Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tips for Back to School Shopping

Back to School time was always one of my favorite times of year as a kid. Yes, there was the dreaded early alarms, impending homework, but there was also a lot of excitement. You never knew what the new school year was going to hold. My absolute favorite part of back to school was always going shopping!

I loved picking out new school supplies (still do) and it was so fun to pick out the perfect back to school outfit. The whole first week I would wear my brand new clothes from Old Navy and Justice (anyone else remember back to school shopping here?) because I was so excited. Then came the four years of high school where I had to wear a uniform everyday (now I see that as a blessing). Now that I'm in college and get to wear whatever I want everyday, I still love finding the perfect clothes for the start of the year.

In my opinion, shopping days can be totally hit or miss. To help you have the best back to school shopping experience, I wanted to offer up some of my favorite tips!

// know what you need //

Back to school (or back to college) is a great time to clean out your closet and take inventory of what you have and what you need. Maybe your jeans from last year got worn to death or that perfect white tee has a massive coffee stain. Pass on or toss out those items and go pick out new ones. This year I knew I really needed a new pair of jeans, and I ended up finding the most amazing jeans for my body type.

// wear neutral undergarments that fit //

This is probably the most important shopping tip in my opinion. Making sure everything is neutral underneath is the best way to be able to focus on the new items you're trying on. Also, if your undergarments are too tight and emphasizing certain areas, it won't help you see the true fit of an item. Making sure all the under things are neutral and fit right will make a world of difference when trying on clothes.

// wait a while after eating //

I was going to say eat light if you're doing a marathon shopping day and need to break for food at some point, but no, eat whatever the heck you want! Just wait a little bit to try on clothes after you eat. Work off the food baby by trying on shoes or finding your new school bag. The jeans that are just a smidgen too tight with a food baby might fit perfectly otherwise. You don't want to not get something you love or buy the wrong size so just take a little time then go back to finding the perfect pair of skinny jeans.

// don't get hung up on a number //

People say this a lot when talking about the number on the scale, but it's equally true on a pair of jeans. I have clothes that range from size 2 to size 8. That's a huge range! At every single store clothes will fit differently. It's good to know what size you wear at your favorite store, but don't be upset if that same size is too tight somewhere else. It's just a number. All that matters is that you're comfortable and you are happy in clothes that fit you.

// don't get something just because it's trendy //

Sure if you love the cold shoulder top and see yourself wearing it a bunch, then go ahead and get it. But don't decide that you should get trendy pieces just because it's what you've seen it all over Pinterest. Save your money to buy pieces you're comfortable in and want to wear constantly. Your style is completely yours so find pieces that suit you, not trends.

// take advantage of sales //

This one is sort of a "duh!" tip, but this time of year there are so many sales. My inbox gets at least 15 new emails everyday of stores having different sales. Pay attention to when your favorite places are having sales and take advantage of your state's tax free weekend if it has one! No need to break the bank back to school shopping!

// use the buddy system //

I think the best way to shop is with someone else. Whether it's your mom or best friend, having someone with you who will be honest when that dress really isn't flattering for your body type or will encourage you to try something outside of your comfort zone. Personally, when I shop alone I have a tendency to be a lot more critical on myself and my body. We can be our own worst critic and it helps to have someone who can assure you when something looks great on you.

Wishing you happy shopping and a fabulous back to school season!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Letter to My Freshman Self

Dear 18 year old Ashley,

Right now, you've just turned 18, you're spending your summer babysitting, and you're counting down the days until you leave for college. You are going to be moving across the country to a place where you don't know anyone. It will be exciting. It will be scary. It will get pretty lonely. But you'll come out the other side a whole lot stronger. Looking back two years from now, you won't be able to believe how much has changed and happened in your first half of college. The experiences and mistakes over the first two years of college will shape you, but there are some things I wish you would know now, instead of realizing two years from now.

Your dorm will not look like Pinterest. All the furniture is dark brown and you and your roommate didn't try to match exactly. All your Pinterest dreams will not come true with your freshman dorm, and that is okay! Your dorm room may not look like you imagined, but it will turn out to be a great place to spend your freshman year. 

However, you need to get your butt out of it more. The first few months will be really hard and you won't ever want to go to events or activities alone (you're still working on this in two years), but you cannot sit around just waiting on someone to ask you to do something. Be more proactive if you want to hang out with a friend instead of spending too much time alone.

