Monday, March 31, 2014

Go Ahead and Fuel My Fire

I'm not going to lie and say I've been the happiest of girls as of late. Truth be told, the past few weeks have been absolutely annoying. Almost so annoying that I literally think I may have a hangover of sorts from just being so annoyed all. the. time. Being twenty and living at home, stuck somewhere between kid and adult, not wanting to grow up, and yet at the same time only wanting to get the heck out. To live on my own, to finally start a real life for myself-- instead of this constant state of in between. But apparently nobody understands just how awful of a feeling that is, something I find extremely unfortunate.

"There's only one success; to spend your life your own way."

I am lucky because I feel so sure of what I want to do and where I want to go. I'm not going to be that girl that graduates college and still has no idea what to do with her life. I know that working with social media and marketing is where I'm meant to be. I can interpret the denotations and connotations within an ad in minutes thanks to my classes at school. I know what works and doesn't work when it comes to targeting people my age. I know that I love writing and I know that a job that in some way or another embodies all of these things is the one I'm perfectly suited for.

 I already do what I want to do part-time (and by part-time I mean an internship that's basically six hours a week). But never the less, I've learned so much in those six hours a week through trial and error. And not just about what it's like to be in a real work environment, but what it's like to have to challenge yourself. To have to pitch your ideas to those above you, to feel the heat rise up into your already rosy cheeks as you wait for them to agree or disagree with the course of action you want to take. It's nerve-wracking and exciting, and so rewarding when they tell you that you've done well.

I firmly believe that I will be successful after college. It's one of the things I don't worry about. And there's nothing I hate more than when people make me feel like it's something I should be worried about. I get that we live in a society where we live to work; I understand that in other societies it's the other way around. I guess I just don't want to live to work, but at the same time I don't want to work to live. Like everybody else, I just want to find a happy balance. I think I'm way more optimistic about my future than others tend to be; I think it intimidates a lot of people as well. But here's the thing. I don't care.

"Life's tough. Get a helmet."

I am confident in who I am, what I believe, and where I want to go. I will go to the ends of the earth to get there. It doesn't matter what city I end up in after college (the Boston or New York debate continues...), it doesn't matter that I'm from one of the smallest, most sheltered states in America. I'm going to be just fine.

Our generation gets hated on so much for being naive. For living well outside our means. For dreaming big, living large, and working hard. Do you think anyone would be anywhere in life without being some kind of naive? No freaking way. Nobody would get anywhere because they'd be so deathly afraid of all the failure they could encounter on their journey. So let me be naive. Let me learn on my own terms. Let me fall and scrape my knee, or break my leg, or my arm, or every ounce of my being trying to become the best version of myself. Make fun of me and roll your eyes if that's how you have to deal with it. Call me names, treat me like I'm dumb. Go ahead. But you'll be laughing when ten years from now I'm so successful all those words you shot at me and daggers you stabbed me with will be a faint memory.

I don't have time for mean and nasty. I don't have time for unsupportive friends. I do, on the other hand, have the time to write a post to tell you this very, very important lesson-- say what you want, do what you want. And let your haters fuel your fire. Don't live for them, don't work for them. Keep them in the back of your mind every time you doubt yourself. And see who's laughing in the end.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Fashion Fave: Blake Lively

I've been a big fan of Blake's since her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants days, and when I found out she'd play Serena in Gossip Girl I nearly died. As it turns out, I ended up being more of a Blair fan, but Leighton Meester's style isn't quite as up my alley as Blake Lively's.

Mmk not only is she naturally drop dead gorgeous (seriously, I have yet to meet anyone who says otherwise and they'd have to do some intense convincing to prove me wrong here), but her street style and red carpet looks are always pretty amazing. Granted, she's probably just as pretty in sweats and a tee, but when she's all dolled up I literally find myself wishing I was her. Some things in life just aren't fair.

Her look is girly and classy, so no wonder I fall in love with practically everything she wears. Even in her edgier outfits, she looks elegant. Consider me jealous.

"I hope I never stop changing."

-Blake Lively

Do you love her style as much as I do?


Thursday, March 27, 2014

I Like Large Parties

So if I'm being completely honest, I really do like large parties-- preferably where I know a lot of people (versus the classic being stuffed into a basement with a ton of people I don't know kind of party.) I think it has something to do with the fact that when people let loose you can really see their true colors. Not in a bad way or anything, but when Fitzgerald wrote, "I like large parties. They're so intimate", he kind of had a point.

