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Playlist: At The Beach With You


I made a playlist that makes me want to cry and go for a drive and crave summer all at the same time.  I'm so obsessed with it that I couldn't wait until next week to share it!!! I don't know why I did this (or how), but somehow I made this playlist, and it reminds me of this one day at the beach a few years ago. It makes me think of sand, lying in a hammock, going for a drive without shoes on, wearing jean shorts, and getting milkshakes...

This Week's Top 10

(what I wish my quarantine set-up looked like -- photo via Harlowe James)

All of this time stuck at home has found me behind a screen more hours of the day than not. While I am doing the best I can to get outside, move my body, and still live in some sort of a routine, I am finding myself on Instagram, reading the news, and consuming content more than I otherwise would be. That said, I've found a variety of things I have seen, watched, or read this week that I think are worth sharing. And they're not (for the majority!) pandemic related.

SOMETHING TO DO DURING QUARANTINE!


Starting today at 8am, Milwaukee is on lockdown. We don't know how long this is going to last, but I think we can all agree that a little bit of positivity goes a long way right now. I've been trying to come up with a strategy for how I want to produce and create valuable content during this weird time, and I finally came up with something that I think could be a very cool way to connect with each other!

Personal + Positive: 10 of My Thoughts


Hellooo. It feels a little wrong to say "Happy Monday" like I usually do when the entire world is basically on lockdown and things aren't feeling too happy right now. However, I love to keep things light around here, so I am going to try to spread a little positivity and share 10 things that make me happy, without ignoring the situation happening in our world.

I want to preface the COVID-19 pandemic by, first of all, acknowledging all of the [high-risk or not] individuals who are scared and anxious during this time. This pandemic is not only disruptive to daily life, but it really is frightening and beyond unfortunate. I am not taking this lightly, and I send my love to anyone who is isolated, alone, fearful, or even bored during this time. No one is happy about this! Love, prayers, and thoughts to everyone. I firmly believe things will get better!

Especially as a senior in college, it's been really upsetting to think about how I'm never again going to a college class, our commencement is technically postponed but still uncertain, and I don't know when I will see my friends again. Each day is confusing and long and weird... but I am definitely trying to think positive and I just know there is light at the end of the tunnel!

***

Our high school friend group is still really close, so one of my friends started an email chain last week. Each day one of us has to send a top 10 list... it can be anything. One girl did top 10 ted talks, another did our top 10 party memories from high school... Today was my day to email and I chose to do the top 10 things I like to think about when I need a pick-me-up.

I wrote the below for my best friends from high school. I like to think of you (the person reading this!) as a friend. I like to write on my blog like I'm talking to a friend, so I'm just going to copy and paste my email below. It's a little crazy and dysfunctional, but that's just how I am in real life.

I hope you enjoy this, and good luck quarantining. If anything, maybe it will just make you laugh or smile. We are all in this together and I think everyone can use extra positivity right now!

I basically just wrote down the top ten things I think about all the time that are positive and make me feel better. They're a little all over the place, but they are reminders I need sometimes, and I think a few of them are very valuable! Welcome to the inner workings of my brain!!

Here we go...

***

Enter:
Sprout’s Top 10 reminders when feeling down / keys to happiness
Doubles as your MONDAY MOTIVATION!

(aka my secrets to how I live such an enthusiastic, positive, radiant life like a sunflower bean)

Some are v cliche but I am not messing around

1. Everything happens for a reason. Seriously. sometimes it takes forever to figure out what the reason is, but there is one. Always!

2. People come into your life and teach you things. And sometimes they don’t stay, and you really want them to, but they don’t. Or can’t. Or you both can’t. And it’s okay. When things are right, you just know. And any relationship or friendship of any kind should never feel like it's tearing you apart. It shouldn’t be hard. If someone isn’t adding something to your life, let them go. Sooner than later. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing! The past doesn’t go away! Memories are meant to be cherished. But you can’t live in the past. You have to move forward and know when to walk away from things that no longer serve you. And you always know when. Just make sure you do it. 

