taking two of the classes that I did.

I don't know what this would've done for me in the long run or if it would have made a huge difference, but it stinks to know that some of my money was wasted because I didn't take a chance to see that I already had those credits on my transcript. This might require a bit of time as you have to learn the ropes of the scheduling system that your college uses on top of following the specific course structure your declared major (if you have one) uses. Fear not though, because I know at my school it had requirements broken down into various sections. If you haven't declared a major yet there should be a list of plain old general education requirements that everyone at your college has to complete.

5. Enjoy your free time

Soon, your free time might become limited. This totally depends on how you handle the transition from high school to nothing to college. I can't say that this will apply to everyone, but college might end up being this insanely stressful time of your life that you need to learn how to manage. On the other hand, general education classes might be something that you breeze through. Nothing that I'm saying is going to apply to everyone, so I'm not sure why I'm making this disclaimer so late in the post.

I digress, relish in the fact that summer might be your last non-stressful period before college happens and explodes in your face. I know your summer might already seem full between working, shopping, preparing, hanging out with friends, and all that jazz...but you always have to take time out for yourself. If you can sleep in late, do it. Lay outside (with the proper amount of sunscreen that you continuously reapply!) and catch some rays. Read ten books. Read a magazine or ten. Do things entirely for yourself and let yourself enjoy what could be your last summer at home. Or, at least, your last summer before you're officially a college student.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Good Reads

1. Anxious and Aspiring Arbela, unsurprisingly, nails it again in this article for Bottle Magazine. If you're on your path to graduation or just graduated and wonder where all the time to prepare yourself has gone...check this piece out.

2. How Blogging Helps My Anxiety Really keeping it light to start off today's post, eh? I really love this post that Jessica did this week because it's not something that I've seen discussed a lot on blogs. I see YouTubers talking about it more often, but it's rare that I see this kind of stuff in print and it's refreshing.

3. Blazer and Frayed Denim I'm going to be a real nerd super quick and embrace my inner Brick Heck when I say that the font that Aimee uses on her blog is just really aesthetically pleasing and nice to read. Anyways, moving on...I wanna look this cool in a blazer!

4. Instagram is a Liar Sometimes and Other Mental Health Awareness Month Musings I think that this line really struck me: " media can be a space in which to create and maintain an open community, but that we put up barriers which often keep us from reaping the benefits of these platforms." I mean, the whole post did and I'm really loving that Mental Health Awareness Month is bringing out all of these posts with topics that bloggers tend to stray from in order to keep a squeaky clean, rose-tinted life.

5. Clueless Lookbook Cher Horowitz is my idol, so I'm pretty much in love with this post and these outfits.

6. Tested: Sandals You Can Actually Walk in All Summer I mean, all I gotta say is those Miu Miu shoes are the freaking coolest.

7. Why Do We Insist on Socializing at Night? If I hella related to this, does this mean I'm getting old or just getting wise?

8. I'm Into This: Statement Earrings This is also something that I am into, which is really funny because my feelings towards jewelry are typically pretty ambivalent. Maybe it's because I finally have short enough hair where I feel like the statement earrings pair nicely with the length at the moment.

9. How to Curb Your Sweet Tooth As much as I love my sweet treats, I should probably be studying this post more closely.

10. My Favorite Way to Wear a Statement Midi Skirt I love the flamingo print, first thing. Plus that mustard yellow bag? Adorable!

11. Kim Kardashian’s Assistant is Brimming With Career Advice I still have to read the full article (4,000 words is a big commitment for my short term memory), but I'm loving this summary post.

12. Personal Post - Where I Stand in the Blogging Industry & Why I Won't Change Claire has become one of my favorite bloggers and YouTubers to watch so insanely quickly. I love her attitude, her style, and her personality.

13. Three Ways to Wear Flats (Without Feeling Flat) I'm not going to lie, I've gotten so accustomed to what I look like when I'm wearing something with a bit of a heel (or, if it's my Rebecca Minkoff four-inch booties, a lot of heel) that the idea of flats terrify me. I love these looks that Brittany put together and I'm telling myself right here, right now, that I'm going to figure out how to make this look work for myself!

