May Reflection

May was a crazy month! It really flew by, so now I only have to wait through about half of June until I'm out of school for the summer. Woo hoo! There weren't too many important things that happened this month, but I though I'd share them anyway because it's good to look back and see what happened.

1. I got two internships. | This one excites me so much! I've been dying to get an internship for the summer, so I was so excited to find out I got not one internship but two! These internships are both virtual, so I do the work from home, which I think works out best because then I can still do stuff over the summer without having to worry about going into an office. Maybe you guys will see posts in the future about what my internships are ;)
2. I got my wisdom teeth out. | This. Was. Horrible. I was in so much pain, I looked like a chipmunk, and I was stuck inside the house for the whole four-day weekend. But hey, it gave me a good excuse to eat nothing but ice cream!
3. I reached 100 followers. | This doesn't seem like an accomplishment, but it's a huge accomplishment to me! I've put so much effort into my blog with posting consistently, promoting it, etc., so it makes me happy that the hard work has paid off.
4. I went to two concerts. | And might I add that they were at the same place and in the same week! That has to be some type of world record. I have to admit that the Pitbull and Ke$ha concert was a lot more fun than Kiss Concert, but they were both fun nonetheless!

What were your accomplishments this month?

Review :: Sweet Peach Paperie Etsy Shop

Tracy Allen is the owner of an adorable Etsy shop called Sweet Peach Paperie. It's a custom party printables and paper boutique so she can design anything for your party and send you the PDF so you can print it. Even though most people probably wouldn't like having to print everything out, I think it's a good idea because then you can print out as much or as little as you want! The whole shop is basically preppy and nautical themed, which is adorable.

Tracy was so sweet to send me a PDF of preppy pink, blue, and white striped calling card. The front of the card has my name with my first initial. I customized the back of the card to include my name, email address, blog link, title for blogs, and Twitter link. I printed them out on computer paper first to test them, and I really liked them! I'm planning to get cardstock so I can make professional business cards out of them. This is what they look like:


Aren't they so cute?! You can't really see the writing on the back too well, but I think you get the idea. They're great to turn into business cards or just have a few essential ways to contact you on the back! The preppy stripe calling cards come in light pink, hot pink, lime green, or red.

If you need calling cards or printables for parties, I highly suggest you check out Tracy's shop! You seriously won't be disappointed.

What do you like from Sweet Peach Paperie?

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Summer Tote Bags

Summer involves frequent trips to the beach and the pool. So why not arrive to those places with an adorable tote bag? Tote bags are essential for summer, as they hold all of the supplies that are needed. Check out these cute bags below that I love for summer!

1. Multi Mini Chin Chin Shoreline Tote. We all love Lilly Pulitzer. Her patterns and prints are so summery and perfect for warm weather! This tote bag adds color and is the perfect size to hold everything needed. The only thing I don't like about it is the price... in my opinion, $78 is a little much for a tote bag. But it's worth it if it's this cute!

2. Seashore Tote in Lilli Bell. I CANNOT get over how adorable this is... seriously! I just discovered the Seashore Tote from Vera Bradley, and I'm already in love. It looks to be a woven or straw material, which is great. I love how Vera Bradley used that woven or straw-like material and then took five different prints and made shapes having to do with the sea out of them. You can get fish in Tutti Frutti, a turtle in Sun Valley, a whale in Lilli Bell, an anchor in Marina Paisley, or a crab in Plum Crazy. How creative! I read the reviews, and they said that this tote is huge and not the size of a purse. Even though it's $65, I believe it's totally worth it!

3. Medium Sail Cloth Tote. I believe that having a tote bag in the summer with any type of nautical print on it is absolutely necessary. I recently came across this tote from the Etsy shop NauticalNotions, and I think it's perfect! The only thing I don't like about the tote is the color. I don't like having white bags, especially white tote bags, in case the sand, spilled drinks, or dripping sunscreen stain it. Sail cloth is a very durable fabric, though!

Which summer tote bag do you like?

Studying for Finals

With school coming to an end, finals are going to be here soon. Even though most people's motivation to do schoolwork decreases as the weather gets warmer, it's still important to stay on task and pull through to study for finals. Because seriously, who wants to be proving competency while everyone else is hitting the beach and sleeping in late? I don't think anyone does! The tips I have for studying for finals work rather well, so I thought I'd share them with you all.

1. Get your study guides done as soon as possible. Cramming is one of the worst ideas ever. It creates so much stress and causes you to do poorly on an exam. If you get your study guides done as soon as you can, then you won't have to worry about doing them the night before the exam.
2. Ask any questions you have. While doing my study guides, I tend to have a lot of questions about topics I'm confused on or topics that I just need some clarification with. If you have any questions, ask your teachers! They'll most likely be more than happy to help you. Just make sure to ask them early because if you ask them any questions the day before your exam, they mBight get annoyed that you didn't finish your study guide earlier. That doesn't mean that you can't ask them for clarification about something the night before your exam - that's totally okay! It just means that it's not a good idea to come to them with an unfinished study guide the night before the exam.
3. Start studying in advance. Just like I said in tip number one, cramming your study guides the day before the exam is a horrible idea. So is studying everything for the exam the night before the exam. Your final exam will consist of the second half of the year's information, or maybe even the whole year, and that's a lot of information to try to remember in one night. If you start studying a couple of weeks before the final, the information will build up in your mind and help you to remember it better.
4. Have a group study session. Group study sessions are great because if you don't understand something, someone else can help you understand it and vice versa. You just need to make sure that you're studying with people who don't get distracted easily because if you end up getting distracted, you won't be studying.
5. Study things that aren't on the study guide. Just because you have a study guide for a certain class doesn't mean that it includes everything that's going to be on the final. You should study any notes that you took for that class throughout the year because they may include something that's on the final but not in the study guide. The notes also have some of the same information that's going to be on the final, so the information will build up. You should also study any quizzes or tests because there will most likely be similar, or the same, questions on the final.
6. Take breaks. Breaks are always good when studying for major exams. You don't want to take absolutely no breaks because then you'll feel stressed out and exhausted, but you also don't want to take long breaks because then it will be harder to start studying again. Ten-minute breaks every once in a while are good to refresh your mind.