3. No one is thinking about you as much as you. If you do something weird or crazy or embarrassing, no one noticed or remembered or cared as much as you. And everyone does things they feel are crazy or weird or embarrassing. #thistooshallpass #dontsweatthesmallstuff WHAT YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS. focus on good vibes and being the best version of yourself. Try to do 1% better every day!

4. Life has surprised you in the past. It will surprise you again. When you don’t have anything to look forward to, or you’re sad about something, think about all of the times life surprised you with something fabulous. An adventure! A very fun night out! A sunny day that gave you good vibes! A new friend! It’ll happen again. When you least expect it, or when you need it most. 

5. Trust yourself. Trust your intuition. Your gut feelings. We have them for a reason!

6. Few things cannot be resolved by the following 3-step method: a glass of wine. girl talk. sad playlist. if you have participated in all three aforementioned activities and not feeling better..... have another glass of wine. Or call me.

7. ALWAYS say the compliment. You know how sometimes u see something or notice something, and then don’t say it, and 20 mins later someone’s like “ugh does my hair look ok?” And you’re like “omg I’ve been thinking that you're a walking Pantene ad this whole time,” it doesn’t feel as meaningful or true as it would’ve if you’d just said it as soon as you thought it. There is nothing better than a genuine, thoughtful compliment. Both to give and receive. Everyone wants to be appreciated and hyped up and noticed and loved and treated kindly. Spread love! 

8. Do your thing. Live your truth. Be yourself. You are fabulous. Sometimes I feel like I’m crazy or a huge freak but then I remember everyone’s truth is different and being yourself is what makes you, you. Whatever makes you happy, go for it and don’t look back! You may surprise yourself when you do your thing without worrying about what anyone else thinks. Look at me, for example... I have a blog, a tiny French dog, way too much energy... and no one cares! 

9. Time heals everything. Everything will be ok. Live in the moment, take a deep breath, count to ten, go for a walk, listen to Van Morrison, write a letter, make a flower arrangement, pray for your family members. Or just burst into tears!!!! I cry all the time and it’s fantastic! ~if it’s not ok, it’s not the end~ life goes on! Not always well, not always how you want it to, but the sun will come up tomorrow and everything will be ok. 

10. We have so much to be grateful for! Each other! Our families! Our health! Education! Financial, societal privileges! Clean water! A meal whenever we are hungry, a glass of wine when we need one, AND: none of us are ugly... I mean. I could go on! Seriously. There is so much to smile about. 

Omg I’m like... gonna cry. 
Love you people 

Happy quarantining!

Shameless plug to my Quarantunes Spotify Playlist if you're interested!

XOXO

My Biggest Announcement Yet...


I am thrilled to announce today my post-college plans! I really can't believe this is happening and that I am finally sharing it with all of you!

I'm moving to New York City.

March Moodboard


I've been on a big "good vibes" mission since getting back to school. I don't know exactly how to describe it besides that it is what it sounds like... everything I've been doing has been (mostly, or at least intentionally) pretty centered around how good the vibes are. For example, I've been surrounding myself with people who make me happy, switching up my workouts because it just makes me feel good, and shopping more intentionally to build a wardrobe I love.

February Favorites


AH! How is it March?! As much as it feels like Christmas and the New Year were lifetimes ago, I haven't really done much this semester, so it's surprising we are already a couple of months into it! You may have noticed I haven't posted on Instagram in a couple of weeks... unfortunately my life really is just that uneventful. Nonetheless, there are still many little things I loved throughout the month that I think are worth sharing!

This Week's Top 10


1. Happpppyyyy leap year!!! How crazy?! I'm bringing back This Week's Top 10 just for fun today. The last time I shared an installment of this series was for the Fourth of July, and I have to say I've been kind of missing the weekly round-ups! I'm not sure if this will come back regularly, but recently I've just seen so many pieces of content I want to share that I had to bring it back at least for now!

2. Just ordered this chic little black crossbody (on major sale!) for going out!

3. I recently added this croissant ring to my everyday jewelry and I can't stop staring at it.. I am so happy with how it looks and the quality of the ring; I can't believe it was under $50!

Senior Spring Break!!


I spontaneously booked my spring break trip over the weekend and I can't believe I'm going to Gulf Shores, Alabama with friends in just about three weeks!!!


