Summer Fashion Essentials

Hey everyone! I took a little time off from blogging but I am back with more fresh content! I am currently on my way home from a little beach trip (hence, the break from blogging), so I decided to use this time to relax, but also write! For me, writing is so much more than a hobby; I feel that it is my purpose in life, and I have been heavily inspired lately. This inspiration does not only apply to my writing. It is so much deeper than I can explain.

For today, I wanted to chat about some of my favorite summer trends and essentials! Some of these are very much in style for the summer of 2020, and others are just items that I enjoy wearing at this time of year!

Puffed Sleeves

I have to say, I have always loved the look of puffed sleeves. I feel that they give off a very feminine and even vintage vibe. I own a few tops with puffed sleeves, and they have been some of my favorites as of late. This is a popular trend this season, and I recommend trying it out!

Denim shorts

This is a trend that I don’t think will ever disappear. Denim shorts are an essential in my wardrobe, and I believe that most women can say the same! Of course, different styles of denim have taken over, but I love the look of some classic, high waisted denim shorts. I also reach for white denim shorts frequently. I know that denim tends to be pretty expensive, but if you’re on a budget, I have found a few great pairs at H&M for $20 or less in the past!

Panama Hats

I am not sure that this is a 2020 trend specifically, but I have fallen in love with hats! I never thought I’d be a hat person, but here we are! I recently bought a panama hat from Justfab.com, and I have been wearing it pretty much daily on this beach trip! I love the natural color because it matches any outfit. Not only has this hat been covering up my frizzy beach hair, but it is stylish and adds so much to the most basic of outfits!

Flowy Dresses

In the summer time, there is a very good chance that you will see me rocking a dress. I have become such a fan of midi dresses because they are somehow both classy and even a bit sexy at the same time. Truthfully, any length of dress can be worn in the summer; whether that is mini, midi, or maxi. Flowy dresses always look so pretty in the summer time, and these are currently the ones I reach for the most!

Strappy Sandals

In the summer, I like to keep my shoes very simple. This often means opting for flip flops, cute sandals, or block heels; nothing too fancy. Right now, strappy sandals are in style, and I love the look of them! In some ways, they remind me of ballet slippers, making them appear very feminine, which is my favorite style.

Animal Prints

I was never really the kind of person who enjoyed wearing animal prints. I remember wearing cheetah print sometimes as a kid, but I grew out of that phase, and never really looked back. Then, all of a sudden, cheetah print came back in a BIG way. Needless to say, I have bought quite a few cheetah printed clothing items since then! Lately, it seems that snakeskin has been a major trend, and I recently bought the cutest snakeskin romper from Priceless (Check out that ootd here).

Florals

Another trend that I do not believe will die. I absolutely adore anything floral. This trend could really be worn all year round, but of course, it looks best in the spring and summer time! I especially love the look of a vintage floral pattern, but bright colors are always beautiful for summer.

Bright Colors

This season, neon green, orange, and pink are trending, and I am not the least bit surprised. These colors are perfect for summer and they can be worn in clothing, or in bathing suits. Neon colors always look nice on a tan as well!

White

I have always said this, but white will forever be my favorite color on a tan. It actually makes a person appear to be tanner than they really are! It is a color that I go back to so often! (A white dress is the perfect staple piece to add to your wardrobe.)

I hope you enjoyed reading about some of my favorite summer fashion essentials! Be on the lookout for my next blog post (this one will relate to my 21st birthday)!

Thank you so much for reading!

OOTD: Just a Fling

Hey everyone! Today I am sharing an ootd (outfit of the day) with you all! I am always looking for new places to shop, and I follow many fashion pages on Instagram. A while back, I followed @shoppriceless on Instagram. I would always love the outfits that they posted, but I never bought from them until now!

This is the “Just a Fling Snakeskin Romper” in a size medium. I bought this for $45. I absolutely love rompers because they are stylish and so easy to wear. Snakeskin seems to be a major trend right now, so I knew I needed to own at least one item with a snakeskin print. The outfit seems to be made of a decent quality, however the items on the site may be a little bit overpriced.

