July 26, 2014

Path of Life

It was an odd feeling not to be on social media or do any blogging for a few days, but it gave me a chance to step back and reevaluate my relationships, how I envision my future, what my priorities are, and what kind of path I want to follow in life. The most important thing about this path is that it is my path and my path alone. I am the only person who has the power to make these decisions.
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This time of reflection has strengthened me. I now find myself in a place where I can think clearly and relax without stressing about every little detail or worrying about being misperceived. 

We are only human and if we focus so strongly on striving for perfection we will find ourselves in a self-destructive cycle. If you cannot be happy about the goals that you reach and you only focus on the next thing you feel the need to "fix" about yourself, then you will never be happy. It is a vicious cycle and it is one that I will not be following. I will be myself and I will reach my goals because I am determined to do so, not because I am told that I am not good enough as I am.

My worth is not based on what someone else thinks of me or how I am perceived. My worth is based on how I feel about myself and how well I am able to be my true self on a daily basis. I am a happy, thoughtful, and enthusiastic person who takes on life with joy in her heart and a smile on her face. The "me" that I am within the deep depths of my heart and soul is the only person I need to be.
 
Don't let anyone write your story for you. It's your life to live.

Happy to be back  

July 21, 2014

Unplugging

Every now and then I have to step back and give myself a break. That being said, it's time for a short vacation from social media, blog included. For the next few days I'm going to be spending my time off of all my accounts. The only things that will be going up are previously queued Tumblr posts and one Instagram for my best friend's birthday. In my 2.5 year history of blogging I don't think I've ever formally let myself stop and consciously take a blog break. This is new territory for me and I honestly couldn't be more excited to spend a few days without a blog to-do list clipped into my Lilly planner. I've got some fun content for when I get back, so be sure to visit Bowtiful Life on Saturday for my next post!
I'm really looking forward to the break not only to relax, but also to refuel and refresh.

Be back in a few.
Talk to you soon and have a great week!

July 20, 2014

55 in 505

I was inspired by Mackenzie Horan, from Design Darling, to create a 101 in 1001 list. I think it's very important to have goals set for yourself and it makes a lot of sense to put them on a timeline. By doing this, you ensure that they have a better chance of actually happening. I had quite a lot of trouble coming up with 101 solid things that I knew I'd want to accomplish during 1001 days. So instead, I decided to create a shorter-term list: a 55 in 505 list. My life is so incredibly different now compared to how it was last summer before I started college, so it's hard to imagine exactly what the next few years will be like. This is a list of 55 things that I want to do in the next 505 days. Some are relatively simple and attainable, but others are a bit more difficult and/or will take more planning. I'm up for the challenge! I'm planning to attempt to create a 101 in 1001 list once I finish all of the things on this list.
My List
1. visit New York City
2. unplug for 24 hours (no going on my phone, laptop, or other electronic devices)
3. set up a picnic potluck with a few friends
4. go through my room at home to eliminate excess and unnecessary items
5. buy flowers for my desk, "just because"
6. drink three full 32oz bottles of water a day for two weeks straight (so 96 oz per day)
7. watch all of Grey's Anatomy (yay Netflix)
8. try a juice cleanse 
9. get custom stationery made
10. attend a fashion/blogger conference
11. complete three Pinterest DIYs
12. make three Pinterest recipes
13. see Ed Sheeran in concert (again)
14. make some vlogs for my YouTube channel
15. attend the Kentucky Derby
16. go skiing
17. learn enough French to carry on a conversation
18. redo all my iTunes playlists
19. go a whole month without any recreational shopping
20. (relating to #19) put aside the saved money to upgrade to a DSLR camera
21. format and organize a formal (handwritten) address book
22. get my driver's license
23. find a gym/jogging buddy
24. run/jog from campus to downtown
25. visit the Skydeck
26. pay for someone's order behind me in line at Starbucks
27. wake up at 5am for two weeks straight
28. maintain straight As for a semester
29. wear absolutely no makeup for a full regular day (staying home days don't count!) (Tuesday, 07-22-14)
30. visit five museums
31. meet up with five different blogger friends
32. attend and participate in a karaoke night
33. find the "perfect" pair of gym shoes
34. vacation somewhere on the East coast (Hamptons, Nantucket, etc.)
35. cut out caffeine for two weeks
36. find a recurring service site to volunteer at
37. create a family tree
38. make a pie from scratch
39. read three autobiographies
40. repaint the inside of my closet
41. increase my annual donation to my high school by $10 every year
42. learn how to use photoshop
43. volunteer at an animal shelter
44. set up an Etsy shop for my Lilly Pulitzer letters
45. ride on a Segway
46. learn how to make macarons
47. take part in a color run
48. throw someone a surprise party
49. find a swimsuit I feel comfortable and confident in
50. see a Broadway show in New York
51. get rid of clothes that no longer fit my size or style
52. watch three of the "classic" movies I haven't seen: (The Notebook, Titanic, Les Misérables)
53. visit the 9/11 memorial and museum
54. try a Pure Barre class
55. go ice skating downtown at Millennium Park

Start Date: Sunday, July 20, 2014
End Date: Monday, December 7, 2015

If you decide to create a 101 in 1001 or 55 in 505 list, let me know! I'd love to see what you put on yours.