Large parties are funny to me because in college, everybody is constantly either trying way too hard to fit in or way too hard to stand out. But when I'm with my friends and we're all out, it's like none of that stuff matters. It's honest. And I really enjoy hearing stories, and I find I hear many of them when people are, I guess you could say, more willing to be vulnerable.

21 is not just a number.

My friends' 21st birthdays are coming up rapidly! Sure, I already have a few friends that have hit the mark, but the majority of them aren't around. And if I like parties, I love birthday parties. Call me selfish, but I enjoy milking my birthday until I can milk it no longer. It's kind of my favorite holiday, but I love celebrating my friend's birthdays too. While my friend and I are planning a few things here and there for the up and coming birthday weeks, I find myself off in la la land, wondering just how my 21st birthday (October come faster!!) will pan out.

And while I like large parties, I like to keep things classy too. And pink.


Can you tell I'm thinking along the lines of pink for my 21st? Go ahead and call me Barbie. Except for don't because there's a 99% chance I'll get mad.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dwelling on Dreams

I know I just did a post on what it means to be "Ms. Perfect", and I was really happy with it when it came to completion. I liked taking the time to define what being perfect means to me. I still stand by everything I said, but I think I left one really important thing out. For the past few weeks I've been stuck. Six months ago, I felt stuck mentally. I've grown so much since then, but now the thing I struggle with most each day is feeling physically stuck. Mix that feeling in with some serious writer's block, and if you're like me, you've got a serious problem.

There are very few things I can do for myself when I feel incapable of putting what I'm thinking down on paper (or in this case, in a blog post.) It didn't take long for me to realize that I am a far more perceptive and observant person than most. Most of the time it's a blessing, but sometimes it just makes me shut down.

"It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live."

I got really wrapped up in the whole being an amazing woman thing; so much so that I forgot I already kind of am one! One of the problems I've always struggled with, for as long as I can remember, is this dream of having the perfect life. I know I already conquered the "what perfect really means" bit, and I'm glad I've defined it for myself, but I don't think I emphasized enough that part of being perfect is allowing yourself to be imperfect.

Since second semester started, I've been focusing through what I can only call tunnel vision. Mind on the prize. Two amazing internships? Check. Good grades? Check. Two jobs? Check.

All the things that are supposed to set me up for an amazing future. Everything that ensures I'll get a good job after I graduate. I forgot what it was like to go out on a Friday night and actually have fun with friends. I forgot what it was like to not have school on your mind every second of every day. I forgot what it was like to have your heart skip a beat. I forgot what it was like to live, and I stopped looking for excuses to not go out, to not hang out with friends.

I've been feeling off balance for months, and now I'm still off balance. Just in the other direction. It's not a comfortable feeling for me-- feeling behind simply because I'm not ahead. I guess I struggle with being imperfect just as much as I struggle with trying to be perfect. I don't know why it is that I was suddenly reminded that life isn't about just doing well. I can't place my finger on just what it was that reminded me that life is also about being well. Life is about being involved, taking risks, and preserving your happiness. And sometimes, part of being well--part of life-- is allowing yourself to take two steps back when all you want to do is sprint forty miles ahead.

It's hard not to wish your life away. To not look towards the future in hopes that it's better and brighter than the present. I've been looking two years down the line now for nearly a year, and while I think it's done me well in some ways, it's hindered me in others.

I don't know where I'm going, but I know it's going to be a long time.

I'm done thinking about what job I'm going to have when I finally graduate. I'm done making sure that I do everything in my power to set me up for success down the line. I know that no matter what happens, I'm going to be fine. I'm done allowing myself to feel that school is everything, and I'm done putting everything that's real and important in my life on the back burner. I don't want to be stuck anymore, or feel like I'm just going through the motions of life. I don't want to dwell on dreams that seem to change everyday. And I can't let those dreams take me away from the present any longer. I want to feel alive again, I want to dream big-- but I want to live for the present too. Too bad balancing the two isn't the easiest thing in the world.

On that note, I guess all that's left to say is... Game. On.


One last thing. I think I broke my writer's block.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wishlist: Spring Calls for Some Cute Shoes

I go through shoes like nobody's business. I think it's because the climate I live in is less than wonderful (meaning we get like three days of sun a year... or so it seems like.) But as I enter into my senior year, leaving is becoming more and more of a reality. And you can bet I will be going somewhere warm! I'm partially terrified and extremely excited about it. However, warmer months are coming (fingers crossed) and I've got my eyes on some adorable spring shoes!