To go with the romper, I decided to wear some simple black block heels. If you keep up with my blog, you have probably seen these shoes before. They are my go-to heels! They match everything and I always go back to them. I bought these from Amazon a couple years ago.

I am a gold jewelry kind of girl, so of course, that is what I wore today! I layered on 2 necklaces, a gold coin and a herringbone. I recently bought both of these and I’ve been wearing them all the time. The gold coin was purchased from Amazon, and the herringbone was purchased from DarlingJewelryStudio on Etsy! I am wearing 2 gold bracelets, both are from Amazon. For earrings, I am wearing a pair that used to be my moms. And lastly, I wore my 2 gold rings that I wear everyday!

A few of my jewelry pieces and my shoes are linked here!

Thank you so much for reading!

13 Reasons Why Season 4 Recap + Review

The final season of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why came out on June 5th, and I just recently finished the series! I didn’t binge it like I am sure most people did, but I am now ready to talk season 4! As usual, if you have not watched season 4 of 13 Reasons Why, I recommend watching before reading this post. Spoiler warning!

At the end of season 3, I had made a few small predictions. I feel that many people probably had the same assumptions as me because they were somewhat cliffhangers. First, the bag of guns that was found in the river. I knew this would be an issue that would arise in season 4 and I was right. Tyler had said that they may be able to track the person who bought the guns and this worried Clay and Tony. Then, I mentioned that since Alex’s dad knew that his own son murdered Bryce, maybe he would get involved in some way. It seemed like Tyler and Alex’s dad were somehow working together. Something didn’t seem right, so I thought that maybe Tyler confessed everything to the police. And lastly, of course, Winston. I just knew he was going to cause trouble in season 4.

Early on this season, Winston made his first appearance at Liberty High. He transferred from Hillcrest for the spring semester of his senior year. It was clear from the beginning that Winston was trying to get close to Clay’s friend group; Tyler, Alex, and then Zach. It seemed obvious that he was only trying to get close to find out what they really knew about Monty’s death.  Winston and Alex seemed to have a romantic relationship blossoming but Alex quickly shut it down after finding out that Winston had an alibi against them. I was not exactly surprised to see that Alex was struggling a bit with his sexuality, but he was lucky to have supportive friends and family around him.

This season, Clay’s mental health was spiraling. Keeping such a big secret was really haunting him (literally). Monty and Bryce would appear throughout the season to talk to Clay. While we, as fans of the show, have not known Clay to be a very happy and optimistic guy, he is a lot angrier and a lot more frustrated this season. We can see that Clay began going to therapy and I have to be honest, any time I watch a TV show/movie with therapy scenes, I zone out a bit. These scenes are rarely entertaining to me personally. However, I was glad to see that Clay was getting help, although it didn’t really seem to be working at first.

I was surprised to find that someone had died this season. There were a few scenes that showed a funeral 6 months later, and then it would flash back to present time. I had no idea who it could be, but after watching a few episodes, my mom guessed that it may be Clay. I hoped that this wasn’t true, but episode after episode, it seemed like a real possibility. Especially since he was struggling with his mental health so much. There were times when we even questioned if some of the scenes actually happened or if he was remembering something that didn’t really happen.

We were introduced to Estella, Monty’s sister, this season. I made the assumption that because she joined HO, she may have been assaulted in some way. I also thought this because of the family that she’s from. Monty’s father was abusive, and of course, Monty was too. I had to wonder if anything happened to Estella and I questioned her relationship with her brother and how close they may have been. I guess I ended up being wrong because there really wasn’t much character development for her, though she and Tyler did get close this season.

During the camping trip, someone was messing with the scavenger hunt that they did. I thought it was the football team, but then I wasn’t so sure. I knew that they were upset because they lost their friend and teammate, but how far would they really go? Then I thought maybe it was Ani, but what would her intention be to do that? It confused me because in the next episode, it was as if all was forgotten. (This seemed to be a common theme. Each episode appeared to start from scratch.)