July 17, 2014

On Trend: Pink Doors

I absolutely love brightly-colored front doors on houses and apartments, especially pink ones! I seem to see colored doors more and more often when I'm out and about in surrounding neighborhoods as well as when I'm on Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest. My favorite thing about colorful doors is how they make an entryway look far more cheerful and inviting. Below, I've included a few of my favorite pink door pictures.
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If you were going to paint your front door any color you wanted, what color would it be? 

July 16, 2014

Summertime Chi

~ What I Wore ~
 field jacket ~ jeans ~ Jack Rogers sandals ~ tee shirt (similar) ~ vintage Coach bag ~ bow ring ~ Chi Omega necklace ℅ ~ Ray-Ban aviators ~ initial bracelet ~ J.Crew Factory earrings

Yesterday it was unseasonably chilly in the Chicagoland area. July is typically the hottest summer month for us, but the temperatures yesterday all ranged in the sixties. I love those temperatures in the early fall, but for summer it's a little weird. One upside to the lower temperatures was that I got to wear my new favorite jacket from J.Crew! I've been eyeing the downtown field jacket since Spring 2013 and this year I finally purchased one for the Fall. I love the gold hardware and it coordinates perfectly with my Chi Omega necklace from The Lettered Company. On a final weather-related note: I have my fingers crossed that the temperatures go up quite a bit in the next few days. I'm already missing the beach...

How's the weather by you?

July 15, 2014

Orange is The New Black

After hearing only good things from friends, fellow bloggers, acquaintances, etc, I finally gave in.
I started watching Orange is The New Black on Netflix this Friday, and I'm already on episode 6...
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I'm still figuring out just how much I like it, but it's certainly outside of my usual realm of interest. The reason I find OITNB especially interesting is because there are multiple story-lines for each character the whole time. You get to learn a bit about their past and what got them into prison as well as their present life "on the inside." The show is very humorous at times, but I'd definitely say it's for mature audiences only due to various factors. I'm not sure just yet that I'd recommend it, but it's certainly interesting for now! I'm curious to see how the storyline progresses over time.

Have you watched any of Orange is the New Black, what's your opinion? 

July 14, 2014

Big Apple, Big Plans

I'm pleased, and very excited, to announce that I'll be visiting NYC in October! I've wanted to visit New York for as long as I can remember and I'm so happy that I get to do it with friends. We've already planed plenty of excursions and I'm really looking forward to seeing the sights, walking in Central Park, shopping on 5th Ave, and taking it all in. I don't know what first drew me to New York, but watching Gossip Girl since they started season one has certainly fueled my intent on taking this trip. With all the planning we've been doing, I knew that I couldn't contain my excitement any longer. Naturally, I wanted to share the news with all of you! I know that a lot of my readers and fellow bloggers have been to or live in NYC, so I'd love any suggestions for favorite cafes or restaurants and any "must-see" destinations.
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Have a marvelous Monday!

July 12, 2014

Think Like a Girl

We live in a world where we are constantly surrounded by advertising and we see thousands of ads per day. Like many people, I have a tendency  to mute the commercials that play before YouTube videos or leave the room when they start the commercial breaks on TV. It's rare that a commercial makes you think for yourself. Many advertisers like to make you think that they have all the answers.

In the last year I've noticed a change. I first took notice of this change when Dove was starting to promote their Real Beauty campaign and I wrote a blog post about one of their commercials that inspired me. The following videos are all ads I've seen in the last few weeks. I appreciate them for their messages and for making me stop and think.
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Pantene: Sorry Not Sorry #ShineStrong

Out of the three, Pantene's commercial is my favorite. I can really relate to it because on numerous occasions I've found myself saying "sorry" a lot more than I have to or should. I used to be told by friends and by guys I dated that I was "too nice" and/or I needed to "stop saying sorry so much." I hadn't realized how often I said "sorry" until I started listening to myself.



I'm happy to see brands and companies supporting girls and trying to show them (and the world) that they don't always need to be sorry, that doing something "like a girl" is a GOOD thing, and that they can and should do whatever they set their minds to.

So, sorry not sorry I think like a girl. 
I am a girl and I am PROUD of it.

July 11, 2014

Latching Onto You

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~ What I Wore ~
shoes: Tieks,   top: Old Navy (similar),   clip: Crewcuts,   pants: J.Crew (similar),   necklace: J.Crew (similar),   bracelets: vintage, local boutique, and Personalized from Me to You ℅,   ring and watch: vintage
{post title inspired Sam Smith's "Latch" (acoustic)}