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Valentine's Day Gifts For Her

Ahh, Valentine's Day! It's right around the corner, and it's one of my favorites. I have the best memories from when I was little and my elementary school would make the biggest deal out of Valentine's Day; we decorated shoeboxes to stuff with paper valentines, which were also filled with candy and even sweeter notes. My mom always dressed me in pink from head to toe on Valentine's Day, and I always got to eat as much chocolate as I wanted. Ooh, good times... take me back!

This Week's Top 10

1. This tour of F.E. Castleberry's apartment on the Coveteur is totally interior goals, and completely different from your average apartment tour.

2. Similarly, Vogue Living is on Instagram and the account is giving me some serious interiors envy.

4. Speaking of fitness, I am loving this striped hoodie.

5. These are the cutest bow loafers you ever did see.

7. The story behind this wedding and the photos themselves are so beautiful.

10. The best of this week: I shared what sorority I pledged! Read a little about my rush experience in this post, and let me know if you'd be interested in a more in-depth post about the process.

Have a great weekend!

My Health + Fitness Goals for the Semester

Lehigh students have it pretty lucky when it comes to the freshman 15; the food here isn't great, and you can't get anywhere without a staircase or a giant hill in between you and your destination. That said, health and fitness still aren't a free-for-all, and there is always room for improvement! 

Here are a few goals I have in mind that I want to stick to this semester:

1. Work out 4-5 times per week // My schedule this semester is so, so nice in the sense that all of my classes for the first six weeks are in the morning (done by noon) and on Tuesdays and Thursday's especially, I only have one class from 10:45-12. So, I have a few extra blocks of time perfect for sneaking in a workout, and I am going to aim to go to the gym each day of the week, unless I just have a ton of work. Last semester I went sporadically, but I would love to get into more of a routine with working out. I was so much better about this in high school, and I definitely noticed a difference.

2. Only have dessert once a day // I think I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world. Like, I could eat an entire cake or batch of cookies if you just put it in front of me. I would even be lying if I said I've never eaten a whole thing of Oreo's in one sitting, or an entire pint of ice cream by myself. It happens ;) . I have noticed though, the less I eat sugar, the less I crave it, and although I could probably curb my habit the quickest by cutting it out cold-turkey, I don't think that's realistic for me. That said, I think it's fair to reward myself with a scoop of ice cream or a cookie after dinner if I want it. There's no sense in cutting it out completely, in my mind. Everything in moderation!

3. Cut out coffee // I haven't had coffee since before winter break, probably not since exam week, and I honestly haven't been missing it. I noticed a major change in my teeth when I got home for winter break because I wasn't a huge coffee person before college, and my 2-3 cups-a-day habit first semester was really starting to make my teeth look yellow. Plus, I'm not really affected by caffeine, like at all, so I don't have a major need to drink the stuff. Instead, I've been super into tea lately, and I have so, so much tea in my dorm room. Now that I have moved into my new dorm, too, I don't have a Keurig anymore, but I do have a microwave. Heating up some water in a mug is so easy and quick, and tea is amazing for health.

Hopefully I can stick to some of these goals this semester! Let me know if you have set any for yourself; I would love some extra inspiration and motivation!

4 Jackets I Want Right Now

Something about heading back to Pennsylvania after spending a whole month in Wisconsin where the temperatures rarely hit double digits made me think, for some reason, that Wisconsin was the only cold place in the country and I'd immediately escape winter once I was back on campus. Unfortunately, it's only January, and jackets/coats/outerwear in general are going to be necessary for a few more months still, no matter if you're on the East Coast or in the Midwest. That said, I was definitely inspired throughout rush with everyone's perfected outfits, and I found myself lusting over quite a few coats and jackets that girls had on. 

Here are four that I wish I could add to my closet right now:


2 Movies I Saw Over Break

Downtown Milwaukee there is the coolest little theater called the Oriental. It's one of those old, antique looking places that puts modern movie theaters to shame, and is honestly probably called the Oriental because it looks quite oriental! Fun fact: When I was a sophomore in high school, two of my friends and I went to the Oriental to see The Theory of Everything and ended up locking my friend's car overnight in the Whole Food's parking lot across the street. Good times.