This season was kind of strange in my opinion. I felt that it was, in some ways, unnecessary and the creators seemed to include one TV high school cliché after another (a camping trip, a house party, prom, and a school “shooting”). I found myself wondering if certain scenes were all in Clay’s head or if they were real. For example, in the episode where Clay is driving Zach’s car after the party, they get in an accident. In the next episode, it seemed like the accident was forgotten about until we find out that Zach got hurt and Clay fled the scene.

I felt that the whole “school shooting” was a bit uncalled for. I don’t understand the intention behind the school. Why on earth would they do a drill and have actual gunshots go off? I don’t really see the point other than to scare everyone. I felt bad for Tyler in this episode because as soon as they heard “code red” Tony automatically assumed it was Tyler. While he was wondering where Tyler went, Tyler was sitting in the bathroom stall talking to Estella. The assault that Tyler went through is something he will never forget, but I am really glad that he is getting better. After worrying and worrying, Tony decided to show the Dean of Discipline Tyler’s photos of guns.

While I didn’t think that Tyler would do anything bad, I was curious as to why he seemed to be hiding something from everyone. It turned out that he was working with the cops. After the bag of guns was traced back to Tyler, the cops wanted him to help them catch the guy selling said guns. After being followed by Tony and Clay, Tyler was understandably frustrated as to why they didn’t trust him. I was upset for Tyler because at the end of season 3, it seemed that he got really close to Clay, Alex, Tony, and even Jessica.

This season, everyone really seemed to distance themselves from each other. I guess it was because they didn’t want anyone to find out what they were all hiding. Parents, teachers, and even the police officers felt that students were on edge and being secretive. This led to what a lot of students felt was an invasion of privacy. Cameras were put into the school and some parents were tracking their children’s cell phones. The students fought back by walking out of school and protesting to get their privacy back.

Since it was the end of their senior year, of course, college was an important topic to discuss. Pretty much everyone bombed their college interviews (or at least it appeared that way). One after the other, they just seemed to be giving up on their futures. I understand why Justin was struggling especially. He had just gotten news that his mother died (most likely from a drug overdose), so he was in a bad headspace. In the next episode we found out that Justin got accepted to a college, though this still didn’t help him with his sobriety.

As I watched each episode, I found that I had quite a few questions: who spray painted “Monty was framed” at the school? Who was messing with everyone on the camping trip? Who set the principals car on fire? All of these questions were answered in episode 7. It was Clay. I know this may have seemed obvious to some people but I wasn’t really expecting that! Apparently he didn’t remember doing any of it; proving how bad his mental health really was. Somehow in episode 9, Clay’s mental health problems seemed to disappear. He seemed to be doing much better all of a sudden. I don’t believe this was very realistic because in reality, it would take a while for him to be even close to ok.

The last episode was absolutely heartbreaking. While dancing at prom, Justin collapsed on the floor. To me, this was unexpected, but at this point I was pretty sure it was Justin who was going to die. We soon find out that Justin was diagnosed with HIV-1 and it quickly turned into AIDS. Justin got sick because of his past using drugs, sharing needles, and being involved in (unprotected) sex work. While he could have prevented his own death, he didn’t see the signs, and he didn’t get tested. Seeing him in the hospital broke my heart, and when Jessica and Clay spoke to him before his death, I just couldn’t stop from crying. I felt bad for Clay the most. He grew so close to Justin, and they truly became brothers rather than just friends. When they told each other “I love you” I just about lost it.

After Justin’s funeral, Winston spoke to Alex. He wanted to know why he killed Bryce. Alex explained everything, and Winston decided to let it go. I really did feel bad for Winston because I believe he really did love Alex, at least a little bit. Not only that, but he lost Monty too. I was happy to see Alex and Charlie happy together though. (I thought it was sweet that they were both prom kings and that others were so supportive of their relationship.) Also, Ryan and Courtney made an appearance in the final episode. Ryan and Winston seemed to hit it off immediately, so I hope that means that Winston got a happy ending too.

