Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Happy Winter Break!

As you're reading this I am hopefully on my flight back home or already home! I am forever thankful that I was able to take my final early and turn in a portfolio early because it meant that I could get home earlier than expected. As much as I love LMU and being at school, the past week has been very difficult for my sanity. If you read this post then you know about the stress of last week and all of the things that happened in my life.

One thing I never even thought about was all of the exciting things that are coming with second semester. Rushing a sorority has been a dream of mine for so long and I finally get to during second semester at LMU. I am excited for this experience because my mom absolutely loved her sorority experience during college and is still close friends with many of her sorority sisters.

However, with all the excitement of second semester I am so excited to spend a few weeks relaxing at home. As much as I was way more excited to go home just a few weeks ago for Thanksgiving break it will still be so nice to head home. I think Thanksgiving was more hype because I hadn't seen my family or friends since I left for school. This break will be much more relaxing however, because I have much more time off.

I'm looking forward to doing a cookie decorating party with friends, buying Christmas gifts for relatives, spending time by the fire with my parents and even going to Mexico for New Year's Eve. I feel like commuting between LA and Chicago is a bit of chore (it's almost a four hour flight), but it makes it so worth it when you finally arrive at your final destination. As scared as I am, I'm ready to attempt to brave the cold weather that is Chicago. Currently, I've been bundling up in Patagonia sweaters and J.Crew vests while the weather never reaches below sixty degrees.

To all college students: good luck on whatever finals you have left. You can do it!!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post: my Christmas wishlist!

Xo

Friday, December 9, 2016

TGIF

Happy Friday everyone! This week could not have gone by slower. My roommate is currently sick with the stomach flu so I've been sanitizing like crazy and sleeping on the floor of the dorm next door which I will probably continue to do until I leave for break. A bit tedious, but the stomach flu is my worst nightmare. 

This week was a bit rough, but my roommate being sick forced me to spend every extra minute that I wasn't in class at the library or in the student coffee shop. I ended up getting so much done and finishing everything earlier than I expected to. 

My life had a stroke of luck this week too and I am now able to go home two days earlier than I had planned. My math professor mentioned on Wednesday that if we wanted to take the final a day or two earlier we could so I called my mom as soon as I could to see if she could change my flight and lucky me, she changed it. Just as I thought all was well, my professor said that there were no longer any empty seats in the Monday final so I was freaking out because I thought I would have to change my flight again and go home later than expected. But, a miracle happened and someone opted to take the final later than Monday so I got their spot. I am forever grateful for this Christmas gift as it means I can head home and be with loved ones two days earlier than I expected.

Something I definitely learned this week was having hope, without having control. I had very little control over the events that happened this week; my roommate getting the stomach flu and my issue with finals vs. flights, but I attempted to remain hopeful throughout the course of the week. I opted to be proactive and email my professor (kind of a lot...woops) explaining my situation in hopes of receiving sympathy and also sleeping on the uncomfortable floor in my friend's room to avoid getting sickness. 

Life throws all sorts of things at everyone and the main thing is how you deal with what life gives you. My dad always said two things: 1. control the controllables and 2. 90% of life isn't what happens to you, but how you react to it. There are so many things that I don't have control over so I must go on through life not worrying about the things that I can do nothing about. However, being proactive and asking for something you want is important as well because if you never ask, the answer will always be no. 

Sorry for that bit of a rant, but this week was a major learning lesson for me--in perfect timing with the holidays and finals. I hope everything is going well for you. 

If you're a college student, have you dealt with a situation similar to mine? I'd love to hear about your experience.

Xo

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cookie Decorating Party

This year instead of doing a secret santa, my friends and I decided to do a cookie decorating party instead! I think this is the perfect way to still do something fun and in the Christmas spirit, but without spending the extra money. Secret Santa's can get expensive, especially if you're in more than one. This seems like the perfect alternative because you still get to spend quality time with your friends, but without breaking the bank.

I'm hosting the party at my house which is perfect because we just got our kitchen done about a year ago. Now it's fully equipped with a large island and an oven that doesn't have a duct tape handle (yeah, the last one was ratchet). I'm so excited to host my best girlfriends for a night of fun holiday festivities. With a party in mind, obviously some Pinterest planning is involved. I've been compiling my favorite holiday party decor and food/drink ideas that I want to include at my party. Here's what I'm envisioning.






Xoxo

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Disneyland Recap

There are so many perks about living in Los Angeles, but one of the best is being literally so close to practically everything. LMU is so centrally located it's so amazing to be able to explore so many different areas. That, and my roomie having a car make exploring LA so easy! This past weekend two of my best friends and I went to DISNEYLAND! I've been to Disneyworld three times before, but I had never been to Disneyland before this weekend! It worked out well because my friend Abby has that place wired. It's her literal favorite place in the world and I swear she knows every square inch of that park. We opted for the park hopper so we could travel between Disneyland and California Adventure. 

We started the day early, waking up at around 6 am (after going out, oops) and getting ready real quick. We grabbed breakfast to go and headed on our way to Anaheim. Anaheim is only about an hour drive from campus, without any traffic. We hit a bit of constructional traffic (which was odd considering it was 7 am), but made it to Disney at just past 8. I was a bit skeptical about going so early to Disneyland, but it was so worth the early wake up call. The park usually isn't too crowded in the first couple hours that it's open so it was so nice having short wait times and hitting up a few of our favorite rides.