Anyways, this winter break my mom and I decided to make the most of our time at home and go see a few movies! We saw Jackie and La La Land, and I loved them both.

Jackie was a lot different than I expected. I was warned that it was more history than I'd think and that definitely wasn't enough preparation. The movie is pretty much life through Jackie's eyes after John F. Kennedy was shot, and how she handled both that situation and life afterwards. I thought the movie was incredibly well done and very informative. It showed so much about Jackie Kennedy that is usually missed when people think about her life, what she went through, and even about President Kennedy's assassination. Although I loved it, I'm not sure if I would watch it again any time soon... It's more informative than anything, not really something I would just throw on with friends.

I also saw La La Land, because after hearing the incredible reviews, how could I not?! Compared to Jackie, this movie was definitely more fun. La La Land was a lot slower in the beginning, so I was a little worried that I was going to leave hating it and really confused about all the hype, but about halfway through it turned out and it was amazing. Sometimes the whole singing thing and musical aspect irritates me, but I thought it was really fun and worked so well in this movie. I am also a huge Emma Stone fan, so I loved seeing her! A little Ryan Gosling never hurts either ;)

Did you see either movie? What did you think? I also saw Bad Moms over break, not in theater's but at home, and it might honestly be one of my favorite movies now. It's actually the funniest thing in the world.

Outfit Post + Sorority Announcement!

Thank you for everyone who was so excited for me and supportive during my process of sorority recruitment! The whole week was crazy, overwhelming, stressful, and honestly a blur, but I am really excited to announce the I pledged ALPHA PHI!

This Week's Top 5

Hey everyone! Sorry for shrinking today's post from 10 to 5... I'm crazy busy/tired from rush so I apologize, but I still wanted to share a little something :)

1. It's been a little hard to sleep every night with rush going on and the stress of getting a schedule/finding out if you've been dropped every morning, but it's been quite an experience and really fun so far. Today is a maximum of five houses, tomorrow is pref, and Sunday is bid day!

3. I am in love with these booties I got for Christmas!

4. Have you been keeping up with the Bachelor?! This season is crazy good.

5. I'm crossing my fingers that I make it into a sorority here at Lehigh and I'm able to share that with you all on Sunday/Monday. Wish me luck throughout the process, only two rounds left, ahhh!

Have a great weekend, and as always, thanks for stopping by!

Pref Night Outfit

Because today is the second day of rush and I'm already a little excited for pref night, I wanted to share my dress/outfit with all of you! Today we will be visiting up to 7 houses, and up to 5 tomorrow, and then 2, 1, or none on Saturday for preference night. If I make it to pref round, which is cocktail attire, here's what I'm planning to wear:

Winter Break Recap

It's hard to believe that a whole month has gone by and tomorrow morning I'll be kicking off sorority recruitment. I got to Lehigh this afternoon, moved into my new dorm, and I'm feeling like I can really start this semester off fresh. As difficult as it was to leave home again and come back to a school that I'm not completely in love with, my mind is open for better things to come in this new semester, especially with sorority rush and a new class schedule (goodbye, five classes on Fridays!). And, this last month was a pretty good one. Sure, I ate too many Christmas cookies and I definitely didn't do all of the working out that I planned to in order to get fit for rush, but I really wouldn't have traded this time at home for anything. I spent so, so much time every day with my friends and my family and I really feel like I made the most of my time at home. At the end of the day, that's what matters.

A little recap of the past month...

Dec. 18 // Despite my original flight being cancelled the night before our cookie exchange, I was able to make it home the following morning in time for our party, which was the best way to kick off winter break.

Dec. 22 // Jack and I went to Chicago for the day, where we saw the decorations around the city and at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and did a little shopping and hot chocolate indulging.

Dec. 23-27 // I spend Christmas in St. Louis with my mom's side of the family. On Christmas Eve we went to mass and on Christmas we stayed at home at my Grandparent's house and just enjoyed each other's company! The day after Christmas, my mom showed me Washington U in St. Louis, where my dad went to undergraduate school, and a few other parts of downtown St. Louis that I hadn't seen before, because she grew up there.