Also, if you really want to lay outside and soak up the sun but also really need to study, why not compromise? Study while laying outside so you can soak up the sun and be productive!

How do you study for finals?

Summer Beach Reads

I absolutely love to read, so one of the reasons why I love summer so much is I have all the time in the world to read. As most of you know, I have a list of books that I want to read to help keep myself organized, but I thought I would share with you some series and books that you should read this summer when you just need a good beach read. So hit the library, grab your tumbler, and head to the beach to read these great books!

1. Pretty Little Liars series. I am OBSESSED with Pretty Little Liars! I can't even count how many books there are in this series because there are so many, but they're all so good. Sara Shepard never fails to make each book exciting and suspenseful. The series hasn't ended yet, as Sara keeps adding new books. However, her series doesn't seem to drag on; each book is just as interesting as the one before! The end of each book is so suspenseful that you just have to get your hands on the next book as soon as possible.

2. Lying Game series. The TV show is boring to me, but I love the books! Sara Shepard is seriously a phenomenal writer. Just like the Pretty Little Liars series, the Lying Games series is suspenseful and makes the reader want to read more. I can never put these books down once I start reading them, which is how every great book should be!

3. Any book written by Sarah Dessen. Sarah Dessen is my absolute favorite author! I'm a sucker for love stories, and all of the books Sarah writes are about love. They're so relateable because the characters are teenagers. I've already read all of these books, so I'm hoping she comes out with more because I'm dying to get my hands on some!

Have you read any of these books and series?

Pitbull and Ke$ha Concert

On Thursday night, I went to the Pitbull and Ke$ha concert! It worked out great because I didn't have school the next day, but I had to get my wisdom teeth out. Take this advice for future reference: NEVER get your wisdom teeth out at 9:15 in the morning the day after you go to a concert. Not fun.

Anyone, I'm not a huge fan of Pitbull, but I'm OBSESSED with Ke$ha. And when I say obsessed, I mean obsessed. I've loved her since sixth grade and know every word to every single song. I've already seen her in concert before, and that was in the summer of 2010 when she toured with Rihanna, which happened to be my first concert ever. Ke$ha is hilarious and a great performer, so I had a lot of fun. It's actually pretty funny because I was actually at the same place where the concert was last Saturday for Kiss Concert. It's pretty exciting going to two concerts at the same place in the same week!

Before the concert started, we got Subway for dinner and bought other snacks. The food is ridiculously priced where the concert was held, so it would be a waste to get food there. When I went to Kiss Concert, the chicken tenders and fries I bought cost $9.75. Ridiculous, right? Anyway, I was totally fine with getting Subway. The only thing I didn't like was we got at the concert REALLY early (about two and a half hours before it actually started), so we were just sitting in the car with nothing to do.

Ke$ha performed before Pitbull, and I freaked out when she came on stage. I ended up losing my voice after the second song (oops...), and I could tell that the people next to us, in front of us, and behind us really hated my friends and me for singing so loud. Pitbull actually wasn't a bad performer! He did good, but he definitely didn't beat Ke$ha. What made the concert even better was we were REALLY close to the stage (and if we weren't, that would've been a problem seeing as I paid $150 for my ticket!), so I was very excited.

I took a whole bunch of pictures, but I decided to only show the best ones. The pictures I took of Ke$ha and Pitbull make it seem like I'm not that close to the stage, but I actually was!

My best friend Sam and me! I wore blue seersucker shorts from American Eagle, a black shirt from American Eagle, black sandals, and my black North Face rain jacket.

Ke$ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pitbull!

Have you seen Ke$ha and/or Pitbull in concert?

Wisdom Teeth

The reason why I don't have a real post for today is because I got my wisdom teeth out yesterday. I didn't think getting them out would be as bad as it was, so I thought I would be able to write today's post when I got home yesterday, but that's not how it turned out. So my apologies for not having a real post today!

I totally underestimated how bad it would be to get my wisdom teeth out. The whole process wasn't bad, but everything that happened after was. I've never had an IV before until yesterday, and they really freak me out, so I asked to be given laughing gas while getting the IV that contained the anesthesia. I don't remember anything after the IV. The next thing I knew, I woke up in a different room than I was in before, and I was asleep in a chair with blanket on me. I remember asking my mom how I got in that room, and she said I walked there, but I don't remember that at all.

After we left the hospital, my mom got me a Frosty from Wendy's. My boyfriend came over yesterday afternoon to make me feel better, and he brought me Safe Haven and Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream! I can't eat the ice cream yet because the peanut butter cups are too hard to eat, but I can't wait to eat it. The bad part is, I got sick about eight times yesterday from all of the blood that was coming out. I ended up going to sleep at 6:30 last night and woke up at 9:30 this morning! I feel a lot better.

My cheeks are puffy, but the bleeding pretty much stopped. I'm SO happy my gums stopped bleeding because it got so annoying having to change the gauze every half hour, and it was even more annoying having to get up in the middle of the night to change it! My mom scheduled my wisdom teeth appointment for yesterday because I didn't have school due to prom being Thursday night, so it made this weekend a four day weekend.

Sorry for all of the rambling, but I thought I would just share with you guys why there is no real post! Everything will be back to normal tomorrow!

How To :: Decorate A Journal

I think journaling is so important because when you're an adult, you can look back on your thoughts from when you were a teenager. I try to journal whenever I can, but I don't get to journal much during the school year. I love to have cute journals, but I don't like to spend $10 on a designed journal. That's when I decided to design my own!

To design my own, I just buy a plain black and white composition notebook that usually costs no more than $1. Then, I look for quotes and sayings that I really like on Pinterest and Tumblr. Once I find ones that I like, I put them into a word document and try to resize them all so that they all fit on my journal perfectly - I don't want them hanging off the edge. After I get all of the pictures I want and size them to fit the covers of my journal, I print them out. I then cut them out and tape them onto the covers to create a collage. However, sometimes the tape doesn't always stay, so I staple the pictures onto the journal.