In the middle of the day we ventured to the old Hollywood part of Disney and saw the Frozen show. Seriously so good. It was literally like an off-Broadway show! The rest of the day was spent exploring around different areas of Disneyland and California Adventure. My favorite rides had to be California Screaming, Space Mountain, Soarin' Over the World and Radiator Springs Racers. California Screaming is a super fun, long and fast roller coaster and I'm always an avid thrill seeker so it was the perfect fit for me. I loved Soarin' Over the World because it takes you on a virtual journey all around the world! Space Mountian is always a classic that I love at Disneyworld so it was the same for Disneyland. The Radiator Springs Racers are so fun because you get to explore Radiator Springs in a "car" and see the different areas, then actually race against another car!

Overall, it was such a fun weekend with my two best girlfriends from school! It was the perfect way to relax and spend some quality time together just before we head home for finals in just over a week. Now, wish me luck with finals!

Xoxo

Monday, December 5, 2016

{Gift Guide} The Guys

Gift Guide: the guys

For some reason guys seem to be the most difficult to shop for. The only guys I really ever have to shop for are my brother and my dad. There's usually something on the top of their list that I can get for them, or there's something classic that they always love. For my dad, flannels are always a go-to. I bought him a flannel from Gap in sixth grade for Christmas and he's been wearing it ever since. For my brother Brian, something sporty is usually my go-to. Although, he's a huge fan of J.Crew socks and thrifted sweaters as well. Today I'm sharing the usual items I gift to the men in my life, plus some newer items that I think so many guys would love! Whichever guys are on your list, I'm sure they'd love something from my picks!

I tried to do a few different price ranges, depending on how much you were looking to spend on the gift. A good pair of shoes are always a good gift, especially these Sorel for J.Crew boots and Timberlands. As much as Timbs have become a trend in recent years, my dad's been wearing Timbs as work boots for as long as I can remember. They are such a quality shoe that will be sure to last. As I mentioned before flannels are always a go-to and I love this blue and green check one

Shop all of my gift ideas below!


Xoxo

Friday, December 2, 2016

{Gift Guide} The College Girl


Gift Guide: the college girl
Hello all! Oh my goodness, it's December! Real quick announcement...my holiday shop is LIVE! I've done a holiday shop for the past couple years and now you can shop my holiday gift picks here! First semester at LMU has seriously flown by and been so so much fun! I've met so many amazing people and had such a fun time exploring LA and campus as well. Going home for Thanksgiving marked the holiday season for me because I was finally introduced to winter weather. It was actually quite refreshing to be in cold weather and have it actually feel like Thanksgiving and Christmas time. Los Angeles is always pretty mild, but has cooled down just a bit since the end of November and December. But, I still wake up every day with the sun shining and not having to wear a coat.

Today I'm sharing the first gift guide for the holiday season! As I college girl I definitely know a few things that I could use this year for Christmas. I can't even begin to explain how much money I've spent on Uber rides to and from parties or even just to different locations in LA. Uber now offers gift cards at all different prices. This is something I'd definitely love to receive this Christmas. Other gift cards like Starbucks and Target are always good gift ideas too! Ugg slippers are another item that would be perfect for any college student. Community bathrooms are absolutely disgusting and the worst and having a comfy pair of slippers to slide on before heading to the bathroom are essential. 

I've mentioned this product before but the JimmyCASE is seriously the best phone case for college students. It's so nice to have a stylish way to store my debit card, state ID and student ID in one convenient location. This is especially perfect for going out because you only have to carry one thing and it has everything you need! My current agenda (Sugar Paper for Target) is quickly filling up for the end of the year and I'm in need of a new one! I absolutely love this fun ban.do agenda or if you're looking for something pricier, the Erin Condren life planner is absolutely stunning (and helpful).

Shop all of my gift picks for college girls below! Stay tuned for more gift guides and fun holiday posts in the making!

Xoxo & have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

5 Ways To Get in The Holiday Spirit

Christmas is easily my favorite holiday ever. I mean who doesn't love the twinkling lights, Christmas trees, and festive decor everywhere. I just got back to school and as much as I'm loving being back in the sun and enjoying the mild weather I can't wait to go back home and have a real Christmas complete with cold weather and snow. This year my friends opted to do a cookie baking party instead of doing our usual secret santa gift exchange. As much as I love buying gifts for people, we all decided that as broke college students it would be much more fun to simply spend time together and decorate cookies! Getting into the holiday spirit is definitely a little different in sunny Los Angeles but one of the perks of going to a Catholic school is that they've decorated campus with plenty of Christmas decor. My favorite is the student run coffee shop that is now decked out with stockings, lights and Christmas blankets. It makes for such a cute and cozy workspace! So many people like to wait until December to officially begin the holiday season, but the second that Thanksgiving is over I am in full force Christmas mode. It's definitely strange being in a dorm during the holiday season because my family usually decorates the house pretty thoroughly for Christmas. Today I'm sharing five ways to get in the holiday spirit because it's seriously the most wonderful time of the year!

1. LISTEN TO CHRISTMAS MUSIC

Probably the best thing about Christmas is the non-stop music playing on the radio. I absolutely love Christmas music and I have an awesome playlist I've made to share with you! Pandora is also another awesome option because it gives a bit more variety in what you're listening to. When I was driving around at home just last week I opted not to play my own music, but to listen to the Christmas music that was on the radio and it was so fun to get in the holiday spirit!

2. DECORATE YOUR SPACE

Last year while I was still in high school I always decorated my room for the holiday season. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but a Christmas throw blanket, string lights and a mini tree really do the trick of changing up your space for the season. I've even made snowflakes and painted them gold before to hang from my fan for an extra fun touch. My current dorm room isn't all that festive, but I'm hoping when I go home in 3 weeks (omg finals are here ahhh!) that I'll decorate my room! 

3. COOK UP SOMETHING SWEET

Baking during the holiday season is an absolute must. I feel like everyone's family has some signature holiday treat that they make year after year. In my family we always make reindeer sugar cookies complete with pretzels for antlers and green and red m&m's for the eyes and nose. They are so cute and so so good!!