I was wondering what would happen with Bryce’s case. Sheriff Diaz really seemed to be working against Clay and his friends, and I thought that he would want them to come clean. Somehow, Sheriff Diaz knew that it was Alex who killed Bryce. In the scene when he was speaking to Officer Standall (Alex’s dad), it was clear that they both knew the truth, and they ultimately decided to permanently close the case. I had a feeling they would get away with it all, and this turned out to be what happened.

In the end, Hannah’s tapes were on Clay’s doorstep once again. I knew that Hannah had to be a part of this last episode somehow, and while I wish Katherine Langford came back for this final episode, they did show her ghost (a scene from a past season). Everyone came together to burry Hannah’s tapes in the spot where Clay first heard them. Everyone was going off to college and they were going to have a fresh start, which is what I think they all needed.

As for their futures, I really hope that Clay can help young people the way that his own therapist helped him. While he is most likely going to need to continue going to therapy sessions for a while, I hope that he can work on his mental health and strive for a better future. For Jessica, I hope that she will continue to speak up for and help those who have been sexually abused. This issue became very important to her, and it was obvious that she had leadership qualities.

I think bittersweet is the best word to describe an ending to any series. While I did feel that this season was not the best, I was sad to see the end of the series as a whole. I think the main point of this season was really to end the school year and say goodbye. Everyone pretty much got a happy ending, though some main characters lost their lives along the way.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this recap/review! I would love to know your thoughts on this season (and the show in general), so leave me a comment below and tell me what you thought!

How to Live a Happier Life

So many people go searching for happiness. What I have come to realize is that happiness always comes from within. The sooner this is realized, the sooner happiness can begin.

I think that all anyone ever wants is to be happy. The problem is many people do not know where happiness comes from, so they go off to find it somewhere else. Happiness is a choice, and it all starts with you. Every morning, I try to wake up and choose to have a great day. To be happy. Obviously, not every day is a great day, but your attitude really is everything.

I often describe myself as a very happy and positive person. I think I’ve always been like this. I find joy in the little things, and I tend to have an optimistic view of life. This doesn’t mean that I am positive and happy every single day, but that is always my goal.

Today, I wanted to share some ways to live a happier life overall, but I am changing things up a bit. I am really excited because I decided to include a few of my friends and family members in on this blog post! I asked them all the same question: What is one thing you would say to someone who wants to live a happier life? This may seem like a surface question, but in reality, it is extremely deep and personal. I am going to include a few of my family members and friends responses, and my own as well. Keep in mind that these responses are paraphrased, however I included their main point(s). I also included a couple quotes that stood out to me the most. Their answers were brief, but in my opinion, very meaningful.

Here were the responses (in no particular order):

Say positive mantras daily

Whether that is “Today is going to be a great day” or “I am grateful for what I have”. By focusing on the positive things in life and remaining optimistic, happiness will follow. “Never underestimate the importance of recognizing the silver linings in life.”

Love your job

No one wants to spend their lives miserable. We all start somewhere, just make sure you are working hard to get to where you really want to be. They always say that when you love your job, it doesn’t necessarily feel like work. Make sure you’re doing what you love. (This person also mentioned that having a furry friend in your life can bring so much joy as well.)

Let go of your past

Holding grudges will only hurt you in the end, so there is no reason to hold hate or bitterness in your heart. This person also stressed the importance of removing toxic people from your life and forgiving everyone.  Remaining positive is key in her life as well.

Spread more love and less hate

Being cruel and mean will get you absolutely nowhere in life. Love and kindness are powerful. What you put out into the world will ultimately come back to you. Spread love always.

Don’t worry about what other people think

It shouldn’t matter so much what people say or think about you because at the end of the day, your own opinion of yourself should matter more. Focus on yourself and do what you want to do. That is what is going to bring happiness. “Nobody is putting as much effort into thinking about you, as you are.”