When it comes to sororities and going through recruitment, still go through. You won't regret it. But don't say you have an open mind when you really are hoping to follow your mom's legacy. You will just end up hurt and disappointed. Trust me when I say you will be glad you didn't end up there. They are not your people, even if you don't know that now. 

As for the sorority you do join, remember that the organizations you are in do not define you. You define them. When boys at fraternity parties say things like "how are you one of them? You're not fat or weird," say something sassy back and walk away. They know nothing about you or your sisters, so they have no right to say anything so rude to you. And you definitely shouldn't let them get away with it. You and your sisters are strong, independent, fierce, and brilliant. It only hurts you to worry about what other people think of you because of what sorority you are in. Instead of wasting so much time and energy on that, use that time to build relationships with these women, you will wish you had started to really get to know them sooner.

Speaking of being confident in your sorority, be confident in yourself. You're still working on this one too. But there is no reason you should be afraid to raise your hand in class when you know the answer. There's no reason to be afraid of anything really. Speak up in class, talk to the girl who sits next to you everyday, go to a club meeting even when you don't know a single soul. Just please don't let your fear keep you cooped up in your dorm room. And don't try to boost your confidence by seeking gratification in others. It may be nice to hear someone tell you're pretty, but it is fleeting. Work on being confident in yourself and finding that confidence in something greater than you, instead of empty words.

You need to get out and make friends. Whether it's hanging out in the Mauldin kitchen or the girl down the hall's room or whatever else, there is no such thing as having too many friends. Just keep in mind that while some friendships start quickly and easily, they take a lot of work to maintain. You have to put effort into those friendships if you want them to last. But on the flip side, don't be so determined to maintain a friendship if it isn't a good one. Some friends will be there forever, some aren't meant to stay more than a few weeks. You will get better at realizing this.

Talk to people. Talk to everyone. Make friends with lab partners and hallmates. Start conversations with the 15 other girls all waiting for the bathroom at the party (if nothing else it will be entertaining). Talk to the boy who sits next to you in the bed of the pickup truck on the way to your first fraternity function, he'll turn out to be someone very special, it'll just take you a few months to find that out.

Call family often. You'll be pretty good about talking to your parents, but please call your grandparents more. They're not here forever and you will always wish you had more time to talk to them.

Keep in touch with your friends from home. Two years later and those two quirky friends of yours are still the best friends you've ever had. But don't be jealous of them making new friends and finding best friends at school, after all you should be doing that too.

Lastly, there will be times where you are not okay, and that is perfectly alright. Nothing is going to be perfect 100% of the time (heck it won't even be perfect 10% of the time), but everything happens the way it needs to. You cannot control everything. You don't need to control everything. Try not to be so anxious, I know that will be hard, it's still hard now. Don't let other people rob you of happiness just because they let you down. There are so many other people who will be there for you unconditionally, you just need to look around a little more to find them.

There is so much more I could say, but I have rambled and made barely any sense for long enough. Just know that at 20 you still don't have it all figured out, everything is not perfect, your college experience is not how you imagined it, but it is everything you need it to be. You still love Clemson, you have some pretty great friends at home and at school, you have an awesome, supportive family, and a wonderful boyfriend. You have started sharing your thoughts and feelings on the Internet and it has opened you up in tons of new ways. You are still learning and still growing, and I hope that doesn't ever change.

Have a great freshman year!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

21 by 21

Hey y'all!
 I am super excited today because today I turn 20! Birthdays are always fun and exciting, but aside from no longer being a teenager (thank God those years are over!) 20 doesn't come with much exciting. It starts the countdown to 21, 365 days, but who's counting ;).

I want to countdown to 21 in a productive way, so that is what inspired today's post. A lot of bloggers have 101 in 1001 lists, inspired by Mackenzie Horan, but the next three years of my life are going to bring lots of changes - finishing college, getting a real job, who knows what else - so I want to do something a little bit more manageable and have a list of 21 things I want to accomplish by the time I turn 21 next summer.