Also, not going to lie, this is only half the list of shoes I want. My Rack It Up closet is overflowing at this point basically. I didn't even put any boat shoes on here because I'm essentially in love with practically every shoe Sperry has to offer. Like these and these and these... and oh yeah, these too.

Didn't I tell you I have a shoe addiction?

With the right shoes, a girl can conquer the world

Which pair is your favorite?


Monday, March 17, 2014

Life is About Moments

Some of my favorite moments in my life have been captured on camera. But I have a LOT of favorite moments, so the ones I did happen to get on camera tend to be the ones that aren't necessarily at the top of my list of "favorites." Although, the picture at the very bottom of this post of me and my best friends is definitely in my top three favorite photos (even though I'm still not over how horrible my roots were...).

I hope I'm not alone in this, but I find myself reflecting upon my favorite moments of each day right before I go to sleep. And it's nothing that I do on purpose, it's just where my mind wanders. I find great solace in that every night before I fall asleep I have something to smile about, even on my worst days. The tricky thing about moments though, is making sure that you see them. And appreciate them. And make sure they don't pass you by.

A Good Life is a Collection of Happy Moments

I don't know if I would necessarily want to capture every moment that I appreciate on camera. I love photos and I love the amazing ability they have at telling stories without the use of words. The mark of an extremely good photo is one that could move you to tears, it's so full of emotion--whether it be sadness, happiness, loss, or love. Emotions are what make a moment a moment, and it's absolutely amazing when that can be captured and held onto forever.

That being said, memories are also one of the most sacred things in the world to me. Some memories are meant to be shared, and some meant to be kept private. There's a luxury in that. My favorite moments have been spent alone, with my family, my best friends... and so on. 

The moment you realize you might actually have the guts to chase after your dreams. The moment you realize you actually didn't bomb that exam, and all your hard work paid off. The moment someone you love gets some amazing news. The moment you beat your best mile time, or your team wins the state championship. The moment you come to find the person you like may actually like you back.

But moments aren't just good, and I'm thankful for that too. If we never experienced bad things, the gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, heart-dropping (or stopping) moments that literally make you feel like your world is ending. The moment you lose a loved one. The moment someone breaks your heart. The moment someone beats you out for the job that was everything you could have ever hoped for. The moment you realize that one of the friendships you've held so dear for so long is falling apart.

So here's to moments. To the bad ones that make the good ones so great, and the absolutely out of this world exciting moments that remind you just how wonderful life is. I think we all get extremely caught up in the drama that comes when life keeps throwing things at you day to day. I do wish my eyes could take photos. Sometimes I even wish they could take videos, so I could replay the moments that made my friends and I drop on the floor laughing so hard we almost cried. Mostly though, I'm just happy for all the moments I'm lucky enough to have; after all, they're the things that keep me going when it feels like the entire world is working against me. And we've all been there, right?

Some of My "Favorites"

Penelope <3

Switzerland with some amazing ladies!


My cousin and I in Rhode Island

Senior prom with my best!

One of the last pictures I took with my Nana

The moment I realized my brother might actually like me...

Being dysfunctional with the closest thing I have to a sister. In Paris of all places... #typical

High school graduation with the goons I call my best friends

Yeah, I'm a lucky one.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sundays In Bed

Oh, just how nice and inviting does that bed look like right now? It's finally Sunday... the day I've felt I've been waiting for all week, the day I love to spend lounging around my house in my pj's, catching up on shows, reading blogs, and doing whatever my little heart desires. Or at least that's what I do until work at four (Erg.)

BUT not every Sunday can be perfect and relaxing. Some Sundays are meant to be spent studying your heart out, in hopes of passing the test that you are quickly coming to realize is actually going to be a lot more difficult than you think. A huge thank you to my prof and his epically boring 8am class! #not.

As you can tell I'm in an extremely chipper mood. For the lucky ones out there though, I've rounded up this Sunday's readings so don't fret! Enjoy a day of relaxing for me, particularly if you're anywhere where the temperature is above 30 degrees.

"Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill."

1. I'm kind of realizing it's going to be hard to start reading regularly until summer rolls around. That being said, this book is going on my reading list. As is this one.