Cold Weather Running Essentials


After last week's post, I remembered that in December on Insta Stories I said I would share how I layer when I run outside! So... better late than never I guess. As much as I love to run, there are few things I dread more than running on a treadmill. Not only do I find it boring, but it's so challenging for me! So, when it gets cold outside, I make sure to have plenty of essentials on hand to ensure I can still go on my cherished outdoor runs! Although it's been a little too icy and snowy for me recently, I'm hopefully going to be able to run outside soon!

Current // February Playlist


Introducing my current playlist: loveR&Bean! I've been super into R&B lately, so my February playlist is silky, smooth vibes!

What I Spend in a Week at College


After sharing my financial tips last week, I thought it could be interesting (and maybe helpful!) to see what I spend in a typical week at college. I've seen a few of my favorite YouTubers make videos on what they typically spend in a week at college, so I'm stealing the idea ;) I feel like I've been spending a lot more money this year than I have in the past, so hopefully reflecting on my spending will not only be interesting to all of you but also hopefully be eye-opening as to any crazy spending habits I've developed!

My Workout Routine + Fave Workout Wear


Today's post was a request from Instagram! I occasionally share my workouts on Instagram stories and there generally seems to be a positive response and a few questions! I know it sounds cliche and annoying, but I really love to work out, and not for the reasons you might think. Working out makes me feel so good mentally, and it's something that really has changed for me a lot in the past year. Today I'm going to share a breakdown of my workout "routine."

When I'm at school I workout with Classpass. I've talked about Classpass on here before and I really can't rave about it enough. If you're unfamiliar with Classpass, it's essentially a monthly membership where you can buy a certain number of "credits" and use them towards classes at any participating fitness or wellness studio near you! There are surprisingly so many studio partners in every city, so you're bound to find a place you love if you try it! For me, living in Madison, I buy 35 credits a month, and I sign up for classes between 2-4 credits. You can use my link here if you want $30 off your first month! 

With my credits, I usually go twice a week to my favorite HIIT workout (Kamps), and twice a week to spin (Flyght), or any combination of those two that works with my schedule. I pretty much just sign up for anything if it's a good value with my credits, and that's honestly the biggest factor in determining how often/when I workout, haha. I really try not to overthink it!

I love mixing up my workouts because otherwise I get easily burnt out. It's nice to have the option of so many studios at a much lower price point than if I were actually buying full-priced class packs at the studios themselves. Occasionally I will sign up for a yoga, barre, or boxing class if I'm feeling like switching it up even more!

In addition to classes, if you've been reading for a while, you might know I love to run! Since it's been so cold out I haven't really been running, but come spring I will definitely start running about 3 times a week again and mixing running in with Kamps. I personally prefer cardio over strength workouts, so I will always choose to go for a run over anything else. For me, the type of exercise I do revolves around how it makes me feel mentally. There are few things that make me feel better than going for a long run, listening to my running playlist, and focusing on absolutely nothing else! Unfortunately, I have a rule for myself that I won't run outside if it's below 32 (aka freezing), so it'll probably be about another month until I'm running again. I would run indoors, but I just couldn't hate treadmills more, so that's not going to happen.

Edit/Update: Of course, this morning I went to the gym with Coco and ran three miles on the treadmill, lol. I guess it just depends on my mood!

That's it! My workout regime consists of running and group fitness. On Tuesday I went to sculpt hot yoga and my arms are still sore!!

Onto my favorite pieces...

Favorite leggings: Lululemon Align Leggings in 25" -- I've talked about my obsession with align leggins on here a lot, but I can't help it! I have two pairs and couldn't possibly love them more. They're high waisted, so soft, and really thin but in the best way... they're a "naked" feel, so you honestly feel like you're not wearing pants, but are also sucked in in all of the right places. They're magical and I'm obsessed with mine. I have one pair in 25" length and another in the 28" length and definitely prefer the 25"... they just fit a little bit better for some reason. For reference, I wear a size 27 in regular jeans/pants, so I'm a 4 in Lulu leggings.

Favorite shoes: I've been wearing Asics running shoes since high school and they're my favorites! So comfortable and supportive, and at a really good price point. They're not the cutest, but for me, that's really not a factor in my decision making when it comes to running shoes. I just want to feel very supported and comfortable, so these are the best for me!