1. Visit at least 2 new places in South Carolina.
2. Visit at least 1 new place outside of South Carolina.
3. Establish productive and effective morning and night routines at school.
4. Go to bed by 11pm every night for a week.
5. Workout consistently for at least a month.
6. Go on 3(+) hikes in the Clemson area.
7. Join and be actively involved in two new organizations.
8. Work on establishing a solid group of friends.
9. Call my parents at least once per week.
10. Find a church at school I really love and attend consistently.
11. Maintain a consistent blogging schedule.
12. Hit at least 15,000 total page views on the blog.
13. Continue to interact with other bloggers and meet one or two in real life.
14. Decide if I want to go to grad school after college and where I'll apply.
15. Take a class outside of my major just because I am interested in the subject matter.
16. Read 5 new books just for fun.
17. Eat 3 real meals everyday for a month.
18. Learn how to cook 5 good (maybe even healthy) dinner recipes.
19. Practicing paying it forward by paying for someone else's coffee anonymously.
20. Send 10 hand written notes to people just because.
21. Try something completely out of my comfort zone.

So that is my 21 by 21 list!
I will be adding this in a page on my blog and regularly update it with my progress. I am so excited for this new year and new decade (!!!) of my life and really hope to challenge myself with this list.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Cheers To The Teen Years

Hello friends! I have four days left as a teenager (what?!!?!). It's crazy to think about how much I have changed and grown since I turned 13 in 2009 (geez that makes me seem old). To celebrate leaving my teen years behind, I wanted to reflect on the many life lessons I learned throughout being a teenager. So here is some of the wisdom (ha!) I gained during my teen years!

Lessons I learned as a teenager -

- If you're not happy where you are (school, friend group, etc) you can leave, and it's usually better if you do.

- Even when it doesn't seem like it, things have a way of working out for the best.

- Being the new person is hard, but it will force you to grow.

- The friends who stick around when life changes will surprise you.

- Being part of the "popular" group means nothing if the people aren't true friends.

- In small environments (schools, communities, etc) everyone will know everything about everyone else. There is no way to avoid that.

- Just because people are wealthier or have nicer things than you does not mean they are better than you.

- Sometimes you'll be a better friend to someone than they are to you, and it won't be easy.

- Secrets should always be kept. 

- Always stand up for yourself, even when you're nervous or scared.

- Wearing uniforms for high school is actually really nice.

- Speak out when you don't agree with something or someone.

- High school boys are not worth crying over.

- Being a leader is tricky and you only make things harder if you never ask for help.

- You will never be able to control anyone, stop trying.

- Sometimes the only way to start feeling better is to sob to your mom on the way home.

- Never, ever be mean to your mom. She is always going to be your biggest cheerleader.

- Be grateful for your parents and tell them thank you often.

- What people think of you in high school (or in any season of life) does not define you.

- Listen to your gut instinct. Those feelings tend to be right.

-  You are not dumber than your classmates because you decided to go to a southern state school instead of a liberal arts college in the northeast.

- Some people aren't meant to stay in your life forever.

- Thank your high school teachers - you owe them a lot.

- Don't be afraid to raise your hand in class when you know the answer.

- You didn't "just get lucky" or "guess well" when you do well in class. Own it.

- Just because you can get away with procrastinating doesn't mean you should.

- Sometimes all you need is a night completely by yourself.

- Other times you need to get your butt up and out of your dorm and meet people.

- Fraternity parties are never as fun as they seem on Greek. Go to a few anyway.

- Organizations you are in don't define you, you define them.

- Prove people wrong.

- If your roommate is going to walk across campus late at night, go with her. You might just run into someone who will change your life.

- Take hard classes, join an organization where you don't know anyone, challenge yourself. It's always worth it.

- Time management is everything.

- The world is a very small place. You will find out you have craziest connections to people.

- Be kind to everyone, always.

- You don't have to be part of one specific friend group all the time.

- In fact, it's better if you can bounce around and hang out with all sorts of people. 

- Distance yourself from people who drag you down or make you feel bad about yourself.

- Never be okay with someone being rude to another person.

- Hanging out with a bunch of boys can be the best mental break ever.

- If there is something you want to do or something you want to start, go for it.

- You never have to be anything other than your authentic self.

- Life is short, eat another cookie.

- Appreciate every single time you get to see your grandparents. Unfortunately they won't be here forever.

- Words are powerful, use them carefully.

- 9 times out of 10, it's not worth worrying about, but you'll worry anyway.

- Wear bright lipstick (or anything for that matter) if it makes you happy.

- You can always go back home. 

I could probably think of a million more things to include on this list, but I need to stop somewhere. I hope you enjoyed this list of things I have learned over the past seven years. A lot of these things I continue to learn and work on, life is funny that way. 

What are some of the major life lessons you learned as a teenager? I would love to hear! 