4. EXPLORE YOUR LOCAL MALL

Practically every mall in America goes all out when it comes to Christmas decor. The mall closest to me is actually outdoors, which is surprisingly fun to shop at when it's sprinkling snowflakes during the holiday season. And not to mention that there are always plenty of Christmas decorations.

5. GIVE

The holiday season is all about sharing the love and giving to those around you. This could be as something as small as giving someone a compliment on their smile or their perfect holiday outfit or it could be as big as making a donation to a local charity or volunteering. The holiday season is all about giving and this is the best gift you can give.

What do you do to get in the holiday spirit?

Xoxo

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cyber Monday Sales

I'm a huge advocate for Black Friday shopping. It's seriously so much fun to be out shopping with my best friend/cousin Carly through the night after Thanksgiving! It's a tradition that we leave around 11 pm Thanksgiving night, hit up a 24 hour McDonald's and then venture to different malls in search of the best black friday deals. This year I ended up snagging some awesome deals for myself! I used to always use Black Friday as a way to get people Christmas gifts, but this year there wasn't too much that I found that was worthy of gift giving! This year I found a pair of Vans from J.Crew Factory for $16, a pair of Steve Madden sandals for $20 and a bodysuit from Charlotte Russe for $15! 

This year has definitely been a year of shoes for me as I've purchased over 6 pairs of shoes in the past four months. What can I say, I like shoes! Cyber Monday is an awesome time though because you can shop the best deals of the season, right from the comfort of your own home. I'm going to Mexico for winter break so I'll definitely be on the lookout for some warm weather pieces on super sale that I can wear in the coming break! It's crazy to think that in less than three weeks I'll be back at home with my family again. It's wild because I went three months without seeing them and now it will be less than a month! When you're reading this I'll most likely be on my flight back to school in LA. I'm excited to do some winter festivities in Los Angeles, and see what the Christmas season is like among the palm trees. And I'm so excited to go to Disneyland next weekend and see it all spruced up for Christmas. I've actually never been to Disneyland before (only Disneyworld) so it should be a very fun experience! Here are the best deals of the day!!

ABERCROMBIE & FITCH 

50% off sitewide + free shipping on all orders! I'm obsessed with this sweater (under $30) and this fleece onesie

J. CREW FACTORY

60% off everything and an extra 40% off clearance and free shipping! Use code HAPPYSALE

NORDSTROM

Extra 20% off special sales online. These Topshop black ankle booties are so versatile and cute. I'm equally as in love with this beanie that is perfect for the winter weather!

FOREVER 21

Extra 30% off all sale use EXTRA30. Plus major style deals and free shipping on all orders! This lace up sweater is so so cute. 

BLOOMINGDALE'S

25% off a large selection of regular and sale-priced items. Plus, free shipping and free returns! They have so many fun PJ sets and Wildfox sweatshirts

IRENE'S STORY

My all time favorite boutique in California that's only two miles from campus! I actually shop here all the time because they have the cutest stuff and they're offering 20% off all online orders with the code SITEWIDE20

SHOW ME YOUR MUMU

50% off almost everything, including most just added styles! Use code MUMUSALE50! 

VICTORIA'S SECRET

50% off all bras. This bralette is so pretty and delicate, perfect for layering!

What sales are you shopping this Cyber Monday? Have a great week!

Xoxo


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fall Hometown Hunt

I'm excited to share my favorite Fall activities in Chicago after being inspired by Eventbrite's Fall Hometown Hunt project. They're inspiring bloggers to share the best local spots for Fall activities. If you're thinking about creating an event, check out their ticket selling tool! It's only November, and there's still a bit of time to spend outside enjoying the crisp fall air! The main thing I miss about sweet home Chicago is definitely the season of fall. Los Angeles is pretty mild year round and although I know I'll love this come January, right now I'm definitely missing the cool air. 

Also, after the Cubs won the world series I was seriously so upset not to be home. I ended up watching "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and became super eager to go home for break. Besides being back in my hometown I can't wait to see family and finally be in a real house! Agh, and no shower shoes. 

Today I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite fall events that Chicago has to offer. Although fall is mid-way through there's still so many things to do before the season is over and winter is upon us!

Look at the leaves // Okay, seriously this was my favorite thing about being in Chicago. My town is lined with gorgeous trees that change to all shades of red, orange and yellow. We have the greatest front porch at my house and my favorite thing to do was sit out there and just enjoy the beautiful leaves. Also, the woods in my town were so beautiful during the fall and are perfect for a nature walk. Don't forget to bring a pumpkin spice latte! Lol, I've actually never had one. Are they any good?

Chicago River Cruise // I went on one of these for a History of Chicago field trip and it has easily been one of my favorite things I've ever done in the city. I absolutely love seeing all of the amazing architecture the city has to offer, and it's such a great way to get outside!

Apple picking // This is one thing that you can still do even after Halloween is over. Grab friends and go pick apples at an orchard nearby and be sure to have a super fall-ish photo shoot. That's one thing I wish I would've done this year! Afterwards, bake an apple pie or make cider. Yum!!

Thanksgiving Parade // I have yet to actually attend the Thanksgiving Day parade, but it looks like so much fun! It runs along State Street full of floats and marching bands. A few of my friends go every year, while I usually chill at home. We host for Thanksgiving every year and it's a little hectic as we prepare the house and food for our guests! My brother and dad always have a Turkey Bowl the morning of Thanksgiving as well!  

What are things you do in your town each fall?

Xo

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Shoes on Campus

One thing I didn't necessarily expect in college was the amount of walking I'd do. I'm not sure why I didn't expect this because LMU's campus is a pretty decent size. As far as shoes on campus goes I go for comfort more than anything. But, aside from just walking on campus I'm going to share my favorite shoes for different occasions in college! Keep in mind I go to school in California so the weather is generally nice year round. I've only been here for two and a half months, but I feel like I've gotten the idea of what shoes are best to have for different college events.