This is a great way to cheaply decorate a journal. I actually like this way better than buying an expensive decorated journal because I don't always like the designs I see in stores - they aren't as colorful and bright as I'd like them to be. Also, my journals have a lot of positive quotes on them, so they convey good messages instead of just having a plain design.

Even when I don't need to decorate a journal, such as when I haven't the journal I'm currently writing in, I like to have a word document on my computer that I put quotes and pictures on when I come across ones that I like to use for future journals. That way I don't have to waste time searching for quotes and pictures to use - I already have them ready!

This is a finished picture of my journal:


How do you decorate your journal?

Wavy Hair

A hairstyle that I love to do during the spring and summer is wavy hair that looks like beach waves. It's easy to do and takes very little time! My friends like to make their hair wavy too, and they all do it different ways than me. I thought I would share how I make my hair wavy, but my way might not work with every hair type, which is why my friends all do different ways.

The first thing to do is put your hair into a braid. It can be a French braid, fishtail braid, or normal braid - whichever you want to do. In the picture above, I have a French braid, but I normally do a normal braid because I can't French braid my own hair. I suggest braiding your hair when you get out of the shower. My hair seems to turn out wavier when my hair is wet. After you braid your hair, hairspray the braid. You don't need to use too much.

Leave the braid in throughout the night and while you sleep. I don't like to sleep with my hair in a ponytail because it's uncomfortable, but I don't mind sleeping with my hair in a braid because it doesn't feel uncomfortable to me. After you get ready and are about to do your hair, take out the braid. Hairspray it again once you separate your hair. If you braid your hair when it's wet, it will most likely still be a little bit wet when you take the braid out, which is good.

Your hair will look like this:

The hairstyle comes out cute and looks great with a thick headband! Making my hair wavy saves me so much time in the morning because all I have to do is take the braid out and hairspray my hair. I also like doing this hairstyle in the summer because I hate straightening my hair when it's hot out because then I end up getting so hot, and all that time is wasted anyway because my hair frizzes. Also, if I go swimming, it's a waste of time for me to straighten my hair before it because then it just becomes unstraight after getting wet. If I make my hair wavy, I can just do the process all over again after swimming to make my hair wavy again!

How do you make your hair wavy?

Etsy Shop Dreams

Searching through various Etsy shops is one of my guilty pleasures. Most Etsy shops have cute items that aren't too expensive. I love looking for monogrammed items, preppy items, and office supplies. Looking through all of these shops made me want to start my own Etsy shop.

The only problem is I'm not sure what I would sell in my Etsy shop. I'm only creative when I want to be; I can't just be forced to be creative. Also, there is nothing I can really make. I was thinking of learning how to make Emi Jays, the creaseless hair elastics, but anybody can just get them in stores for cheap now. The other problem is the only time I would be able to keep my shop open is during the summer because I'm not too busy then. I would never be able to keep the shop open during the school year, especially during soccer season, because I'm too busy.

Other ideas I had of what to create were stationary and business cards. The problem with those ideas are I don't have Photoshop, nor know how to use it, to make stationary and business cards. If I can figure out how to use other programs that aren't Photoshop to make stationary and business cards, then maybe I can consider selling those. I'm also worried that if I start the Etsy shop, it won't get any business. Or I'm worried that I'll be spending more money than I'll be making.

So for now, I'm thinking about figuring out which items I can create and just testing them out first. If they turn out good, maybe I'll do giveaways with them to make them known. And before starting an Etsy shop, maybe I'll just do a little business where people just ask me to make the stuff for them, and then they send me the money. If that turns out well, then maybe I'll start an Etsy shop.

Have you wanted to start an Etsy shop?

Rain Wear

I totally forgot to due this post in April, but better late than never, right? The weather has been kind of cloudy and rainy here lately anyway, so it all works out. Anyway, I thought I would share what I like to wear when it's rainy and how to style the outfits!

Rain Wear

When it rains, I usually like to wear one of my North Face rain jackets, Under Armour leggings, and Hunter Boots. I have two North Face rain jackets: one is the same exact one in the picture above, and the other is a shade of pink that's a little bit darker than the Hunter Boots I used in the picture above. I like having two different colors of North Faces because I don't always like to wear a jacket that's the same color as my bottoms. So, if I wear pink shorts or pants, then I wear my black rain jacket. I don't mind wearing black on black, although sometimes I'll wear my pink rain jacket if I'm wearing black leggings.

As for the leggings, Under Armour leggings are my favorite. They're warm, not see through, and really comfortable. I usually wear them for track, but I like to wear them with a normal outfit as well. I have a pair of navy blue Hunter Boots that I didn't include in the picture. I included the pink ones instead because they looked better with the outfit I put together.

What do you like to wear in the rain?

Kiss Concert

Kiss Concert is a concert that Kiss 108, a Boston radio station that plays all current and popular music, hosts every year in May. I went to it on Saturday with my twin sister and four of our friends, and it was my first time ever going to Kiss Concert. It was pretty fun! I didn't think it would be that good because I didn't know like four of the acts.

The acts were Icona Pop, Kenzie, Nikki Williams, Olly Murs, Chris Wallace, Jason Derulo, Sammy Adams (eeeek!!!!!!), Emblem 3, Cher Lloyd (love her!), Ariana Grande (love her too!), Taboo, Ne-Yo, Krewella, and Demi Lovato (OBSESSED WITH HER). I had no idea who Kenzie, Nikki Williams, Chris Wallace, and Taboo were. I later found out that Chris Wallace was once a part of the band "White Tie Affair" and that Taboo is from the Black Eyed Peas.

The seats my friends and I had actually weren't that bad! They weren't under the covering, but they were before the lawn. We actually could see pretty well for tickets that were only $50 a piece! The only bad thing is our pictures didn't come out too good because we had to zoom in on our phones. I also didn't even take that many pictures because I was so into dancing and singing that taking pictures weren't really on my mind! I'll share some of the pictures I did take with you:

Two of my friends and me waiting to go into the concert.

Olly Murs

Sam Adams!!!!!!!