2. For all my girls who never had the issue of being in the "itty bitty titty committee". (Middle school scarred me for life.)

3. We got two more feet of snow last week, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't take a toll on my mood. But there's The College Prepster and her positive vibes for that.

5. The Backstreet Boys and Avril Lavigne? Touring together?! It's like my childhood all wrapped into one amazing concert. (For your viewing pleasure... you're welcome in advance.)

6. I love sleeping in when I can, but there are perks to being an early bird.

7. MTV was never that accurate. And now all they do is air unending seasons of "Teen Mom," so congratulations society. We've really hit rock bottom. Remember the days when MTV used to make us think spring break was everything? And when TRL was all that was good in the world?

8. If you're a yoga fanatic, or even just looking to try yoga... here ya go!

9. Lately I've been getting so hungry at night when I'm laying in bed. Avoid the cookie binge and try this healthy midnight snack!

10. If you missed Monday's post... how do you define "perfect"?

Enjoy your Sunday everybody!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Summer's Coming, Time to Start Running

See what I did there with that little rhyme? I won't lie to you. The fact that we just got 18" of snow infuriates me. Granted, it's made me miss quite a few classes this week (bad weather does have it's ups), but it's also managed to discourage me from anything and everything productive. A lot of people look at spring (which should be here already...) as a time of renewal, but I've never been a huge fan of the season.

I would gladly skip right over spring and just get. to. summer. Although that may just be because where I'm from we don't really have spring, it's more like mud season and unbelievably gross. I've been holding onto the idea that summer is coming soon though, and I'm fully convinced it's all that's going to get me through the next month and a half. Pray for me people. I need all the help I can get!

Where there's summer, there's also swimsuit season...

Some people spend the majority of summer lounging by the pool or on the beach in their teeny bikinis. Totally fine. I have never been one to jump for joy the moment it's time to get into a swimsuit. As a matter of fact, for basically as long as I can remember, going shopping for new suits has been a source of anxiety and a 100% guarantee that I'm going to leave the store absolutely loathing the cruddy dressing room lighting and it's emphasis on every imperfection on my body. Throw in a fight or two with my mom and that's what a typical bathing suit shopping trip looks like for me. It. Sucks.

I'm the girl who every single January comes around is like "I'm totally going to lose 40 pounds by the time June comes!" First of all, I don't need to lose 40 pounds. I would be scary looking. And secondly, now I realize how unhealthy living my life in such a mindset was for me. Or maybe it's just that now that I'm older, I'm more confident in the body I'm stuck in.

Some things never change though...

While I have gotten better when it comes to body image (thank God!), the struggle to stay healthy is always impeccably real throughout the entire year. But more so when summertime is approaching. I'm still planning on running a half marathon by the end of the year, however that's going to be extremely problematic if I don't start running again. So that being said, consider this post a reminder for the upcoming week to take care of you. Being healthy is more important than a number on a scale; trust me, if there's anything I've learned it's that. Here's what I'll be doing this week in order to help me have one of the best summers yet!

this coming week I will...

1. Sub out a smoothie (like this St. Patty's Day one!) for the regular cereal I usually have in the morning (at least three times), and try a new recipe!

2. Go for a 2 mile run three times this week.

3. Do this fun circuit Tuesday and Friday night. I work at a gym, might as well kill two birds with one stone, right?

4. Attend a yoga class.

5. Meditate for five-fifteen minutes every night before bed. Love this app!

6. Strive to maintain a positive mindset.

7. Be happy!

How do you stay healthy?


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Girl Crush: Inslee By Design

I've been on a bit of a feminist kick lately. I don't know if it's International Women's Day or what that brought all this on, but I'm embracing it. With that being said, every month I'm going to highlight a woman I admire and draw inspiration from every day. And I'm pretty excited about it! Thoughts?

It should come as no surprise to you all that I have the biggest obsession with Inslee. I just think her drawings are so adorable and fashionable. In all honesty, the fair majority of them perfectly depict my dream life! Inslee Haynes is beyond talented, and she found her business during her sophomore year of college. #impressed

I've picked out a few of my fave pieces from Inslee, although I gotta say... I'm pretty partial to the one on the left here.

Spontaneous, Fun, and Inspiring  



*all photos property of Inslee*

I love all of her drawings and paintings. And the 2014 calendar? To die for. I'm definitely planning on getting the 2015 calendar when the time comes!

 Are you a fan of Inslee?