Delve into your passions

Focus on your goals and your dreams and work hard to make them a reality. You really can do anything you want in life, and by working toward your passions, happiness will always be with you. Do not let anyone discourage you or make you believe that you can’t accomplish your dreams.

Go with the flow

Sometimes, being a planner (especially during an unpredictable time) can lead to a lot of disappointment. There are going to be moments in life when things will not go your way, and it is important to adapt in these situations. Understand that change is going to come, but know that how you react matters most.

Think positive thoughts

“Your thoughts control your actions and they will control your mind too.” Remember to always remain positive and never let negative comments from others bring you down. Do the things that make you happy, and spread kindness to everyone. This person also mentioned the importance of incorporating meditation into ones daily life.

Surround yourself with family

It is so important to have your loved ones around you. Family should always be a priority, and making time to be with them is what makes this person very happy. Not everyone has a great relationship with their family members, so if this is you, try to find friends who feel like family, and keep them close.  Having good people in your life can help you in ways you couldn’t imagine.

Every answer I received was beautiful and personal to the individual. I found it interesting to see what everyone said because happiness means something different to everyone. Some common themes I found were positivity and kindness. I was very happy to include these people in this blog post because they mean a lot to me.

Remember that ultimately, happiness is a choice. Yes, good things are going to happen and yes, bad things are going to happen. But, at least to me, you can choose how to react to most situations you face. Being happy truly does come from the heart. If you wake up every day, focus on the positive, and choose happiness, I promise, you will find it.

Thank you so much for reading! Until next time!

Fitness Update: June 2020

Hey everyone! Today I wanted to share a fitness update with you all because it has been a while since I talked about my personal journey! I am going to be sharing my current workout split, new fitness goals, healthy eating, and how I am motivating myself to work out during a global pandemic.

I have been working out for about 4 ½ years now, which is absolutely crazy to say. Time really does fly. I feel like it was yesterday that my dad was teaching me all of the basics of weight training. In reality, I have grown so much since my first time in the gym.

The last time I spoke about my personal fitness journey (not just sharing tips and tricks) was in February for my 4 year anniversary. Well, a lot has changed since then. Very soon after I got back from my trip to France in March, COVID cases were spiking and states across the country were telling people to quarantine in their homes. This virus led to the closing of restaurants, stores, and of course, gyms.

Fitness

I was never one to enjoy at-home workouts. I always felt that I lacked the motivation to get through them. When I am at the gym I feel so much more focused. I had to learn to push myself, especially on days when I wasn’t feeling it. This was actually a somewhat difficult transition for me. It took some time, but after a few weeks I got so used to working out at home, and it just became a part of my daily routine. It’s like forming any habit; if you continue to do it daily, eventually it will become a part of your daily routine. Once I got into that routine of simply working out at home, I decided that I needed to change things up and make it a bit more exciting.

 There are many different forms of exercise. What I’ve found works for me is a combination of weight training and cardio. Since I do not have any cardio machines at home, I have been incorporating HIIT into my routine even more than I used to. Before, I would go to the gym, stretch, do cardio, and then begin weight training. Now, I’m doing something a bit different. Instead of doing HIIT before or after weight training, I’ll do it at the same time. For example: if I am working out my upper body and I finish one set of shoulder presses, I will quickly get up and start doing something like jumping jacks, or I will run in place. It is somewhat hard to explain, so I’ll leave it to Google.

According to Google, HIIT is “a cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods, until too exhausted to continue.”

I hope that makes sense! But basically I alternate between a set of weight training and then I’ll complete a HIIT exercise for 30 seconds, and repeat.

My workout split

Luckily, I own a workout bench, weights, and resistance bands, so I have access to a bit of equipment which has been extremely helpful. My dad actually bought a set of weights that range from 5-25 pounds, and I’ve been using this during every session. I know that many people don’t have any gym equipment in their homes, but there are always alternatives!