The good thing is the artists that I knew played their songs that I knew. Icona Pop played "I Love It" along with a couple of songs that I didn't know. Olly Murs sang "My Heart Skips A Beat" or whatever it's called and "Troublemaker." Jason Derulo sang "In My Head," "Whatcha Say," and "The Other Side." Sam Adams sang "Blow Up," "Coast to Coast," "Coming Up," "All Night Longer," and "LA Story." I literally FREAKED OUT when Sam Adams came out because he's one of my favorite artists, and I've been a fan of his before he became popular! I know every word to every single one of his songs. It was really cool when he sang "LA Story" because Mike Posner came out to sing it with him since it's their song, and no one knew Mike Posner was going to be there! Ne-Yo sang "Mad," "Miss Independent," "Let Me Love You," and "Closer." Krewella sang "Alive" and other songs I didn't know. Lastly, Demi Lovato sang "Get Back," "Skyscraper," and other songs that I can't remember.

Scott Disick also announced Ne-Yo! I was actually pretty disappointed because the concert was said to be "hosted by Scott Disick," but he only hosted Ne-Yo. Nonetheless, it was still cool to see him because he's my favorite on Keeping Up With the Kardashians! His voice sounds so different in person than on TV, but he was still really funny.

My friend Carolyn, the blonde one in the picture above, drove us all in because she has her license. The first act, Icona Pop, started at 3:30, and the last act, Demi Lovato, ended at about 10:45. After the concert, we stopped at Wendy's for food, which was so clutch!

Have you been to a concert this summer yet?

Panera Loving

Saying I'm addicted to Panera is an understatement. Seriously. Whenever my friends want to go out to dinner, I always suggest Panera. And whenever my family gets takeout for dinner, I always ask if I can get takeout from Panera. It's a good thing that I'm not too close to Panera (the closest one to me is fifteen minutes away) or else I'd have it all the time!

Panera is not only delicious, but it's rather healthy as well. The sandwiches, soups, and salads don't have too many calories. I really only go there for lunch or dinner, so I don't really get any bagels, but their bagels are delicious as well! I also love their cinnamon buns and coffee cake. And Panera has great prices. My whole meal only comes to a little over $10, which is pretty good.

I get the same thing every single time I go to Panera. I only switch off between two meals, and the meal I get depends on the weather. If it's cold, rainy, snowy, etc., I'll get the chicken noodle soup with a baguette and a Sierra Mist or Mountain Dew. I used to get the soup in a bread bowl, but that became too much bread consumption for me. If it's hot, sunny, etc., I'll get the barbecue chopped chicken salad with a baguette and a Sierra Mist or Mountain Dew. The barbecue chopped chicken salad is to die for. I'm starting to get that even when it's chicken noodle soup weather! The barbecue chop chicken salad is made of chicken, romaine lettuce, roasted corn, black beans, tortilla strips, barbecue ranch dressing, and barbecue sauce. It sounds gross, but it's delicious! This whole salad has 510 calories, which sounds like a lot, but it's very filling and has really healthy items. I hate corn and beans except for when I eat this salad!

via Instagram - barbecue chopped chicken salad

What do you get from Panera?

Miss Lucy's Monograms Bag

About a month ago, I won a giveaway that Dorothy from Prep In Your Step hosted! The winner was supposed to receive a Large Aqua & White Striped Canvas Tote from Miss Lucy's Monograms, but by the time I won, the tote was discontinued. Since it was discontinued, the staff at Miss Lucy's Monograms was so kind as to let me choose another tote! I chose the Paisley with Hot Pink Handles Large Canvas Tote:


This tote is big, but it's not too big, which is why I like it. I don't like to use totes that I feel like are too big. It's the perfect size to throw a towel, sunscreen, a book, etc. in and just head to the beach! I know I'll definitely get good use of it this summer when I (hopefully!) get my license and can just go to the beach whenever I want!

There are only two things I don't like about this bag. The first thing is I don't like how my monogram looks, which is my fault, not the company's. I got to choose which font I wanted, and I chose circle because I always get script. I didn't know the "J" would end up looking weird and more like a "G," but oh well! The second is part of the pattern. If you see the black and white parts of it, you'll notice that it's actually zebra stripes. I don't like how zebra stripes partly show because paisley and zebra stripes really don't go well together. I love the paisley pattern, so I would've much rather preferred if it was just paisley. Regardless of these two things I disliked, I'm still very thankful that I was given the opportunity to get this bag for free!

What do you like from Miss Lucy's Monograms?

Sister's Six-Year Anniversary

On August 4th, 2006, my older sister, Brittany, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Hodgkin's Lymphoma is a type of cancer that happens from the spread of disease from one lymph node to another. Brittany was just going to be a sophomore in high school when she was diagnosed. In the spring of her freshman year, she developed a really bad cough which everyone thought was just a typical cold. She started to lose her appetite with every meal, but my parents forced her to eat anyway. Lastly, she had trouble breathing, which her doctor thought was just asthma.

In the summer of 2006, my family rented a Cape house for the month of July to be near our family friends. Brittany felt so sick the whole month and had to stay at the house while the rest of us sat on the beach, went boating, took trips to Martha's Vineyard, etc. She started to get worse and worse. It got really bad on the last day of renting our Cape house, so my parents decided to take her the doctors once again, even though they had already taken her so many times, because they knew something was seriously wrong. Brittany's doctor said she would need to go get a chest x-ray at a hospital, so she did. The hospital then took an x-ray and decided she needed to stay overnight at Children's Hospital in Boston. Brittany had to stay overnight at Children's because of the results of the chest x-ray; her lungs were filled with fluid, which was why she had a horrible cough, lost her appetite, and couldn't breathe.

The night of August 4th was when she was diagnosed and the night I found out. I was only going to be in fourth grade, so I didn't really know what cancer was at the time or what the dangers of it were. My parents had to constantly be at the hospital, so my twin sister and I spent most of the month of August at my parents' friends' Cape house going on their boat, using their jet skis, shopping, etc. Brittany came out of the hospital a month later.

via Instagram - the day Brittany (in between my parents) came home from the hospital. This was before she started chemotherapy.