What have you been reading lately?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Dream Closet, Vol. 29

It's that time of month again where I peruse Net-a-Porter and cry over the new arrivals of beautiful clothes. Man oh man, there is too much color on here for my taste but I couldn't help it. Now that I look at it again, there is a measly amount of color, but for my entirely black and white wardrobe this is literally a rainbow explosion. Literally though, I would do absolutely anything for that Saint Laurent choker. ANYTHING*

* would probably not do anything, but like...within reason...

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Lost OOTD | Hingetown, Ohio City

Me, being the person I am, left these photos sitting in a photo folder on my computer for about eight months completely untouched. I don't know how I forgot to post these (well, I do, I'm a cotton-headed ninny-muggin), but better late than never I suppose, right? The lovely Ann Marie from Golden Standard reached out to me last fall about meeting up for this lil photoshoot and some ice cream following. If you want experience from #InstagramFeedGoals, check her out. Her photos are gorgeous and her blog isn't any exception. Since the art in Ohio City is something I'm going to miss dearly, here's a little #tbt to last fall after this mural by artist Joey Lanzilotta was finished.

Top: Rag & Bone (from Cleveland Consignment Shoppe)
Skirt: Nordstrom 
Shoes: Topshop
Scarf: Zara
Bag: Zara
Sunglasses: Quay

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Things I'm Loving

1. Harry Styles by Harry Styles

Bet ya thought I forgot about this album. SIKE! It's essentially all I've been listening to since the album released last Friday (with a little bit of "Want You Back" by Haim mixed in there because that is a BOP). Mind you, it's only ten songs, so I think that really showcases my ability to play songs on repeat for hours upon hours. All jokes aside, I haven't had much time to listen to new music as of late because, if you've missed any blog post from literally the last like three weeks (let's be real, six months, I'm super dramatic) you'd know I just moved and blah blah blah you know the story.

ANYWAYS. THIS ALBUM. Eponymous debut album with a shirtless Harry Styles and milky pink bath on the cover. I'm here for it, I really am. It's a really cool mix of more acoustic pop-rock stuff with some heavier rock inspired music sandwiched in-between. If you liked "Sign of the Times," you'll like the rest of the album. Even if you didn't like "Sign of the Times," you'll still like the rest of the album because it's really the only song like that on there. It's so unique in itself, yet it still manages to meld in with the rest of the nine tracks.

As eager as I am for One Direction to get back together, I'm also really eager to hear more of Harry's writing. Will he get more vulnerable or will he skirt around the nitty gritty details? It's always interesting getting to see the world through the point of view of someone else and I think music is just the best way to do it for some people.

To listen to: "Carolina," "Sweet Creature," "Ever Since New York," "Only Angel," and "From the Dining Table"

2. TONYMOLY sheet masks

My co-worker and I spent a lot of our hours on Saturdays chatting about makeup and skincare. We're both obsessed with doing face masks and she talked about these TONYMOLY masks that she picked up at Urban Outfitters, more specifically the brightening one. I believe they sell them at Ulta as well, but I happened to be at UO a couple of weekends ago and decided to take advantage of the 4 for $10 deal they have there.

Sheet masks are fun because they make you look like you have a terrifying Snapchat filter on at all times. They're also fun because you literally don't have to do anything but keep this saturated mask on your face, no mess required. So far I've tried out the I'm Real Lemon, I'm Real Tea Tree, and I'm Real Seaweed masks and I've liked all three so far. They're really inexpensive and I've definitely noticed that my skin is visibly less red, smoother, and more moisturized after these masks.

3. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

I've featured this product in a Things I'm Loving post before, but even now more than ever I appreciate the existence of this sponge. I think it's great for applying your makeup as the weather starts to heat up. All you have to do is wet the sponge and just dab your product of choice onto your face until it's blended out, whether it's a tinted moisturizer or your favorite full coverage foundation. No brush or applicator has given me coverage that is so seemingly natural and flawless. Well, at least as flawless as my acne ridden face can look. I'd say considering the base I'm working with, this sponge does a pretty damn good job.

4. Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser

I got this through a point perk at Sephora that came with a week long serum sample kit. It's a gel like cleanser that doesn't produce a lot of suds, but that definitely doesn't mean that it's not working. I prefer to take my makeup off before I use this just because I know how much makeup I wear and I wouldn't blame a cleanser for not taking all of it off. I was using a toner to try to keep my oily face at bay, but I have an inkling it might have been making me breakout (still hoping it was stress and not the toner I spent a pretty penny on). I like to use this morning and night because it's gentle enough while it still actually makes me feel like I'm cleansing my face instead of just getting it wet, rubbing some soap on it, and have the same results as soon as I wash it off. If things continue to go well with it, I might have to pick up a full-sized version as I'm currently lacking a full-sized cleanser at the moment.

What have you been loving lately?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Love Letter to College

Dear My Three and a Half Years at Cleveland State University,

COME BACK TO ME, DAMMIT. It's one of those situations where I knew it was time to move on, but I didn't realize it would be this hard or painful. I mean, I cried two times yesterday wishing I could go back. I think it's less about the education and more about the people I've met through said education, but still.

When I started college, I was an insanely shy and homesick seventeen-year-old living on her own for the first time ever. The longest I'd been from home was a little over a week when I went to Spain during my senior year of high school. I might have gone to New Jersey for a week when I was younger, but family was always with me. I was on my own on my own with no family in sight. I didn't have any friends at the school, any friends in Cleveland at all.

You learn how to fend for yourself very quickly when you know you're the only person you can count on. I couldn't lean on my parents to do things for me anymore. I had to cook (still debatable, honestly...does toasting a bagel count?), clean, do my laundry, finish my classwork, all while trying to find out what my "college experience" was going to look like.

I spent my first two years trying to figure everything out. Did I want to join organizations on campus? Did I want to put in extra effort into socializing when I knew I felt the most comfortable in my room or hidden somewhere downtown, secluding myself with just a book or notebook? Is that what I wanted my college experience to be? I struggled to focus on anything but academics for two years. Maybe that worked out in the long run, allowing me to finish a semester early, but I think for me, personally, I was missing a massive chunk of what I wanted moving away to school to be.

I found a friend during my freshmen year that, despite not being in my life now, introduced me to the people that are. On a whim, I moved in with her two friends to our first apartment and while things didn't work out the way that they should have, they worked out in a way that I think was ultimately better.

I found my true "college experience" junior year, a late bloomer in the typical context of how college is supposed to go. It didn't bother me though. I had finally found my hobbies and interests, I had two jobs that I loved, and I had people in my life that reminded me that I did not peak senior year of high school.

Despite the classes I've hated, the week long rain, the never ceasing wind tunnel of Euclid Avenue, that slight fishy smell from Lake Erie filling the air the second it gets slightly warm outside...I wouldn't change any of it. I enjoyed college for all it was worth. Even if I didn't love my program, I loved the people I met through it and the experiences I gained. I mean, there was a point where I was the managing editor, social media editor, and online editor for a student newspaper on campus, while also reporting for it. What? I used to swear that I didn't want any major responsibilities for anything and I spent my last semester of college doing #TheMost.

It was stressful, sure, but I learned so much from that experience. I can say that for most of my time at Cleveland State. Even if the class material didn't teach me, experiences from those classes, professors, classmates–whatever it was–gave me the lessons that I think I needed as time went on.

There's still a lot left to learn, but I know I'm starting off the next stage in my life in a good place. So, CSU, thanks for helping me grow instead of breaking me during that first semester when all I wanted to do was drop out. I did it, I made it!


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What's Next?

I meant to do this post earlier today, but god, I forgot how exhausting moving was. Yesterday was a whirlwind of exhaustion, lugging my life from my apartment into the moving truck and then from said moving truck into my house. Right now everything is piled up in the living room and my bedroom and honestly, I'm really stressed about it. My bed is still in pieces, my mattress is just laying on my floor buried beneath a heap of pillows, sheets, clothes, and anything else that I could toss onto it while I began tearing my room apart.