What are your favorite ways to work out?!
xoxo

My Biggest Financial Tips (+ How I Started Investing)


One of my big goals for 2020 is to get a hold on my finances, especially in terms of financial goals and independence (and share more "adulting" content on here as I go along!) As I approach graduation and moving to one of the most expensive cities in the country (so excited to finally reveal and share my post-graduation plans in a couple of weeks!), I've been focusing a lot more on money management and financial planning. I know money can be a taboo subject, but I personally feel that, especially for young women, it is so important to talk about money and get an early start on managing our own wealth and financial future.

My Favorite Pink Things


With Valentine's Day in just over a week, what better way to get excited than by sharing a few of my favorite pink things?! From Glossier's Generation G that I can't get enough of, to my favorite slippers, I'm obsessed with everything I've rounded up here, and I think you would be too! Even if you're not celebrating Valentine's day in any special way, it's still a great excuse to treat yourself with something fun.



What I Read Over Winter Break


Hi! Happy Tuesday! I'm excited to share the books I read last month over winter break. There were some really great ones in the mix, and even one of them I scored 5 stars.


More Goals for 2020....


Now that a new semester is officially here and I'm getting back into a routine, I want to share a few more "concrete" goals that I have in mind for 2020. I shared my overall goal for the year at the beginning of the month, but there are a lot more things I've added to my list in the last couple of weeks that I want to share to hold myself accountable for!

At the beginning of 2019, I looked back on the goals I had set and analyzed how well I met them! I forgot about that post but rediscovered it the other day and want to do the same thing to kick off this new year!

From 2019:

1. Stop overthinking every little thing -- I did not do this... at all. Maybe it's just a personality trait ingrained in me that I can't change? I am the biggest overthinker. If I text someone without using like five exclamation points, I will think about it for hours if I sounded mean (or something ridiculous like that). Maybe I just have too much time on my hands?!

2. Blog at least twice a week -- I didn't do this at all. More details in the 2019 recap I wrote the other week, which you can find here.

3. Be kinder. -- I think I did a good job of this! I am so lucky to have so many amazing, fabulous friends, and my precious little family, and I'd like to think I did a good job of just being nicer to all of them in 2019. 

4. Be okay on my own -- I did this! In 2018 I was really dependent on other people to make me happy. In 2019 I definitely think I had a good grasp on myself and tried harder to be my own person. Going to get into this a little more below!

and I know no one cares, but I can do my laundry now... kind of :)

For 2020:

The first couple of weeks this year have given me a good feeling for what's to come... I'm feeling inspired, refreshed, and motivated! Here are a few things I'm hoping to work on throughout the year... I've split it up into general goals, and then a few specific ones at the end! I think having specific, more measurable goals for myself will be interesting.

General Goals:

Eat more vegetables // This sounds so dumb, but I actually love eating vegetables and I just don't prioritize it! I want to eat a vegetable at least once a day, lol. 2019 was a year of lots of exercise, so 2020 can be the year of lots of vegetables!!

Read more books // I read a lot over winter break, so expect a blog post on that coming soon! In doing that though, it made me realize that I want to try to read more consistently throughout the year... not just on vacations or over breaks. I'm going to try to at least keep a book in my possession at all times so I won't have an excuse not to read. 

Do + Post what I want // I put a lot of pressure on myself to post certain things that I think will be well-liked by whoever sees it, and this year I just want to give up on trying so hard and just post whatever I want. At the end of the day, no one cares what you post as much as you do, so you might as well just post things you like! For example, you may have noticed while I was on Long Island that I posted a lot of interior photos on my Instagram! I love interior design and I know those photos don't get as many likes, but I love them, so that's what matters!

Be Myself // Going off of that, I just want to be myself more this year and stop feeling like I have to do things for other people or be a certain way when people are around me or watching me. I mentioned above, I feel like a did a better job of being on my own in 2019, but I didn't necessarily do a good job of just being myself when I am with other people. I don't know if this will make any sense to anyone, but I'm kind of like a chameleon personality in the sense that wherever I am, I'll adapt to that situation. I am a very go with the flow person, and while I think that's a good thing, this year I want to make sure I am doing things because I want to and not because I feel like I have to for other people. I don't think I ever do this intentionally, and I wouldn't really consider it a people-pleasing thing (because I don't think I'm a people pleaser at all), but more just that I don't really make executive decisions for myself and I want to!