That whole year was really hard for our family. My mom had to take Brittany to the Jimmy Fund every Friday for chemotherapy and eventually radiation. Every Friday, Emily (my twin sister) and I would walk to our family friend Kathy's house (she is the one whose Cape house we stayed at in August; her and her husband live three houses down from us) every Friday, who would then bring us to school because she was the nurse at our elementary school.

Out of those nine months that Brittany had cancer, the worst time was when she had to get her hair cut. It was September, and the chemotherapy caused her hair to fall out. It got worse and worse as the month went on, and her hair was eventually falling out in chunks. My parents couldn't stand to see her so upset anymore about her hair, so they thought the best thing for her to do was get it cut. When Brittany went to get her hair cut, obviously everyone in the hair salon could tell what was going on with Brittany. As the hair dresser was cutting her hair, everyone in the hair salon started to cry. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. There wasn't one person who didn't feel upset or moved by this. It was incredible. Brittany didn't lose all of her; she had a pixie-type hair cut, but her hair was rather thin and wispy. That's why she ended up getting a wig and used it every day throughout her sophomore year.

Even though those were the hardest times my family has ever been through, it really showed us such amazing friends and family we have. A couple of our family friends set up a "food chain" where people signed up to cook dinner for us different nights because obviously my parents didn't have the time to cook dinner. Over forty families and friends cooked dinner for us, so people came each night with food and dessert. It was actually pretty exciting because we would always wonder who was going to come and what they made for us. Our family and friends were always willing to help us during that time.

So now that I've shared that whole story, I'll let you know why today is so important. On May 17th, 2007, Brittany was announced cancer-free. That day was probably the best day of my family's lives. So much stress, worry, and sadness was lifted from us that day. We celebrate this day every year by going out to dinner. Even though Brittany is cancer-free, there is still a chance that her cancer could come back sometime in her life, but we pray that it doesn't.


At twenty-two years old, Brittany is now a beautiful, grown woman. She graduated from UMass Amherst last Saturday (as shown in the picture above), and I couldn't be more proud of who she has become. She attended the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, and she now has a job that she'll be starting in October 2013 as a tax accountant for Ernst & Young (where she'll be making big bucks!!!)! Brittany's experience affected her deeply, but she didn't let it get in the way of achieving goals and accomplishing great tasks. I love you, Britt!

Review :: Fine Day Press Etsy Shop

About a month ago, Ashley Austin, the owner of Fine Day Press, generously sent me four greeting cards to review! Fine Day Press creates things such as cards, prints, journals, business cards, and even coasters. I absolutely love cards and love to send them out whenever I get the chance, so I was so happy when Ashley sent them to me.

The cards arrived in a package tied like this! The string was cute and helped to keep the cards together instead of apart.


(Please excuse the fact that it's sideways!) These are the four cards Ashley gave me. Isn't the popsicle theme adorable?! It's right in time for summer. The names of the popsicle ones were (the first one isn't shown on the website!), Twin Pop, Push Up Pop, and Neapolitan Ice Cream Pop.

I'm totally planning on sending these cards out to people sometime during the summer. If you love greeting cards as much as I do, I highly suggest you check out Fine Day Press!

What do you like from Fine Day Press?

Wise Stamp

As I'm getting older and sending more and more professional emails, I'm realizing how important it is to have an email signature. Email signatures are great because they not only include your name, but they also include links to the different social media platforms you use. I contact companies, employers, businesses, etc. weekly, so it's really important for me to have a clean, professional, organized email signature.

There are certain websites that you can use to make email signatures so they look more colorful instead of making a plain one in the signature box under your email settings. Through one of the tweet chats I attend, I found out about WiseStamp. WiseStamp is a program you can download that allows you to make a signature for your email. You can either get the free version or the paid version. I don't really think it's that important for me to buy it, so I used the free version. The free version allows you to create two different signatures in case you have two different email addresses that you use. This is really helpful for me because as many of you know, I'm the Social Media Manager for Chit-Chat, so part of my job is to send out emails. I use WiseStamp for my signature on that email to let the people I'm emailing know exactly who I am. The signature looks like this:


You can change the color of your name and the dots. This signature also shows the link to Chit-Chat's Twitter, which isn't shown in this picture. I like this signature because it allows you to add what your title is for a certain job, so that's where I included what I do for Chit-Chat. If you don't use WiseStamp, I highly suggest that you get it because it's very helpful and organized!

Do you use WiseStamp?

Charm Nest

On Sunday, I received an email from Greta Jonynaite saying that she launched a new jewelry website called Charm Nest! Isn't that a huge accomplishment? Charm Nest is full of gorgeous pieces for affordable prices. Greta created this website because she knows that jewelry can be a little bit pricy, so she wanted to allow girls and women to have the option to buy pieces they love for not a lot of money! Some of my favorite pieces include:

Vintage Blue Stone Necklace | This piece is stunning! I don't wear necklaces too much, but I have a feeling that I'd wear this necklace. It would go great with blue, white, black, or gray!

Bright Pink Statement Necklace | Pink is my favorite color, so this necklace obviously caught my eye! It's a great necklace to wear now that spring is here and summer is on the way.

Funky Pink Ring | This ring would go great with the Bright Pink Statement Necklace. I love to wear rings but don't really have any, so this one would be perfect! It would go really well with white, pink, gray, or black.

Retro Arrow Bracelet | I'm obsessed with bracelets, which is obvious by all of the Alex & Anis I own. One reason why I really like this bracelet is it can go with anything because the studs are black. Also, this bracelet is adjustable, so it can be adjusted to any size you'd like.

Since Greta's store is new, she created a discount code to use. If you use the code blogger20 at checkout, you'll get 20% off your order! This discount is only available until the end of May, so be sure to use it while you can! And make sure to tweet to @CharmNest with any pieces you like or questions you have :)

What pieces do you like from Charm Nest?

Organization 101 :: Create a Blogging Calendar on Google

I used to keep track of which blog posts would be posted on which days in my planner. However, I tend to switch blog posts around a lot, and I like to write in pen. So my planner became full of scribbles in pen, and I didn't like how it looked. At first, I was really against going digital, which is why I always wrote down my blog posts instead of digitally keeping track of them. Through one of the tweet chats I attend, I was persuaded into making an editorial calendar.