The only thing I've accomplished is cleaning out my desk that was full of sh!t from literally 2005. I have it semi-set up, which really says a lot about me. I'm not even working or in school and I still find the need to make sure that my work space is organized neatly and set up to my standards. Well, it's not quite there yet but I think that once my whole space is finally clean, tidy and current, all will be well.

Understandably, the question I got asked the most when I was leaving Cleveland was "what's next?" I never really knew how to answer that question. I mean, the immediate future was packing up my life, saying goodbye to my friends, followed by moving back home for the summer. Over the summer, I'm babysitting and just trying to relax for once in my life. I'll probably eat too much, hopefully start running again. Maybe I'll actually bake a thing or two. The summer is my oyster, I guess.

Most of the time, I knew they meant what am I doing with the rest of my life. Actually, a few people literally asked me that in all seriousness and I was taken aback. I'm only 21, am I meant to know what I'm doing for the next sixty years (knock on wood)? I didn't really know how to answer that question at all, so I pretty much just laughed and said the rest of my life was a long time, but I plan on moving to New York in September.

That answer usually brought on a lot of raised eyebrows, as if I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I mean, it's impossible to truly know what I'm standing up against. I've never lived in New York, only visited, but I know that's where I want to be and where I belong. I know that it's going to be expensive and hard and everything in between, but that doesn't mean that I don't want it any less.

My temporary answer to the question "what's next?" is unpacking. All I want to do in unpack, reorganize, and sleep. Seriously, I just want to sleep and drink Tim Hortons coffee and order my double-double iced coffees from Dunkin Donuts without getting a disgusting sugary mess because apparently that's not a nationally known way to order a drink. I plan on watching Harry Styles on James Corden this week and not putting on makeup unless entirely necessary.

What's next after all of that? Well, I don't know yet, but I guess I'll pass that bridge when it comes.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Stop This Train

I haven't seen my life in boxes in about two years, so it's very strange to see the plastic totes and reusable bags filled to the brim lined up against the wall waiting to be moved into a U-Haul. I have a feeling that this week is going to be another unofficial dedication to Cleveland because I somehow don't think I'm done talking about it. I feel like I just need to get it all out of my system so I can attempt the process of moving on.

The song "Stop This Train" by good ole John Mayer has been making me cry since 2006, but now I feel like I'm living it truly. It's weird. I want to keep moving forward and get myself to New York, but if I could have made Saturday night, my last night with my friends in Cleveland, last for a week long, I have. Two out of my three roommates are gone, but if I could have paused this weekend, I would've done that in a heartbeat.

I've been going through tons of old pictures from when I lived in the dorms. My hair was longer, my smile was less apparent, and there was never really anyone else in the pictures but me. Slowly as I started getting closer and closer to more recent years, more faces started popping up. It's funny how college was a slow process for me. I didn't immediately love it. I didn't find a group of friends until junior year, but I wouldn't have changed that for the world.

Today after I said goodbye (well, more of a see you later...right now we're both pretending that we're studying abroad next semester. I'm sure we'll cross that bridge when it comes) to one of my roommates, naturally, I cried. My mom asked me if I would've rather given up the last two years with my friends to avoid the tears and of course I said no. As sad as today is, I wouldn't have sacrificed the amazing years I've had in Cleveland and the last two years I've spent with my friends here.

If any of my friends are reading this, I'll see y'all later. I can't wait to see what everyone does with their lives after this day. And now, I must go finish tidying up and crying.

Signing out from Cleveland for the last time...

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Cleveland, Unfiltered

I'm going to let today's post speak for itself. I think I've blabbed on enough this week. I'm sure I'll be back to my usual emotional stream of consciousness tomorrow. These are some of my favorite shots that I've taken over the years here. Some have been on the blog before, most likely with a filter or two layered on top. Here's a small peek at Cleveland through my eyes, unfiltered and perfectly imperfect.