For walking to class // I swear by the newest addition to my shoe collection my navy suede high-top Vans. These shoes are seriously so comfortable and match with practically everything. Navy is always my go-to color, especially when I want something that isn't all black. Birkenstock's are another one of my go-to shoes because they're so comfy and go with practically everything. 

For the beach // I purchased another pair of Rainbows (I have 3 pairs now) and they are easily my most worn shoes ever. I wear these to class all the time, to and from the bathroom and always to the beach. They are seriously the best sandals ever, and are an essential if you go to school somewhere warm. Even if you don't, I highly recommend these shoes for summer!

For going out // I have two pairs of shoes that I wear when I go out. Steve Madden sneakers or white high-top converse. Low-top white converse used to be my go-to until I practically destroyed my pair at Lollapalooza this summer and decided my shoes were way too dirty to even bring to school. My mom ended up throwing them away because she thought they were too gross. Going out shoes need to be comfortable, but something that you don't mind getting dirty or something that can be washed. I throw my white converse in the washing machine every couple months to keep them clean!

For the fall // At the Nordstrom sale this year I picked up these black Steve Madden ankle booties and they have become my go-to shoes for fall. I actually didn't even bring my tall Frye riding boots to school just because I felt that I would get zero use out of them. As much as I'm debating bringing them back with me after Thanksgiving, I absolutely love how casual and cute these ankle booties are! And perfect for fall without being too hot in the California sun!

What shoes do you wear around campus?

Xoxo

Monday, November 7, 2016

A Weekend In My Life {Manhattan Beach}

The best thing about going to school in California (besides being so close to the beach) is having so many cool places at my fingertips. There are seriously so many cool places to explore and it's so interesting to find new fun places! This weekend I was feeling especially homesick because so many of my friends went home after the Cubs won the world series (Fly the W!). I was disappointed because I had planned on going home initially, but changed my mind at the last minute because I didn't feel like traveling on a plane for four hours just to spend two days at home. 

I channeled this negative energy into taking some time for myself and renting a bike for the day and biking along the beach. Honestly, such a good decision. It was so relaxing to have some alone time, but do something so fun. I ended up biking 16 miles on a beach cruiser and traveled from Marina Del Rey to Manhattan Beach and back. I first visited Manhattan Beach when I came to LA for orientation and absolutely loved the quaint beach town that it was. When we came to move me in we stayed near Manhattan Beach and my family loved exploring the area as well. I was so happy to finally be able to explore the area again and visit all of the super cute boutiques. 

Let's start with the beginning of my weekend though. Friday night as I was walking to get dinner with a friend we stopped by the view to catch the amazing sunset. Seriously, there's nothing like a California sunset (but nothing like a Chicago sunrise). The palm trees and the setting sun made for such a picturesque moment. 
 On Saturday morning I woke up around 11 and got dressed and caught an Uber to the bike rental in Marina Del Rey. I rented a blue beach cruiser with a basket and began my trek to Manhattan Beach. I did not choose the best day to bike because it was extremely foggy and a little chilly. But, it was still so pretty that I can't complain! The day began pretty clear at first as I biked through the Marina and saw the UCLA sailing team practicing. 
I then biked along the beach (there's an amazing bike path!) passing through Dockweiler and El Segundo and then eventually making it to Manhattan Beach and parking my bike on the pier. I was starving and had been craving my favorite acai bowl from Paradise Bowls. I get the coconut yoyo that is acai blended with banana and topped with granola, banana, mango, shaved coconut and honey. Seriously so good. Jamba on campus makes bowls too, but they do not even compare to the bowls from Paradise!
I then wandered a bit around Manhattan Beach and went into all of the cute boutiques that they have. Manhattan also has one of my other favorite restaurants Lemonade. Ugh, the guava limeade is seriously amazing!
Around three the sun finally came out in Manhattan and I captured this photo as I walked along the water. 

I ended my day with biking back and hitting up a new favorite store in Marina Del Rey Irene's Story. I bought the cutest dress for Thanksgiving and am so stoked to wear it!

Sunday was pretty uneventful as it usually is. A few friends and I journeyed to the beach to relax and read. It was a little chilly for the water, but nice to lay out for a bit and soak up the sun. I'm currently reading Becoming The Boss by Lindsey Pollak. She came and spoke at LMU the other week and I absolutely loved everything she had to say! Her book is such a great read for millennials!

Cheers to a great week ahead!

Xoxo

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Opposite of Homesick

I asked you guys yesterday what you'd like to see on the blog and many of you responded with more personal type posts. I actually like writing personal posts, but I feel like so many people from school read my blog that sometimes I feel a bit insecure about posting something so personal. But, I think personal posts are really valuable and offer insight into the real life of me. Here's a little anecdote about where I stand at college currently.

 When I left for college I was so excited to finally be on my own for once. My parents were never super controlling of my life, but I thought it would be nice to be able to make decisions all on my own for once. I'm not going to lie, going to school in Los Angeles was entirely nerve-wracking. Two thousand miles is a long way aways from home and I can't just jump on a bus and be home in a few hours. I knew this when applying and when making my decision though and I would not have committed if I didn't think I could do it. The night before leaving for school I honestly didn't really want to go. It's not that I didn't want to go to school and experience college life, it was just that I was nervous about being so far away from my family and from what was comfortable. 