Now that I have an editorial calendar, I love it. An editorial calendar is basically just a calendar used to keep track of which posts are going to be posted on which days. I decided to make mine using Google Calendar, which was really helpful because it synced to my iPhone. Now I can look at my calendar wherever I am! My calendar looks so much more neat now because there are no scribbles and crossed-out words. If you want to create a blogging calendar using Google Calendar, check out this link: https://support.google.com/calendar/answer/37095?hl=en | If you would like to sync your calendar to your iPhone, check out this link: https://support.google.com/calendar/answer/151674?hl=en&ref_topic=13950 (Hint: If you already have your Gmail account on your phone, you can skip the whole first part; just make sure that your calendar is turned on!)

Doesn't my calendar look so much neater now?! It has a fresh, organized look. I even changed the settings so that my event showed up in pink on a computer and with a pink circle on my phone. The only thing I don't like is how I get a notification for every event the day before it happens, which annoys me. But I'm sure that's a very helpful feature to a lot of other people!

Do you use Google Calendar to keep track of your blog posts?

Book Review :: The Great Gatsby


Whenever I have to read a book for school, I usually end up not liking the book. About a month ago, my English class had to read The Great Gatsby. Once I started reading the book, I couldn't put it down! I was so shocked that it was actually a good book compared to the other books I have to read. It's definitely become one of my favorite books.

The book was written a long time ago, but that doesn't make it a bad book. I love the whole plot and everything that happens in it. The romance, American dream, and wealth are all relateable even to people today. The symbolism is even amazing. There are so many symbols that I didn't even pick up on when reading; I only picked up on them when we went over them as a class. My favorite symbol is definitely the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg.

If any of you haven't read the book (and if you haven't, you need  to read it ASAP!), I won't ruin the book or give away anything. But the romance and lost dreams are just so touching. Jay Gatsby is such a classy, lovestruck character. He is definitely my favorite.

My English class is supposed to go on a field trip to see the movie, which I'm so excited about! I haven't seen the first version of the movie, so I'm going to wait until after I see the new version to watch the first version so I can compare the two. Leonardo DiCaprio is one of my favorite actors, and I can only imagine that he's going to do an amazing job in the movie! My cousin goes to Fordham, and last Wednesday, she happened to be at the Gatsby premier at the Lincoln Center. She took a bunch of pictures of famous people and put them on Instagram! Some of the people she saw were Leonardo DiCaprio (eek!), Jay-Z, and Nina Dobrev.

Have you read the book and are planning on seeing the movie?

Summer Must-Haves

When summer comes, there are certain essentials that you just have to have. I'm going to share with all of you what my summer must-haves list consists of!


1. Koozie. Koozies are one of the most important things to bring to the beach. They are great for keeping drinks cold instead of getting warm from the sun. With a Lilly Pulitzer koozie in Lucky Charms, your drink not only stays cold but cute as well!


2. Floppy hat. If you easily get sunburned, floppy hats can really help protect your face and hair from the sun. I get sunburned super easily, so I'm thinking about investing in a floppy hat for the summer. The Marley Lilly monogrammed floppy hat shown above is absolutely adorable, and I love how Caroline styled it!


3. Croakies. If I ever find the perfect pair of sunglasses, I'm definitely going to invest in a pair of croakies. Croakies add the perfect touch of color to plain-colored sunglasses. They're also really handy to have when you don't want to wear your sunglasses at the moment but want them to be accessible and when you're boating and don't want them to fall off! The Lilly Pulitzer croakies in Lucky Charm are adorable!


4. Jack Rogers. I am dying to get a pair of Jack Rogers! They are absolutely adorable and can add the right amount of decoration to a plain outfit. You can wear them with a casual outfit or dressy outfit. I'm hoping to get a pair in silver because they are such a versatile color!


5. Tumbler. It's super important to stay hydrated while being outside in the summer. The best way to keep a drink cold is using a tumbler. Tumblers are great for pouring water, iced tea, lemonade, etc. into for a summer drink to stay cool. I'm hoping to get a Lilly Pulitzer tumbler in Lucky Charm!

There are much more summer essentials I have in mind, but there are too many for me to include in this post! And if you didn't notice, I kind of love Lilly Pulitzer, and I kind of love the pattern Lucky Charms... :)

What are some of your summer essentials?

End-of-Summer Goals

I create New Year's Resolutions every year, but I can never seem to fall through with them because I find it kind of hard to maintain goals throughout a whole year. That's why I like trying to maintain goals in a shorter period, which is why I came up with "end-of-summer goals," which are goals I hope to reach by the end of the summer! I thought I would share them with all of you for inspiration :)

1. Reach 1,000 followers on Twitter
2. Read 30 books
3. Become a "The Monogrammed Life" blogger
4. Get a gym membership
5. Get a job
6. Get a virtual summer internship
7. Make business cards on cardstock
8. Get a pair of Jack Rogers
9. Buy a pair of sunglasses that fit
10. Get one thing from Lilly Pulitzer or Vineyard Vines
11. Finish the book I'm writing with Frannie
12. Start my own book
13. Buy a blog domain
14. Reach 100 GFC followers (the number was originally 75, but I already reached that goal! Woo hoo!)
15. Run for two miles without stopping
16. Get my license
17. Buy a cross-body bag
18. Volunteer at the library
19. Finish my journal
20. Attend the Smart Girls Group conference
21. Create a tweet chat
22. Make an Etsy shop
23. Do my own giveaway

I'll probably end up adding more to the list as it gets closer to summer and as summer arrives! These goals are all pretty attainable, which I like. That way I have a higher chance of completing them. Let me know if you have any ideas of what I should add!

What is on your summer goal list?

Review :: Katie Vaz Etsy Shop


About two weeks ago, I got the cutest Audrey Hepburn quote journal shown above from Katie Vaz, the owner of Katie Vaz Etsy shop! I absolutely love journaling, and I think it's really important to journal. I'm already in the middle of writing in another journal, so once I finish up that one, I'm totally planning on using this one next! I love writing in a new journal, especially one that is as cute as this one.