Monday, July 18, 2016

10 Life Goals for My 20's

Happy Monday y'all!
I am super excited because it is officially my birthday week, yes I am one of those obnoxious people. To celebrate entering my 20's I am doing a week of posts themed around turning 20 and leaving the teen years behind.

In my opinion, your 20s is where you become a real adult and have some really big life changes happen. This impending reality is a little lot nerve wracking, but I always find that making lists helps me feel less nervous and keeps me accountable. So here is a list of the 10 things I would like to accomplish in my 20's (in no particular order).

1. Travel Abroad // I have technically been out of the country on a cruise, but at some point in the next 10 years, I would like to make my way "across the pond" and visit some of the places that are on my bucket list: London, Paris, all of Italy and Ireland, and many more.

2. Go to Grad School // I have picked a major where there is not a whole lot I can do with just a Bachelors degree so I will inevitably have to go to grad school. I hope to find a school and a program that fits what I would like to do (developmental psychology).

3. Get a Big Girl Job I Love // Obviously you can't be a real adult without a real adult job.  I don't know exactly what my dream job is yet, but hopefully between my last two years of college and going to grad school I will be able to find the career and the job that suits me and that I love doing.

4. Start Seriously Saving // Yes I do have a savings account now, but at the moment saving money for my first house or other big life expenses isn't a top priority. As I go through the next few years and get a real job, I hope to start spending smarter and putting money away for those big life events that are to come. 

5. Start Investing // Raise your hand if your parents have lectured you about starting to save money for retirement while you're young (my hand is wayyy up). My dad is always telling me about different investments and how important it is to have investment accounts young so that you can provide for yourself when you're older. Most of the time I just nod my head like I understand Roth IRAs and DOW and which stocks are good. However, since I am making strides towards becoming a real adult, I want to really learn about all the things my dad has been telling me about. Maybe even using some like this to keep track of money and investments in order to prepare for my future.

6. Get Married // I know I have zero control over this whatsoever, but I like to think that I will get married sometime before I'm 30. This one is more of a dream than a goal.

7. Move Into My First Apartment // I have spent the past two years and again this upcoming year living in a dorm on campus, which is totally fine with me. But I am so excited for senior year to move into my very first apartment! I have never had a place of my own besides my bedroom at home, so I am really looking forward to being able to decorate an apartment and start living on my own.

8. Put Down Roots // I don't mean planting a garden. By the time I hit 30 I want to be settled in the place I will call home for an expanse of time. Whether it means coming back to Texas (the actual goal) or finding out that I'm meant to be somewhere else, I hope to get all that figured out and start finding out how I fit in a new community.

9. Buy a House // This goes along with #6 sorta. I don't have a single clue what the next ten years are going to hold (heck I don't even know what tomorrow will hold), but I would like to start building a foundation for my life and part of that is having my own home (with my imaginary future husband). A lot goes into this, like finding the place to call home and being able to afford it (see how all of these tie together), so this one ranks as both a dream and a goal.

10. Be Happy // Again I don't have a single clue what will happen in this next stage of my life (ugh sounding like an adult already), but I hope that whatever happens I will be happy and joyful and truly love my life.

So these are the things I hope for in my 20's, do you have any major #lifegoals for your next few years? I would love to hear!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dorm Inspiration

I am so excited to share the inspiration for my dorm room for this year. Yes, I am a junior still living in the dorms, that's a whole other story. It wasn't my plan, but I am excited for it, especially because I will have a single room. Since I don't have to worry about decorating around a roommate this year, I can really dive into decorating my room the way I want it. 

I'm not completely overhauling all of my dorm decor, but I am modifying it. Freshman year I went with a bright coral and aqua color scheme, which I still love, but I am entering my 20s and the second half of college and I want a look that is more grown up, but still bright and fun.
Coral, aqua and gold dorm -

I'm keeping the same color scheme (I obviously like these colors if you can't tell from my blog). But I'm toning things down a bit with a white duvet cover and adding in gold accents. I actually plan to decorate one wall with removable adhesive gold pineapples from Wall Pops. I'm not sure how to improve the rest of the wall, but I do plan to hang up a cork board over my desk. I have one my grandma was getting rid of that I plan to cover in fabric or spray paint, before covering it in cute printables and cute gold tassels so I have an actual pin board in my room. 

To dress up the room a bit, I'm adding in a metal trellis nightstand with a mirrored top, similar to the one pictured, that I found on clearance at Tuesday Morning. I also plan to perk up the brown tile floor with a turquoise rug my mom found at Big Lots. A DIY headboard in a bold print fabric should also help the bed look more homey. Bunches of throw pillows can also dress up a bed too. I really want to add in a cute pineapple pillow like this one I found on etsy.