Dec. 28-30 // Caroline and I went up north Wisconsin to her Cabin to go snowmobiling, which was my first time doing so! It was so much fun and such a great little getaway to just relax and refresh after all of the Christmas rush.

Dec. 31 // I threw a little New Year's Eve party with my friends at my house and it was such a great way to ring in the New Year. It was just a few of my closest friends, so it was small and simple, but that's what made it so enjoyable.

Jan. 1 // My mom and I drove my brother back to school in Chicago and stayed overnight with our family friends in Lincoln Park. I love seeing those girls and it was a really fun little trip!

Jan. 3 // I went back to work a few times over break, which I always am so grateful to do. I work at a custom paper shop in Milwaukee where we make mostly wedding invitations, but do a lot of parties and other things as well! It's so fun because it's not a store, it's purely a service-based studio so my job is just to do a lot of the actual putting-together of the wedding invitations, menus, programs, save the dates, etc.! If you're in Wisconsin, or even if you're not, check out our website here if you ever want a little custom paper! Debbie always does our cookie exchange invites as well.

Jan. 5 // I went to my best friend Elizabeth's boyfriend's ski race to cheer him on because he is a year younger than us, which brought back so many memories! I used to go to Jack's ski races last year and watch him race, and it was always so exciting (because he's a champ and won, like, every time ;) )

Jan. 6 // A different one of my best friends and I went on a two hour walk down to Milwaukee's Third Ward, which was honestly really weird because it was one of the coldest days of all break! But, it was all worth it because we made avocado grilled cheeses when we got back! So good. Check out that recipe here.

Jan. 10 // Shot a bunch of outfits for the blog ;)

Jan. 13 // Jack, Elizabeth, and her boyfriend and I went skiing Friday night, which was a fun little double date. Funny story, Elizabeth made fondue to bring for eating in the chalet, and when we went to eat the fondue, we had our bread out, salami out, and everything was ready to go.... and we totally forgot the fondue. ooooops! Still yummy other things tho!

Jan. 14 // I got smoothie bowls with a friend and then lunch with Debbie and the girl I work with! Such a yummy day, but I was definitely full by the end!

Jan. 15 // I went skiing for the second time with Jack!

Jan. 16 // Last day! Jack and I went to University of Wisconsin- Madison to walk around, which ended up being a really bad decision because the weather was freezing and rainy, so we were slipping around on the sidewalks all afternoon. I'm still glad we spent the day together, though! We went back to my house after for the last good dinner I'll eat in the next two months probably (Lobster, duh ;) and then I packed!

Overall, it was such a nice month. Crazy busy and packed for sure, not what I expected, but overall amazing to be home. Here's to rush and a better second semester!

Trend to Try: Off Shoulder Sweater

It's no secret that I'm a fan of the off-shoulder look, and I love how the trend has carried into colder temps! Living in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, I get to enjoy (insert eye roll) long winters, meaning I pretty much live in sweaters half the year. I feel like off-shoulder sweaters would be a great piece under a winter coat, but also cute to transition for summer nights over dresses or paired with shorts. 

Shop my favorite finds below... They're all under $100!

pink // grey // pink
grey // navy // black

And here's how I've styled off-shoulder looks in the past...

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What do you think of the off-shoulder sweater?

January Playlist

By now, you guys have probably figured out that I'm a freak about my music. I have the strangest taste in music... like, I'll listen to country, rap, and the Rolling Stones all in one playlist, or then I'll go on a run with Mumford & Sons on repeat but I'll be getting ready for bed and I'll wind down to Bad & Boujee... I'm telling ya, it's kind of all over the place.

That's one reason I'm excited to share this playlist today: It makes sense. A few of these songs are newer / more "pop" type songs, but for the most part we have some classic alternative bands that are my tried and true favorites. Cases in point: Milky Chance and Florence. Can we all just take a second to acknowledge how outstanding Florence's rendition of Stand By Me is?! Seriously, if you haven't heard it yet, drop everything and listen now (it should pop up in the embedded playlist within this post too). She did this for the movie "Final Fantasy XV," which looks a little strange in my opinion, but the song itself is stellar. Oh, and because I'm still me and couldn't make a playlist completely normal, I did throw the Stone in there #noshame #dadtaste ;)

Drop me a comment on these two thoughts:
1. What's your favorite song right now? (or favorite song on this playlist!)
2. Would you like to see more playlists throughout the year?