Katie hand draws everything she makes, which is absolutely amazing. Her handwriting is so unique, and I love how she can make it vary. I was so excited to get this journal because the Audrey Hepburn quote on it is one of my favorite quotes ever - I practically live by it! It's a moleskin journal, so it's actually pretty durable. That's really handy for me because I like to throw my journal in my bag whenever I go somewhere, so if it's durable, it won't bend or anything. Katie even decorated the package the journal the came in (which I would have posted if it didn't have my address on it!), which is so cool!

I highly suggest that you check out Katie's shop. She hand draws things like journals, cards, and prints. Her cards are so witty and cute! She really knows how to make everything blend. And the "Bitches Get Stuff Done" journal? I love that one! That Tina Fey quote is classic, hilarious, and empowering. Katie can even do custom orders, which is great to keep in mind seeing as graduation parties are right around the corner!

What do you like from Katie's shop?

Target Bathing Suit Haul


About a month ago, I went to Target because I really needed bathing suits. I only have three bathing suits, but I felt like I needed more because I like to have a variety to choose from. When I got to Target, I tried on a bunch of different bathing suits and ended up only getting the two above.

Even though I only got those two, I absolutely love them! The one on the left is my favorite because hot pink is my favorite color, and I like the Aztec-like print. It's not really noticeable, but on the white bathing suit top are silver sequins in squiggly lines. I not only like these bathing suits because of how cute they are but because I can mix and match them with the bathing suits that I already have. The pink top can go with tie-dyed bottoms that I have, the white top can go with a pair of red and white striped bottoms I have, and the blue bottoms can go with a tie-dyed top that I have.

I went to Target at just the right time. It was the very beginning of April, so they had a pretty good selection of bathing suits to choose from. If I were to go any later, there wouldn't be any good bathing suits left because the Target near me wipes out of bathing suits really fast! I also love the prices there; one bathing suit cost $28, so it only costed $56 all together! It's way cheaper at Target than at Victoria's Secret, where one bathing suit top is basically $50. Also, I like to make sure that everything that needs to be covered is covered, and most of Victoria's Secrets bathing suits can look skimpy on me and not cover anything. The Target bathing suits I got cover everything!

Did you get any new bathing suits that you love?

I'm Dreaming of a Seersucker Wardrobe

Once Easter came, I was excited to wear two types of clothing pieces: white capris and seersucker. I absolutely love anything seersucker because of how classy and preppy it is. I'm always dreaming to add more items to my seersucker collection, so I thought I would show you guys everything seersucker that I want to wear!


1. Seersucker shorts. I love wearing seersucker shorts. The pink Vineyard Vines shorts shown above are adorable! That picture isn't exactly helpful, but on the website, the shorts are the perfect length because they aren't too long but not too short. It's even better that they're on sale for $55.99!


2. Seersucker shirt. I have never owned a seersucker shirt before, but I'm dying to own one. The first time I saw this gorgeous Brooks Brothers Three-Stripe Seersucker Skirt was on Rachel's blog. I love how she styled the skirt. I also love how the skirt consists of three different colors of seersucker, which makes it unique from other seersucker skirts. The price, $98.50, is a little too high for me right now, so I'm going to wait to see if it goes on sale!


3. Seersucker dress. I fell head-over-heels in love with this dress when I saw it. It is the Carolyn Seersucker Dress in Breaker Blue from Vineyard Vines. I love that it's strapless because I don't really like to wear dresses that have straps. What makes the dress even better is the fact that it's scalloped at the end! The dress is really simple, which I like, and the scalloped end really adds to the dress. This dress is $165, which is way too much money for me right now. I'm hoping that it goes on sale because I would love to have it for summer!

What seersucker item(s) do you like?

Spring Uniform

At my school, we usually start wearing our spring uniforms the week we get back from spring break, which was two weeks ago. However, my school made us wear the winter uniforms for a week longer than usual, which everyone was mad about. Last Monday, the dean of discipline at my school (basically the vice principal) announced that we could now wear our spring uniforms! Everyone was so happy; I could literally hear people cheering down the hall from me.

When I put on my spring uniform last Tuesday, I felt so open and free! It felt so weird to go from wearing a sweater, button-up, skirt, and tights to a polo shirt, skirt, and knee highs. It was much better though because then I wasn't sweating anymore from wearing all of that heavy clothing in the warmer weather!

With that said, I thought I would share with you guys what my spring uniform consists of. My school is allowed to wear the spring uniforms from the first day of school until November 1st (which my school sometimes changes to October 1st) and then the week we get back from spring break (which ended up changing to a week later) until the last day of school.


As stated above, the spring uniform consists of a polo shirt with my school's name on it, the skirt, and knee highs. The knee highs can be neon-colored, brown, gray, black, navy blue, or maroon. I typically just stick to navy blue and black. Then we can wear any type of shoes that aren't open-toed or open-heeled, so I like to wear Toms, Sperry's, Vans, flats, and Coach sneakers! The guys are allowed to wear the polo shirt, khakis, and basically any type of shoe. So I guess the girls actually feel more cool because we get a breeze on our legs while the guys have to wear pants!

What do you like to wear in the spring?

Sleepovers

I can't believe this is my third lifestyle post in a row! I barely ever do lifestyle posts, so it's even more weird that I'm doing three consecutively. I guess I just have a lot of stuff to share and say!

With that being said, I'm not really a fan of sleepovers anymore. Last year and before that, I was at a friend's house every weekend or had friends over my house for a sleepover. It didn't really phase me because I loved being with my friends, hanging out with them, and just having fun. However, this year, my whole thought on sleepovers started to change. I don't really like them. I've become really hooked on getting a good night's sleep because no matter what time I go to bed, I always wake up no later than 8:30am.

Some of my friends don't go to sleep until 3 or 4am at sleepovers while I end up passing out by 12 because  I get tired so easily. I like being in my room in my own bed where I don't have to worry about my friends being loud or lights being on because when I sleep, I like to have total darkness with absolutely no sound! I still go to sleepovers because I don't want to go to my friends' houses just to leave three hours later, so I just end up sleeping over. I don't mind Friday sleepovers so much because then I get to catch up on any lost sleep on Saturday night. But I absolutely hate Saturday sleepovers because then I can't catch up on any lost sleep before going back to school.