I plan to share photos of my room once it is all decorated. If you want to see more of the look I'm going for, check out my Pinterest board for my dorm here:

How do you plan to decorate your dorm room?

Monday, July 11, 2016

What To Buy Before Leaving for College

Shopping and packing for college is so difficult. You want to get all of the cute things for your dorm, but don't know how to fit all that into your mom's SUV with all of your clothes and half your childhood bedroom. Sound familiar? Well I have realized that people packing to go to college (18 year old me included) make some pretty big mistakes.
Pinterest is full of posts titled "the only college packing list you need" and "what you really need to bring to college." Those posts are well and good, but they're not practical, especially if you're moving far away for school like I did. It is unrealistic to get everything you think you need before you're actually at school. So today I want to give you a little advice about what you should get before leaving for school and what you can wait on buying until you get to school.
// what you should get at home //

While it looks like you still need to get a lot at home, it's important to note that they are some of the smaller dorm items. You should get all your bedding at home so that you can insure you get what you want. Same goes for mattress pads and protectors, with potentially thousands of kids moving in, you never know what Target will be sold out of.  That's also why I have command strips on the list. My Target was completely out when I got to school so it would have been helpful to get them before.

I also included big decorative items. I don't necessarily mean big in size, but big in the sense of it's important for you to have in your room. For example, if you want a gallery wall next to your bed, you should get the prints, pictures, and other items for it at home. Just keep in mind that space in your dorm is limited. Also if you're making anything, like a headboard, it's best to do that at home when you're not rushed.

Getting hangers ahead of time is also a packing/unpacking trick. Put all the clothes you plan to take to school (for that season) on your new hangers, I highly recommend thin line felt hangers, then bundle clothes together using hair ties or rubber bands to keep the hangers together. Then place the clothes in a plastic trash bag and cinch the opening around the tops of the hangers, that way you don't have to worry about your favorite tank top falling out on the walk from the car to your dorm.

The rest of the list are other practical things that again you don't want to end up in need of. Having a small tool kit will help you when setting up your dorm, and is good to have because most people don't have tools at college when they need them. It's also good to put together a first aid kit with band aids, a thermometer, some pain relievers, etc.

// what you should wait on //

A lot of the lists I have seen recommend getting plastic storage bins or drawers, various organizers, and even some extra furniture. However, you likely won't know how much space you really have until you get into your dorm. I packed in suitcases and trash bags (super classy I know) and bought storage items and organizers later on. You don't want to end up with a ton of drawers you don't need because your dorm's already available storage is plenty for you. Or buy a futon before realizing you don't want to loft your bed and there is no place for it to go.

Save the space and wait until you get into your dorm to decide what is really necessary for you and your dorm. Everyone is different so those college packing lists (and even this list) may not apply to you. Don't let Pinterest convince you that if you don't have exactly what is on those lists, your dorm won't be absolutely perfect.

Is there anything I left out of either list? Did you bring things you ended up not needing to college?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Whale-y Good Deals

It's no secret that I love all things preppy. The bright colors and classic styles of preppy clothing get me every time. One of the most iconic brands for us prep lovers is, of course, Vineyard Vines. Ever since I discovered Vineyard Vines in high school (it's not so big here in Texas), I was smitten. I went to a VV store for the first time during spring break my freshman year of college, when a friend and I ventured to the upscale mall in North Austin. Naturally I wanted everything in the store, but clothes with the name recognition of Vineyard Vines come at a steep price, too steep for college wallet.

Enter the Vineyard Vines semi annual sale, the Whale of a Sale, when all their already reduced items are an extra 50% off. Of course some items won't be as cheap as something from Target, but the quality will also be a lot better. There are still some gems available and if you're looking to add some preppy pieces into your wardrobe, now would be the time. This would also be a great time to get a gift for other prepsters in your life.

Here are some of my favorite items from the sale:
My picks: Whale of a Sale

madras shep shirt // About $50 and still available in all sizes except XL
rose shep shirt // This is part of the 2016 Kentucky Derby line and also $50. 
men's jersey 1/4 zip // Great gift for brother or boyfriend, or keep it for yourself ;)  and it's only $35.
men's performance shep shirt // Again give it as a gift or keep for you. It's $45
Texas whale belt // Not the most practical, but oh so cute.
embroidered tunic dress // How adorable is this dress?! It's about $63. It's only sold out in 00 and 4.
gingham button down // About $30, also available in light blue!
ikat dot golf skort // $45 and you definitely don't have to be a golfer to wear this adorable skirt.

