End of Freshman Year

It's absolutely crazy that yesterday was the last day of finals for my freshman year. The second half of this year has taught me that I actually can balance many things and still have time for myself: doing homework, working out, spending time with my boyfriend, going to work, hanging out with friends, taking care of my mom, and more.

Honestly, everything that's been going on with my mom made the past semester difficult. After all of the nights that I stayed up late worrying and all of the mental breakdowns I had, I'm really proud of myself for keeping everything on track and doing really well academically. These past couple of months have made me very thankful to not only have such supportive friends and family but professors as well -- they always made sure to check in with me, and for the few times that I needed to miss class, they were totally okay with it.

My first year of college was awesome, but I'm looking forward to spending the next four months doing whatever I want! I can't wait to read, work out, see my friends, work, spend time with my boyfriend, get my business ideas rolling, and slowly but surely get back to posting on this little blog.

Thanks for sticking along after this little hiatus! XO

Your Skin Is In

I've been pale my whole life. I used to be so jealous of every girl who tanned easily because I always thought tanned skin looked better. However, as I got older and realized just how important it is to protect your skin, I became thankful to have the skin tone that I have.

Unfortunately, melanoma is the second most common form of cancer for teens and young adults ages 15-29. However, it's preventable and 99% curable when caught in time. After realizing how common melanoma is to people my age, I was extra cautious when heading out in the sun; you'd totally find me smothering myself in sunscreen. And when every girl went in a tanning bed daily for prom season, you'd find me at a tanning salon two days before prom getting a spray tan instead.

This is where Your Skin Is In comes in. Your Skin Is In is a pledge program and contest that encourages teens and young adults to protect their skin and prevent themselves from getting melanoma. MFNE has traveled all over New England to raise awareness.

The best part about this program? You can get your whole school to pledge, and cash prizes are awarded to the highest percentage of pledgers in high schools and colleges! For all of your stereotypical broke college students, like me, this is such an easy, fun, and valuable way to earn extra cash.

Join me with this pledge!

This is a sponsored post in partnership with the Melanoma Foundation and Her Campus Media. All words and opinions are my own.

Organize for 2016

One of my favorite things to do in the beginning of a new year is organize. I hate the feeling of being unorganized, so I always do these simple tasks to make my life a little more simple.

C L E A N  O U T  Y O U R  W A L L E T
My wallet is full of receipts that I just always seem to forget to throw out. It's usually receipts from clothes I buy (oops) that I keep just in case I want to return them ... but then I forget to throw them out when I decide to keep them. Go through your wallet and throw out any old receipts and expired coupons.

S O R T  T H R O U G H  Y O U R  D E S K
I've mentioned before that I totally hoard office supplies. I have too many pens, notebooks, and paper to even count! I like to go through all of my pens and highlighters and test them to see which ones don't work anymore. I also think about which notebooks and notepads I don't really need and then give them to my mom for her to use. Having a clean, organized desk is definitely a way to make you feel motivated and ready to work!

C R E A T E  T O - D O  L I S T S
I have gotten into the habit of creating weekly to-do lists, which is probably my favorite way to organize. It's such a great way to see which tasks need to be completed each week. I seriously would be so lost without this notebook; it practically has my life in it!

I N V E S T  I N  A  P L A N N E R
My Lilly Pulitzer agenda is a lifesaver. I use it to keep track of assignment due dates, plans with friends, shifts at work, appointments, and so much more. I have to admit that I do use my to-do list notebook more than my planner, but my planner still helps out a tremendous amount.

Looking to get organized? These items can help you!

How do you organize for 2016?

How To Kill It In Spring Semester

I feel as if I'm the only person who isn't looking forward to going back to school -- I wish break could last longer, but today is my last day. However, this month-long break has left me feeling super refreshed + ready to kill it this semester with these tips + tricks.

+ wake up early
Although sleeping in is really nice and 8 AMs are always dreaded, wake up early even when you don't have an early class. I've found that waking up early has actually motivated me to get more work done; if I spend more time sleeping or laying in bed, I find it that much harder to actually get myself to do things.

+ make a new to-do list each morning
I make a weekly to-do list outlining assignments I need to do and exams I need to study for. However, I started to also make daily to-do lists near the end of fall semester. Having a daily to-do list allows you to see just how much you need to get done in one day. Crossing off completed tasks brings a huge feeling of relief, and you'll be able to gauge your time when you know what you need to do. This Kate Spade notebook is perfect for jotting down your tasks!

+ utilize free time
Whenever you have free time, use it to do schoolwork. This could involve studying flash cards, taking notes, reading an article, and more. Although 30 minutes in between classes may not seem like a significant amount of time, you would be surprised by how many flash cards you could study in that time. Using a spare 15 or 30 minutes here or there definitely adds up in the long run. And doing homework in your free time during the week could potentially leave you extra time on weekends to go out or relax.

+ plan ahead
One thing that worked really well for me during fall semester was planning ahead. As I mentioned before, I made weekly to-do lists. However, I would have to-do lists for the next three or four weeks at a time. This would allow me to get an idea of when I would have really busy weeks, and then I used those to-do lists to get ahead on work so that I wasn't slammed all at once. Lilly Pulitzer agendas are perfect for planning ahead!

+ find your study habits
Did you develop study habits that worked really well for you last semester? Carry those over into spring semester. Did your study habits not work out too well for you last semester? Search through Pinterest for efficient study tips. Find whatever works best for you and stick with it; this will guarantee you academic success.

How do you plan on making this next semester successful?

Favorite Blogging Resources

After planning out my blogging goals for 2016, I have become obsessed with finding helpful resources to keep the blogging motivation flowing. I plan on printing out my favorite ones to keep in a folder because I prefer to have physical copies of everything, but for now, I've selected some to share with all of you!

Feeling inspired to blog as well? Jot down your ideas + posts in these notebooks + planners!

Winter Beauty Necessities

Even though I know I should be taking excellent care of my skin year-round, I probably take the best care of it in the winter (oops!). My skin gets dry easily, so I always focus on making sure I use the best products to keep it smooth and refreshed.

+ Foot scrub for dry, cracked feet.
+ Face masks for dry skin.
+ Body lotion for dry skin when walking outside.
+ Chapstick for cracked lips.
+ Water for keeping skin nourished.

What do you use to take care of your skin in the winter?

Life Update (Continued)

For those of you who saw last Sunday's post and my tweets, you'll know that my beautiful mom has recently been diagnosed with brain cancer. She had her surgery on Monday morning, and we were so thrilled with the outcome. My mom was in the operating room for about ten hours, but the majority of the tumor was successfully removed! The rest will be taken care of with chemo and radiation, which will start within the next couple of weeks.

I would just like to thank you all for your prayers + support. All of the tweets, comments, and messages seriously meant so much to me; it was definitely a good reminder of why I love to blog! I mentioned in my last post that I may be taking a blogging break. I have decided that I may not be taking a break necessarily, but I don't think I will have seven posts go up each week like I was hoping to. Posts will go up randomly until I feel as if it's okay to get back into a normal blogging schedule.

I hope you've all had a great week! XO