The night before I left I was hanging out with two of my friends I must have said, "I don't want to go" at least ten times. For some reason the reality of things doesn't always hit me when it should. When all of my friends left for school before me it truly didn't occur that I wouldn't see them for three months. It felt like they were going away to camp for a few weeks and I would see them soon. I'm lucky though because I really love my school and once I arrived at LMU I couldn't wait to finally start school. I was so eager to make friends and start a new life. This also comes out of my love/hate relationship of high school. Not to say that I hated every aspect, but I was constantly trying to go to boarding school to start a new life and sort of reinvent myself. And college was finally that point for me.

I think something that is worth saying is that everyone will feel homesick at some point in college. In all honesty I haven't felt very homesick while being this far from home. I'm a very independent person though and was constantly doing things on my own be it shopping or even just spending time alone. I truly have not felt very homesick until this week hit. I realized that in three short weeks I will be home again. As excited as I am to finally see my family again and be in a home (and not have communal bathrooms lol), I can't help but be nervous to see old friends. I feel that I have changed a lot in college, and definitely for the better. I have a different outlook on life and am much happier than I was in high school. I'm nervous to see how going home changes this and nervous to see what my personality is like around my old friends. 

One thing I'm trying to reassure myself about though is that college is a different experience and it is good to change and mature in college. And high school is in the past and I no longer need to maintain relationships with people that I had differences with in high school. I think accepting this truth is the first step in understanding that your friends from high school might not be your friends for life. Especially if I hope to live in Los Angeles after college, most of my friends from high school won't even be out west. 

College is a chance to start new and that is what I have definitely taken advantage of in my college experience. I am not looking to abandon old best friends from home, but simply looking to ignore those from high school that made me feel inferior and that never quite accepted me. Because now I'm doing bigger and better things afar!

Sorry for the long post, but I hope this post holds some sort of value for you. 

Xo

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Help Improve ASAK

Hey there! I'm interested in doing a bit of revamping to my site to make it even better for you! I'm interested in what you want to see on this site and what you like/don't like about A Sprinkle of Kate. If you have a few minutes take this short survey to help make my site even better! Thank you so much in advance for your time.

Monday, October 31, 2016

My Skin & Hair Care Routine

Something I try to be really strict about is my skin and hair care routine. I try and follow a firm routine that I abide by each day and night. Taking care of your skin is so so important and using products that work for you is essential to having beautiful skin! I have dry skin so I have to moisturize a lot to maintain my skin. Also, taking care of your skin is only one thing to ensure glowing, radiant skin. Eating healthy and drinking tons of water will make your skin so much more beautiful from the inside out! 

I try to use pretty affordable products because I am a college student and understand that not all of us can afford a $70 moisturizer. I try and use products that I know will last me a long time and also work for my type of skin. 
Skin + Hair Care Products
As far as body moisturization goes I swear by the Aveeno skin lotion with a kiss of coconut. This works wonders and is the only lotion I've ever found that actually maintains moisturization all day. I love that this one in particular has a coconut scent because everything else from Aveeno is unscented. Also, living in California has changed me to actually apply sunscreen every day. Here it's sunny on the regular so it's very important to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. I use the Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch sunscreen in SPF 15. It's super light on the skin and smells amazing. For my face I use Aveeno positively radiant moisturizer. This has SPF 15 in it and also helps maintain clear skin and gently moisturizes. 

As far as other skincare items go I use the L'Oreal pure clay mask each week along with Biore pore cleansing strips

As far as hair goes I absolutely love the it's a 10 miracle leave in product. At first I thought it was all hype, but once I purchased it for myself and began using it I noticed my hair was so much softer. Now I don't think I can live my life without this product! 

I'm eager to hear...what are your favorite skin/hair care products? 

Xo 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

My Go-To Going Out Style

I think one thing most girls are the most lost about when headed to college is what to wear when going out. I had a sister go to college before me, but even that wasn't even that helpful. In high school, parties for me were an "anything goes" kind of situation. Whatever you felt like wearing was pretty much okay. I can honestly say I've worn sweatpants out before #noshame. But, in college going out seems to be a little more formal than high school. Every school is different, but I think the generally idea of getting a bit more dressed up when going out is pretty uniform across the board. I can't even imagine going to school where it gets super cold (God bless California weather) because snow and ice make going out a whole other deal. 

When it comes to going out I keep my style pretty simple. For tops I go: cropped, low-cut or off the shoulder. This might sound a little scandalous, but in all reality it's what the majority of girls wear at LMU when going out. Because we can't rush until second semester themed parties aren't a huge thing right now. What I often end up wearing is either black ripped jeans or Levi cutoffs, a top of some sort and either white high top Converse or Steve Madden sneakers. It's a simple recipe for the perfect going out attire. Here are a few looks I love that are similar to what I like to wear!


Going Out Style
These jeans are always my go-to. They're seriously so comfortable and so versatile for day to day wear and also going out! Because they're pretty high waisted I love wearing them with crop tops. Bodysuits are all the rage and I actually love them. They're so easy to wear with things because there's no need to tuck them in! My friends and I have an olive colored lace up body suit that we all share and it's seriously so cute!

Remember my favorite iPhone case? I'm still absolutely obsessed with it. During the summer it was helpful to hold my driver's license, but now it holds everything I need when going out: my student ID and debit card. It's so convenient not having to worry about losing my ID because I know it's snug in my phone case. If you're a college student and don't have a jimmyCASE I highly recommend getting one! It's so worth it.

If you're in college...what's your go-to going out style?

Xoxo

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

10 Fall Sweaters Under $100

The one thing that I don't like about living in southern California is the fact that fall is pretty much nonexistent. Had I grown up here my entire life I think I would be pretty accepting that seasons here aren't really a think. But having experienced fall and having my family send me pictures of the beautifully colored leaves makes me so sad that I'm missing out on such a great season. Although I know I will be extremely happy come January and the weather here is especially mild (instead of temps below freezing in Chicago)! 