Even though I don't like sleepovers anymore, I'll probably still continue to go to them just so I can still hang out with my friends and have a good time. I'd much rather be in my own bed, though!

What are your thoughts on sleepovers?

Changing My Style

One thing I've noticed is my fashion style is changing. I don't wear only preppy clothes anymore because I'm starting to just buy and wear any clothes that I like. This doesn't mean that I'm not going to wear anything preppy anymore, because I definitely am! My style is just starting to consist of different elements and components.

The stores I shop at most are Abercrombie, Hollister, American Eagle, H&M, and Forever 21 just because they all have cute clothes, and those stores are all near where I live. I'll admit that Abercrombie and Hollister are ridiculously overpriced sometimes, and they're shorts are a little too short, but I still love the stores. American Eagle has really cute clothes that aren't a bad price. I'll also admit that Forever 21 has some clothes that are a little different and stuff that I definitely wouldn't wear, but it also has clothes that I would definitely wear. In my mind, that store is either a hit or miss; you either go into the dressing room with a million pieces of clothing or walk out of the store with absolutely nothing. I literally spend an hour in that store just to search the whole store to find stuff that I like and to make sure I didn't miss anything!

I believe that a girl's style helps to express her personality and what she's interested in. That's why my style is all over the place because I'm interested in all different things. I don't believe that a person is truly just one style of clothing because everybody likes to add different pieces of clothing to their wardrobe.

The problem I have is that I don't fit into a lot of stores because I'm so small and short. A lot of adult/older stores don't fit me, and even Forever 21 and H&M sometimes don't fit me. It actually gets really frustrating because then I have a hard time finding things to wear and buy! While I was looking for a Confirmation dress, I saw the cutest dress at Francesca's (which happened to be seersucker!!!!) that didn't fit me when I tried it on. I was so disappointed! But that's part of the reason why my style is changing - I have to go to multiple stores just to find stuff that fit me and I like.

Does your style have different elements and components to it?

Fun Fact Friday No. 2 :: Office Supplies Obsession

Something that I've always been obsessed with is office supplies. Whenever I go into a store, I'm always so tempted to go to the office supplies section first. Then when I see something that I like and want, I always get way too tempted to buy it... and then end up buying it. But I really don't need to buy any because I have so much from constantly buying them! And the fact that there are so many pretty office supplies makes it even worse.

With that being said, I thought I would share with you all the office supplies that I just can't seem to stop myself from buying!

1. Legal pads. I don't know what it is about legal pads that make me obsessed with them, but I just am. I like how you can just easily rip off a page that you need to save or throw out. My boyfriend knows how much I love them, so part of my Valentine's Day present from him consisted of six legal pads... I guess you could say he's the best! And the fact that these legal pads come in blue, pink, and purple? Yes please! I might just have to search through Amazon for these...

2. File folders. I'm super organized, so I don't like having things lying around. Therefore, I believe everything has a place it belongs in. When I need and/or want to save certain papers, I like to put them in file folders and then label the file folders so I can easily find the paper(s) I need. I have the plain-colored file folders, but now that I see those pink, green, and blue ones, I might just have to search through Amazon for those too...

3. Colored pens. I love using colored pens! They're great when I'm correcting homework in class so I know which problems I got wrong and which one is the right answer. They're also really helpful when taking notes because then I can color code my notes, therefore making them more organized. The vibrant colors make studying a little more easier and fun instead of having to just stare at a monotonous color like black or blue!

4. Highlighters. I love the fluorescent colors of highlighters! They're fun and add excitement to my notes and papers. Also, they help make important things stand out in my notes that I need to remember while studying!

What office supplies do you like to use?

Giveaway :: Down South Collection Etsy Shop

Last week, I did a review on a shirt from Down South Collection that I absolutely love. If any of you saw the review, get excited because Alli, Rachel, and Cyndi are so sweet as to have me do a giveaway as well! The winner will not only get the same shirt I was given but a koozie too, and the girls don't mind shipping internationally! Here are what the two items are like:



The shirt is great for hanging out, working out in, or even going somewhere in the summer! I'm planning on wearing it over my bathing suit when I go to the beach in the summer. I believe the shirt only comes in gray. The koozie will be great for the warm weather that is coming up to help keep your drink cold. Also, the koozie comes in hunter green, navy, royal blue, red, and black. You can even choose between a Mason Jar pattern and the Down South logo pattern!

Just like I did with the Tiny Bee giveaway, I'll be doing a Rafflecopter. My goal is to get at least 200 entries on this giveaway because the last giveaway I had only got 154 entries. I would love it if you guys helped my dream come true! Good luck, and enjoy the giveaway!


What do you love from Down South Collection?

What I Love Wednesday

I've never done one of these types of posts before, so I think it will be fun to do so! This list will be some things I have that I love and just some things that I'm currently lusting over and would like to own.

1. My phone case. My boyfriend got this phone for me as a surprise, and I love it so much! The pink, chevron, and monogram just go so well together. I've gotten so many compliments on it, and the case actually works really well!

2. Peppermint Baby Lips. I always have to have chapstick with me wherever I go just because I like applying it to keep my lips fresh and moisturized. The kind I use is Baby Lips in the Peppermint flavor. Since the flavor is Peppermint, it's kind of minty, which I like. That way it keeps my breath and lips smelling nice and clean! The actual chapstick works really well, too.

3. Down South Collection shirt. I received the Down South Collection shirt I'm wearing in the picture above to do a review on, and I love it! The shirt is so comfortable, and I love wearing it with leggings, a pair of Sperry's, and a thick headband.

4. Jack Rogers. I can't even get over how badly I want a pair of Jack Rogers. Seriously. I want them in either silver or platinum, but I'm thinking of getting a pair in silver before I get a pair in platinum. The silver is so shiny and classy, and it's such a versatile shoe, making it able to wear them with pretty much any outfit. I'm trying to save up enough money on Amazon to get a pair, and I'm so close! They should (hopefully) come in time for summer, which I can't wait for.

What do you love?