Specific Goals:

The Daily Stoic // This is a little connected to the previous goal! Basically, I want to hold myself accountable every day to be a better version of myself. I saw someone on Instagram post about this book, The Daily Stoic (can't remember who) so I bought it and I've been reading it every day! There is a passage every day that just inspires you and sets your mindset for the day and gives you something to think about. My goal for this year is to read it every day and stick with it! So far I am loving it. As someone with an overthinking issue, I find meditation really uncomfortable, so this is a great alternate form that feels much more guided and productive!

Investing // I started investing in 2019 and I am obsessed with my investment portfolio (I use Ellevest!). It's an amazing (and easy) way to get a head-start on your finances as a young adult. In fact, it's really one of the smartest things you can do for yourself and your future. I don't often talk about finances and real-life, important things on here, but wealth management and financial independence are two things I am strongly passionate about, and this year I am hoping to not only triple my current investments but share with you all in blog posts my tips and how I got started! Would you be interested in this?!

Listen to more podcasts! // I was better about listening to podcasts on my way to my internships the last few summers, but at school, I get so caught up in my music that I rarely switch over to podcasts. Podcasts are a great source of inspiration for me, so I want to try and listen to at least one episode a week... my favorite podcast is Gals on the Go! What's yours?

What are your goals for 2020?
xoxo

Playlist // The Good Kind of Sad


One of my goals for my blog this year is to share more of my playlists! In 2019 I started making monthly playlists, as well as a few random playlists for certain kinds of ~vibes~. I absolutely love creating playlists, and I spend far more hours on Spotify than I'd like to admit. Today I am sharing a little playlist that I've titled, "The Good Kind of Sad," because what better day to share than on my last first day of school (!!!) when I'm feeling all kinds of {good kinds of} sad.

Goodbye, Winter Break


Ahh!!! I can't believe I am heading back to school today for my last semester of college! I am excited, sad, and a little nervous, as always with a new semester. Although this is my eighth time around the block, starting a new semester of school never comes without a few bumps in the road. I can't believe this is it!

The Best Puffer Ever


Yesterday I had a little work sesh with my friend Koryn, which meant shooting a few photos and spending a couple of hours working at our fave coffee shop! I always love spending time with Koryn because she just gives off such good vibes and I always leave her feeling refreshed and inspired, and usually with a few Instagram photos to post ;)

I wore my faux leather puffer and decided it is worthy of an entire blog post. You guys... this puffer. It is the best thing I own.



I bought it a couple of months ago on Bloomingdales, where it is still available in most sizes and colors! However, now it is available at over 50% off in a few sizes and colors here!! Even at full price, you'd be shocked at the quality you're getting with this puffer... it is by far the warmest coat I own! Even warmer than my parka!! And because it's faux leather, it stays dry and cozy when it's sleeting, snowing, or just wet and gross outside.

For size reference, I am wearing it in a size small. It is meant to be a little oversized and roomy, so I would suggest taking your normal size, or down one size if you're in between (I'm usually a size small or medium in everything, hence I took the small).

Not only is it so cute and warm, but it goes with everything! I have gotten endless compliments on it, and I think everyone needs it!!

And just because we're here, this is the beanie I've been wearing all season long. It's only $10 and I love it.



xoxo

Winter Sorority Recruitment Outfit Guide (pt. 2)


When looking through my analytics to determine blog post ideas for this year, I noticed that for the last two years, my most popular post has been my winter sorority recruitment outfit guide! I shared this the winter of my sophomore year, a year after I had gone through winter recruitment myself, and I feel that now it could use a little update provided that it's so well-loved amongst many of you going through the process year after year!

Cookie Exchange Party Recap


The Saturday before Christmas I hosted my annual cookie exchange party with all of my friends! Although it's now a few weeks in the past, I still want to share a recap of the party for future reference. I've been hosting this party with my mom for five years now, and it's our favorite annual tradition. 

Warning: there are a lot of photos below!