Dressing for fall here is really something else because you can't exactly wear lots of layers, boots and scarves. It's only recently become cool enough to wear jeans/jackets. Nonetheless, I can't help but imagine of cool, crisp fall weather with changing leaves and pumpkins galore. Here are ten fall sweaters under $100 that I'm absolutely lusting over!

Xoxo

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Weekend in My Life

Hello! Long time no chat...ugh I know I'm the worst. I'm super eager to get back into blogging though because honestly ever since I moved to LA my life has been so much more interesting than it was back in Chicago. What I really love about where I go to school is that it's not a city campus, but it's centrally located in such a bustling city. What's different about LA is that there's no one "city" location. In Chicago there's a specific downtown which is where most of the action occurs, but here there are so many different areas of Los Angeles that there is just so much to explore! 

California is also a unique state because you can drive a couple hours and be in somewhere totally new! Santa Barbara is only two hours north, San Diego only two hours south! With so much to do I love being able to take advantage of all the different places nearby. Here's a recap on my fun weekend!

On Wednesday my roommate basically forced me (LOL) to go to a Troye Sivan concert in West Hollywood. I didn't have a strong desire to attend, but ended up absolutely loving it!! Troye was seriously incredible live and his opening acts were so good too. Let's just say, he has a new fan! After the concert we were starved so we hit up Shake Shack. I was so happy to take my roomie here because she had never been. As good as In-N-Out is, Shake Shack will always be my favorite and a nice taste of home. 
Thursday nights my friends and I typically go out to dinner so we tried a new restaurant our RA recommended called Urban Plates. Omg. SO. GOOD. All of their food is super fresh and their menu is extremely vast so we'll definitely go back and try a few other dishes out. I got a barbecue chicken salad and it was absolutely amazing! 
Friday night was pretty uneventful, but during the day it was extremely hot. Southern California is pretty predictable, but it was high 80s instead of the usual mid 70s. One of my classes was cancelled so I didn't start class until 3 pm. I headed to the beach with a friend for a few hours before class and it was so nice to just soak up the sun and relax for a bit. Living within 3 miles of the beach definitely has its benefits!

Saturday I went to Newport Beach with my friend Meghan and it was quite possibly the best day ever. Her sister lives nearby so she picked us up and drove us down to Newport around 10 am. Newport is only an hour south of LA, but it feels like a world away. It's a cute little beach down and is definitely an endless summer down there. We met up at her sister's friend's apartment and enjoyed a delicious breakfast on the patio. It was so refreshing to not eat dorm food, but also not eat out. I've been craving an actual home cooked meal! We spent the day out on a boat and it was so relaxing and fun! Not to mention how beautiful the area is!

Saturday night a few friends from USC visited and it was so fun to show them around LMU! I've visited USC a couple times for football games or to go out and it was nice to finally show my friends where I go to school for a change. It was also fun introducing them to all of my new friends here at school. 

I had such a fun weekend, but now I need to catch up on my studies and finish everything that I didn't over the weekend LOL. Let me know if you like more lifestyle-ish posts like this or let me know what you want to see on the blog! I'm all ears!

Xoxo

Thursday, October 13, 2016

19

Wow, it's crazy to say that I'm officially nineteen years old. It seemed like I hit a huge milestone last fall when I turned eighteen, but nineteen is so wild. There's just something about being that close to twenty that makes me think "Wow, I'm old." This is my first birthday I've spent away from home so it's a super weird experience. It's definitely difficult being so far away from my family, but I have tried to create a new "family" of friends here at school and I'm hoping to celebrate the day with them! I feel so old, yet I still have my entire life ahead of me, which is so thrilling. I'm only a freshman in college and I have the power to make my life exactly what I want it to be. Cheers to the final years of being a teenager!
Eighteen Things I Learned At Eighteen

1. Do what you think is good for your future self. For me biting the bullet and moving to 2,000 miles away from home was extremely scary, but Los Angeles has so many opportunities that I'm sure my future self will thank me for. 

2. Save your money. This is something I'm still continuing to learn, but tucking away little bits of money can be extremely beneficial for the future.

3. Don't burn bridges. As I've learned from being at school, it's a small world. Never end on bad terms with people because you never know when you'll need a favor or connection in the future. 

4. High school is not the end of the world. It's so easy to get caught up with the little things in high school, but one bad grade or one lost friendship is not the worst thing ever. High school is only four years, you've got your whole life ahead of you.

5. Wear sunscreen.

6. You're mom is always right. For the most part. She pretty much always is.

7. Friends are the family you choose for yourself. Choose to be around people that lift you up, rather than tear you down.

8. Be thankful for everything you have. You are so incredibly #blessed it's time to start realizing it!

9. Treat yourself! I'm a firm believer in rewarding yourself when you deserve it! So you got an A on the paper you slaved over for weeks, buy yourself something fancy! You deserve it!

10. Spend time outside.

11. You don't look like a loser if you're not sitting on your phone while waiting for something or someone. Take a look around! There's so much to see and you could miss it if you're on your phone.

12. Tell people you miss them. It's worth it to you and to them.

13. That zit you're so concerned about will not matter in about a week. And I'm sure no one notices it more than you do.

14. Apologize when you do something wrong. It's okay to make mistakes, but own up to them.

15. Don't try to be exclusive. Life is so much more fun when more people are included. Truly, the more the merrier!

16. Remember people's birthdays.

17. Do one thing a day that scares you. That thing you've always wanted to do but have been scared to do? Yeah, go do it.

18. Don't sweat the small things. Everyone says it, but it's so true. Don't let yourself get stressed out over something small. Everything will fall into place.