As Seen on Snapchat: Avocado Grilled Cheese

The other day, when it was 5 degrees outside, one of my best friends and I decided it would be just the perfect occasion to walk down to Milwaukee's Third Ward to pop into Anthropologie and the Public Market. The third ward is such a fun area of our city, and since living downtown, it's definitely a place that is so much easier to take advantage of, which I really love! Our walk down ended up being close to four miles, so by the time we got back to my house we were definitely ready for some lunch.

Introducing: the avocado grilled cheese.
Basically a glorified avocado toast situation, because you get two slices of bread instead of just one, and who doesn't love some good melty cheese to top things all off?!

We used one avocado, parsley, olive oil, s&p, rosemary bread, and fresh mozzarella! That's it!

1. First, slice up your bread and spread a little olive oil onto the backs of each slice.

2. Then, slice your mozz and layer it on the front side of your bread and put over the stove (I have a flat square pan that is made for things like this!)

3. While the mozz starts to melt, mash your avocado with parsley, olive oil, and salt and pepper and then spread onto the front side of your other slice(s) of bread.

4. We put the avocado slice right on top of the cheese slice that was already on the pan and then flipped the whole sandwich over! The timing worked out so that the cheese side was perfectly grilled.

They turned out so easy and delicious, and pretty healthy too! I definitely want to try using feta next time for cheese (that's my favorite!) and mixing up the avo smash concoction!

Have you ever made an avocado grilled cheese?

Bundled Up in Barbour

A few days before Christmas, Carin and I went downtown to do a little last minute shopping and coincidentally matched in our Barbour jackets! I know, such a surprise, right? Of course, we had to commemorate the #twinning with a collab, so hopefully you enjoy my post and her's today!

Sorority Recruitment Outfit Advice Needed

Thank you to everyone who dropped a sweet comment/tweet/email, or even read Tuesday's post. You're all the best when it comes to things like that, so thank you for making this little corner of the internet such a positive place for me! Continuing on the theme of college, I'm starting to plan out what I want to wear for rush, which basically means I'm also starting to stress out a little bit and I'm feeling really clueless with outfit planning. 

For sorority recruitment at Lehigh, there are two seniors from each sorority chapter that disaffiliate from their house for the year to help an assigned group of PNM's (potential new members) with any questions/concerns related to rush. These girls are called our Rho Gamma's, and I think most schools usually have them, but they're sometimes titled differently. Anyway, our Rho Gamma's give us the general idea of what to wear for each of the rounds of recruitment, but I'm still struggling to nail down the specifics. 

Here's how rush works at Lehigh:

Round 1 //  We visit all 9 houses
Dress is "something you'd wear to class," (on a good day!) which means like a cute sweater/jeans/boots

Round 2 // I think we visit 5 or 6 houses
Dress is same as Round 1

Round 3 // I think that's down to 3 houses!
Dress is "what you'd wear to meet your significant other's parents" or "to a fancier dinner" (I'm thinking a skirt? But what kind of shoes...? TBH, when I met Jack's parents for the first time it was in their car picking us up from freshman homecoming, and then I didn't see them again until we started dating junior year and I think I was in Lulu leggings and a t-shirt... #noshame)

Round 4 // Pref Night! The last two houses!
Dress is a cocktail dress!

Bid day!
Each chapter is given a shirt and that's what the whole Pledge Class wears

Here's kind of what I'm thinking:

Rounds 1&2:

Round 3:


Any ideas and advice would be so appreciated, whether you've gone through rush or not! Thank you in advance!!

Arms Open for 2017

In many ways, 2016 was one of the best years for me (read my highlights from the year here!). Although my first semester at Lehigh wasn't ideal, 2016 also included an incredible second semester of high school, a few of the greatest trips I've been on (not quite as outstanding as my multiple European adventures in 2015, but I still can't complain), and some really amazing blogging growth that I have all of you to thank for! It's hard to believe that my winter break is already half over, because I feel like I've been so busy since being at home that I haven't even had time to just relax and do nothing, which was something I craved so much when I was at school, studying all the time, and kind of totally dreading my existence at Lehigh. That said, I haven't exactly set out goals or resolutions for 2017 quite yet, but I have started to think about where I want this year to take me, and I thought it might be helpful for me to organize my thoughts by sharing with you all where I am at with that.