Make sure to use the code Whale50 to get the discount.

Do you have any favorites from the Whale of a Sale?

Friday, July 1, 2016

June Top 10!

My oh my, it's already July!
Sorry, I enjoy rhyming, but seriously, where is this summer going??? I have always seen the Fourth of July as kicking off the downhill slide of the summer, and that is especially true now that I'm in college because a month from now I will be gearing up to move back to South Carolina for my junior year of college (but let's just ignore that for right now).
As I do every month, here is a round up of my top 10 favorite things from the month of June.

1// In case you missed my Magnolia Dreams post, my sweet boyfriend came to Texas for a weekend and I got to spend some quality time with him and his mom, which included going to Magnolia Market. It was a really nice (but wayyy too short) weekend. 

2 // I started using the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser Concealer and oh my goodness it is worth ALL the hype. I have a lot of trouble sleeping, which leads to horrible under eye circles, but with this concealer, I don't really notice them anymore. I have never had a concealer that worked this well. If you don't have this in your makeup bag already, you need it.

3 // My mom and I went a little nuts in Altar'd State last weekend and I ended up getting 2 dresses, a tunic and a romper (hey they were on sale!) I will be wearing one of the dresses for the Fourth of July and the other I wore to work earlier this week. It's gingham seersucker, does it get more perfectly preppy than that? When I came downstairs in it, my mom commented that I looked like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, which makes sense because it is Altar'd State's "Dorothy" dress. 

4 // I did a lot of interacting with other bloggers this month through Twitter chats. It has been a great way to start forming a community, because as much as I talk to my mom and boyfriend about blog things, it's great to have people who can relate and know so much more than I do about all this blogging business. One of my favorite blogs that I've interacted with is The Swirl by Gabby and Hannah, who are fellow college juniors and best friends. Their blog is adorable and informative. I've followed them since they started blogging last summer and it's so impressive to see how much they've grown in just a year. I so admire them and their hard work. Keep an eye on their blog and you might see a familiar face later this month ;)

5 // My ipsy bag was particularly great in June. I have been getting ipsy bags for almost a year and this was probably the best yet. If you don't know about ipsy, it's a monthly subscription service that sends you 5 new beauty products to test out every month. The products are curated to your tastes and the more you review the bags and the products you received, the more they align with your likes and dislikes. My favorite products in it were a Formula X nailpolish in Wingwoman (the perfect red) and Cake Beauty's Everything Balm, which really does work for everything.

6 // The song I heard everywhere (and loved) in June was "From the Ground Up" by Dan and Shay. Oh my goodness, it is so cute! I'm sure it'll be a popular song on wedding playlists this year. Love songs are my favorite and this is one of the best, in my opinion.

7 // I haven't watched too much tv or Netflix recently, but I did start on The Originals, the Vampire Diaries spinoff series. If you like the Vampire Diaries or things of that genre, definitely check it. I actually like it better than TVD, the actors are better (the accents, swoon) and it is set in New Orleans, one of my favorite places.

8 // This month I started following more bloggers and vloggers on Snapchat. It's really interesting to see more into some of my favorite Internet personality's lives. Emily Ley's snapchat is far and above my favorite, mainly because she's constantly snapping her insanely adorable kiddos. I think the blogger snapchat trend is really interesting and it is cool to see the utilization of different platforms to promote brands. 

9 // I FINALLY got a brand new iPhone! I have had issues with the battery life of my phone for over a year, then I shattered the screen in March, and then it finally croaked two weeks ago. So last weekend I got my first new phone in 3.5 years. I got the gold (they were out of rose gold) iPhone SE and I love it. It is the same size as the iPhone 5, but with updated software and camera. I never liked how big the iPhone 6 was and SE has the same capabilities at a more reasonable size and price point.

10 // July is my favorite month because it holds my favorite holiday and my birthday. I have always loved the Fourth of July and this year will be especially fun since all of my siblings are home for the first time since Christmas. The day is full of family traditions like going to the parade in town and lunch at a friend's house. Then at the end of July is my 20th birthday, otherwise known as the least significant birthday ever. If you missed my birthday wishlist, check it out here.

Happy July!!!