Xoxo

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October Playlist

October is by far one of my favorite months and my birthday is this month too! But seriously, how did it become October? I've been at school for well over a month now and time is seriously flying by. I actually cannot believe it is already the month of October. Living in southern California has been especially confusing, season wise, because the weather here never will really fully cool down. As much as I might miss wearing puffer vests, bean boots and riding boots, I will definitely not miss Chicago weather come January. Here, fall is just a little different, but it's not necessarily bad! And trust me, I love the warm weather.

These are my current favorite songs as far as October goes. Atlas Genius had a little concert at my school last week so I've been kind of obsessed with their music ever since. Also, Hamilton has been my recent favorite thing ever. A kid performed "Dear Theodosia" at open mic night and ever since I have been hooked. My absolute favorite from the musical has to be "Satisfied", but I just recently became obsessed with it--hence why it's not included on my list.

I'm always looking for new music...

What are your current favorite songs?

PS stay tuned for a dorm tour later this week!

Xoxo

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Top 5 Necessities for Being Productive

College is a complete change of pace. I went from spending eight hours a day in eight different classes, two hours practicing for dance and then going home and attempting to study, sleep and eat with the remainder of my time. My high school schedule was definitely extremely fast-paced, but it was a good way to keep busy. But, it was certainly easy for me to become easily frustrated and stressed out over small things because there was constantly something going on.

In college I'm currently taking four classes (plus one other class, but it doesn't have outside work) and so far am not involved in anything on campus. I have plans to rush a sorority sophomore year and hopefully join a service organization, but I'm still getting acclimated with the school. I have a lot more time on my hands than usual, but it's so nice to finally be able to dedicate the time needed to succeed in classes, the time I didn't have in high school. In high school I often half-assed things because there was just always so much work that it seemed impossible to get it all done. Now, the workload is definitely heavier, but it's very refreshing being able to fully learn about a topic and reflect on the learning targets. 

Being productive is especially important because although there's more time available, I definitely do not want to waste too much time procrastinating and avoiding work. I pulled that crap way too much in high school. These are my top five necessities for being productive.

1. Make A List
Start off by using an agenda (let me know if you'd like to see how I organize my agenda!) and make a list of all the tasks you need to accomplish. This does not only have to include academics, this could be a reminder to do laundry, clean your dorm or workout. 

2. Get Rid of Distractions
For me this means blocking myself from going on YouTube, Netflix, reading other blogs, etc. I use SelfControl and this has seriously changed the game. It restricts you from going on your own set list of websites. No matter what you do, close the application or restart your computer, you will not be allowed to access any of the websites on your blacklist. This is especially helpful because I'm forced to finally focus.

3. Find Your Spot
I've actually enjoyed doing homework in my dorm, but recently it's been so hot that I need to get out of there. Also, the dorm is open for distractions because if my roommate or friends stop by the room I love chatting with them. Going to Starbuck's or the library has been very helpful for me because the risk of seeing someone I know is pretty slim (even though my school is pretty small). 

4. Prioritize To Manage Your Time
Jot down all of the things that you need to do in order of priority so that you don't waste time working on a project that's due in two weeks when you have a paper due in two days. Prioritize exactly which assignments you must accomplish on a given day that way you ensure that things that have sooner due dates are finished in a timely fashion.

5. Take Productive Breaks
Just because you're taking a break from studying doesn't mean you can't be productive. Get some of your work done, then take a quick break to have a snack. Or go throw a load of laundry in. Getting up and getting out of your seat and taking a quick mental break is often beneficial, but whatever you do do not go on YouTube or Netflix to watch "just one thing" because you will immediately be sucked in! 

What are your tips to being productive?

Xoxo

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What's on my iPhone {College Edition}

I haven't done a post like this in the longest time, and these types of posts (or videos on YouTube) are some of my favorite to watch. I'm not sure if I'm just super nosy and want to see what's on people's phones, or if I just always like learning about new apps that are useful! My iPhone has been organized practically the same way for some time now because I think it's pretty well organized and everything is easy to find. I also want to share with you some of my absolute favorite apps! PS. Have you guys updated your phones yet? I'm not quite sure how I like the new update...especially how you have to click the home button to log on now. 

On the first page I have your pretty standard apps that come on the iPhone. I use Spotify for all my music (follow me @heyitskmay) and I highly suggest it. Premium has seriously changed my life and made finding new music and having awesome playlists so much easier. Of course I have Snapchat because what human on this earth doesn't!? I use Chase for all of my banking needs to keep track of my debit card balance and also see where exactly my money is going. GoPro is basically a way to upload videos and photos straight from your GoPro to your phone so it is especially useful. It can also be used as a remote for your camera if needed!

Mint is an app that I absolutely love because it really helps me keep track of my spending. It allows you to set monthly budgets for different things like restaurants, shopping, gas and groceries and notifies you when you exceed this budget. It also tracks the different categories you're spending your money in and allows you to see what you're spending most of your money on. Sonos is a sound app to connect to the speakers in my house to play music, but it's definitely irrelevant now that I'm 2,000 miles from my home. Fitbit is how I connect my Fitbit band to my phone and log what I'm eating, how much water I'm drinking and also my fitness minutes.
Moving on to the next page I organize all of my apps by category. I use VSCO for practically all of my editing needs and love publishing different photos that never make the gram on VSCO. I also love using Boomerang!
In college I definitely use Uber and Lyft way more than I used to. I'm constantly Ubering around Los Angeles or visiting friends in different locations so it's super convenient to call a car to my dorm and share it with whoever I'm traveling with. A lot of parties are in houses off campus so Uber/Lyft are definite necessities. 