Before I started my first semester at Lehigh I asked my brother, who is just one year older than me, "is college fun? like, do you love it," and he told me that college isn't necessary fun all the time, but it's more so interesting, because you figure out so much about yourself. He tried explaining to me what that meant, but it's a little hard to comprehend if you've never found yourself in a situation like that. This was definitely a recurring thought in my mind throughout my semester, and something that, now, I couldn't agree with more. In 2016, I learned that I need to do what makes me happy, and I need to figure out what happiness means for me, because what I had thought was what I wanted is not necessarily what I want, nor what I should contain and limit myself to.

Let me explain what I mean: since my first visit to Lehigh in February of my sophomore year of high school (so crazy to think about!), I pretty much knew I was going. I knew I'd apply early decision, and if I got in, I was going. When senior year rolled around, Lehigh was the only school I was considering, and the only school I applied to, with the exception of one safety and one random app that I submitted half-complete because I was bored. The point is, I limited myself so strictly to what I thought I wanted, because I thought what Lehigh offered and what Lehigh "is" that I would be so happy there that there simply was nowhere else that would be a better fit. Then, in 2016, I got to Lehigh and I hated it. I wrote about my experience in this post. I cried everyday. I called my mom every night. I begged my parents to let me drop out, or to let me transfer, or even just to fly me home for weekends. I left school as much as I could, and I rarely went to parties. I felt completely lost, because I had the opportunity to pick any school in the country, and I picked Lehigh, I thought that was my dream, and then I was so, so wrong about it. But here's the thing: do you know how many people hated first semester? A lot. Two of my friends of all of my friends like their colleges right now. It gets so much better, but that doesn't make it easier.

Driving home from Chicago yesterday after dropping my brother back at his apartment at school, I was talking to my mom about what to wear to rush since I will be going through rush right when I get back to school in two weeks, and I started to cry in the car. I've always wanted to join a sorority since I was little. My mom was a Phi Mu at Purdue and her sorority sisters are some of her best friends in the world. When I chose a college, I knew I wanted greek life, and that I wanted to live in a house with my sorority sisters. And now? I couldn't care less. I don't want to go back. I want to be so open minded, to go back to Lehigh and go through rush with an open heart and open mind and clear eyes and a great outlook, but it's so hard. I keep asking myself, why? Is that going to make me happy? If I was wrong about Lehigh, am I wrong about this too?

2016 taught me that change is hard. 2016 taught me that I want to be happy, but I just don't exactly know what that means. So, I guess my goal is in 2017: find what makes me happy. In 2017, I want to find what really clicks for me. If I figure that out, and I make that work at Lehigh, then that would be amazing. I think deep down that's what I want... I want to stay. I wish it'll be like everyone says; first semester is the worst, but you go through rush, you trust the process, and you end up where you should be and you're so much happier. I sincerely hope that's what happens. But, if not, that's okay. I may have made a mistake in choosing a school, and it's really not the end of the world. In 2017, I want to find what makes me happy, and I want to work to achieve that. 

I want 2017 to be the year where I figure out what makes me genuinely happy, and that's what I reach for, that's what I strive to achieve, and I can stop making myself angry and upset over so many little things. I want to stop knocking myself down, closing off my mind, and limiting to myself to what I feel I'm capable of or what I think I'm able to do, and let myself do whatever I want in order to achieve happiness.

That's where I'm at. I'm working on myself. I'm working on and focusing on my happiness, because that is the ultimate goal for me. I want to look back on my life, on this year, and say it was a great one because I tried to make myself happy and enjoy each moment as it passes. I'm not sure what it'll take, or even if this is something I'll ever really be able to check off as "accomplished," but I'm excited to see how it all pans out.
I'd love to hear where you're at in setting any goals you might have for 2017. Thanks for letting me rant ;) 

love you. each of you! happy new year!