All of my social media apps are pretty self explanatory and keep me connected. Ever since coming to school I've been using Venmo and Tapingo very often. Venmo is a super easy way to transfer money to friends if you owe them for something and can't pay them in cash. Tapingo is offered on different college campuses and is basically an online food ordering service. It's super convenient because I can order Starbuck's from my school ID and it will be ready to be picked up when I get there. This saves so much time--one thing I don't seem to have as a college student. 

Are there any apps that I definitely need to add to my phone?

Xoxo

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

10 Going Out Tops Under $50

When it comes to going to class I'm usually pretty simple. A big t-shirt, leggings/running shorts and Rainbows. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I don't start class until around 2 so sometimes I try and dress a little cuter, but that doesn't always happen. When it comes to going out at first I was totally confused on what I was supposed to wear. Recently for me it's been black pants, high waisted shorts and some form of trendy top whether it's lace up, cropped or high neck. For shoes I've always been wearing my white, high-top converse, but I've decided I need a pair of Vans. I've compiled a few of my current favorites and a few that I'd like to add to my closet for going out. All of these are under $50 too! 


Xoxo

Monday, September 12, 2016

{A Guide To} Applying to College

Tis the season of college applications! I'm here to share with all of you all of the things I wish I had known while applying to schools. I'm very satisfied with my college choice as of now and completely feel made the right decision, but if I could go back in the process I would definitely do a couple of things differently. 

1. Apply to more schools than you think
I'm not saying apply to 13 schools if you're dead set on one, but applying to more schools has its benefits. For me, it was applying to 8-9 schools. I had my heart set on one particular school, but also wanted to keep my options open. Throughout the entire college process I was extremely indecisive about what exactly I wanted in a school and where I wanted to attend school geographically. I always had my heart set on going to school in California so I opted to apply to 5 schools in California and 4 schools elsewhere. Of these other four 2 were in the midwest, 1 was in the south and 1 was on the east coast. I regret not applying to more schools on the east coast, just because for a while I strongly considered going to school there. The list of schools I applied to is as follows:

UCLA
UC Santa Barbara
UC San Diego
Loyola Marymount University
Chapman University
University of Missouri
University of Alabama
Lehigh University
Miami University

If you're borderline about applying to a school I say just go for it. I actually didn't apply to LMU originally, but then ended up applying last minute. Who would have guessed it's where I ended up going to school!

2. Start & apply early
It was very helpful taking a college English class at my high school because it forced me to begin writing my college essays early. You're going to have a lot of essays to write so it's best to pace yourself and begin the process early. I'm sure many of you that are applying to school this year have already begun your college applications, but if you haven't it's not too early to get started! I also highly recommend applying early action to as many schools as possible. This is an awesome option because it is non-binding, but you find out your admission decision earlier and are often considered for more scholarships than if you were to apply regular decision.

3. Find your space
College applications were very independent for me and I didn't want my friends to interfere with my focus. Don't get me wrong I love studying with friends, but when it comes to my future of the next four years I like to take something like this very seriously. I opted to go to Starbuck's often and work in a productive space. This got me out of my house and let me focus in a new environment.

4. Trust the process
There's only so much you can do while applying. You have full control over the essay you write and any other supplements, but when it comes to determining if you actually get in...sorry, but you're out of luck. Many schools look at applicants holistically meaning they look at more than just your GPA and test scores. This includes extracurriculars and your personal statement. Let the college decide if it's right for you.

I hope these tips helped! Are you applying to school this year?

Xoxo

Friday, September 2, 2016

TGIF & Links

So, the first week of college is finished! And a long weekend to finish off the week. I can't wait to hopefully head to places in LA with my new friends and explore all that the city has to offer. So how was my first week of college might you ask? Well, it was great! My campus is I swear to God the most beautiful place. If you don't believe me just check it out here to take an aerial tour. The campus is pretty small, which I absolutely love. It was super easy to find all of my classes without leaving 30 minutes before. I ended up dropping my yoga for dancers class because it was actually so difficult and an hour and a half of yoga isn't really my thing. I'm more into 45-60 minute classes. My other classes, however, are going pretty well! I can tell that they'll be a lot of work, but they're all very interesting and in small class sizes so it's easy to stay focused and participate. 

A few of the things I'm loving on campus so far include Jamba Juice, my dorm hall and Iggy's, the diner we have on campus. The nearest Jamba to me at home is a 20 minute drive so I never really went that journey just to get a smoothie. Now I am loving their green smoothies and my current favorite: their acai bowls. Seriously so good. It's a California thing. Living in California has made it so easy to be healthy, even as a college student. There are so many different options at all of our dining halls that it's really easy to constantly eat salads, drink smoothies or juice and avoid processed food. With that said though I've been loving Iggy's, our school diner. It has late night munchies-type food such as milkshakes and fries, and stays open super late. I've been loving their salads as wraps! My dorm hall is also super fab. The girls are all the sweetest and my roomie is super awesome too! I can't wait to see what the weeks ahead hold for me. And let me just say, the weather...absolutely beautiful. Every day you wake up and it may be a little overcast in the morning but soon enough the sun is shining and it's glorious!

Here are a few things I'm loving this week!

+A must know for college students! Use Scholar Google to find scholarly articles for research! A huge game changer for papers and research projects

+These Free People bralettes are now only $20! I need to stock up because it's an endless summer here in LA

+I just realized ASOS has a tall section on their site! Being 5' 9" it's super difficult to find rompers that aren't super short but this super cute one is made for tall girls!

+I'm currently loving my dorm, but I think this mirror would look so cute on my dorm walls. The color scheme of the room is black, white, grey and gold and my roommate and I have such a coordinating room!

+I absolutely love avocado toast and this recipe looks amazing! 

+Nordstrom is has some amazing products on sale! I'm totally loving (and may have purchased) these jeansthese jeans, and these sandals

Have an long amazing weekend!

Xoxo