Keep in mind that my schedule does not look exactly the same every week. I like to change things up, but also listen to my body and what it needs. Also, this is a schedule that works for ME. Find what works best for you, and go by that! Here is an example of what I do in a week:

Sunday: HIIT

Monday: Back + biceps (with HIIT)

Tuesday: Lower body (glutes, quads, calves + hamstrings)

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Chest, shoulders + triceps (with HIIT)

Friday: HIIT

Saturday: Full body (with weights)

The reason you do not see abs or core anywhere in this schedule is because I have been doing yoga every day. In many of my yoga sessions, I am working on my core and my abs!

Yoga has actually been very surprising to me. In January of this year, I told myself that I would try a new form of exercise, and yoga happened to be what I chose. I started using a program that has a variety of workout guides and videos, so I have been using this to learn yoga. I watch a different video every day, and I follow along with the instructor. I have been doing yoga for 10 weeks now. I feel so much more toned, and I have been getting better at the practice! I made a post all about my experience starting yoga, so if you’re interested in that, you can click here after reading this post!

I am a very determined person and I am very easily motivated, so I am proud that I have been able to stay on track lately. Somehow, even while quarantining at home, I’ve managed to become even more physically active than I was before COVID!

Healthy eating

I’ve never had a bad relationship with food, and I’ve never had any issues relating to my weight, but to me, eating healthy is still the most challenging part of living a healthy life. I feel like I have been doing ok this year, but I could do better. Any time we make a grocery trip, I have a list of my go-to items that I eat every week including: apples, yogurt, grapes, and salmon, to name a few.

I normally do not have a problem keeping my main meals of the day healthy. For breakfast, I’ll often make eggs or oatmeal. I may also eat a banana and some multigrain toast with avocado or peanut butter (depending on what we have). My lunches are pretty random, but I’ll usually eat an apple, some turkey, and a salad. For dinner, there are some days when I will just eat whatever my mother makes, however there are quite a few days when I will make my own healthy version or a completely different meal.

 I also snack quite a bit during the day, and while I try to keep it healthy, sometimes I’ll crave some chips or even a bit of ice cream. I often allow myself to indulge in my cravings, however I try not to go overboard. My addiction to chocolate and ice cream is as strong as ever, but I am learning to limit myself and have some self control.

I never really tracked my macros or kept track of my daily food intake, partly because it stresses me out and sometimes (depending on the person), it can lead to a negative relationship with food. At this point, I feel like I know what works for me and what doesn’t. I just try to listen to my body and eat as healthy as I can while still enjoying my favorite meals/snacks at times.

On the weekends, my breakfasts and snacks stay the same, but my family likes to eat out on Saturdays and Sundays. Many restaurants are allowing people to dine in now, but we don’t feel comfortable doing so just yet. We’ve been picking up our food and eating out at different parks. I have to admit, I enjoy eating outdoors when we have nice weather.

I stopped drinking soda in 2018, though I do drink it on special occasions. I’ll occasionally drink juice, but water is my go-to. I drink 4-5 bottles of water a day. This used to be such a challenge when I first started, but now I can get through it with no problem. Working out definitely helps me drink more water, though this also means more trips to the bathroom…

My current fitness and health goals

Since gyms will most likely be closed for a little while longer, my goals right now look a bit different. Usually one of my biggest goals is to gain muscle but right now I’m focused on maintaining the muscle that I have. I am going to continue doing 20-30 minutes of yoga everyday as well. And lastly, I am trying to eat as healthy as I can. I am not being too hard on myself and I have been listening to my body and what it needs. This is enough right now.

I am very proud of the progress I have made on my fitness journey so far. While I do feel that my progress has been slowed down a bit due to the closing of my gym, I am doing everything I can to be physically active at home, and it feels really good! I am going to continue with my routine and even if my gym opens soon, I will not be going yet (just to be safe).

I hope you enjoyed reading this fitness update! Stay safe and healthy!

Fashion Picks for my Everyday Style

I love looking put together and styling different outfits. This has been a passion of mine since I was a little girl; the only difference is my style is much better! Today, I am going to break down my go-to clothing and accessories that make up my everyday look.

There are certain items of clothing that I will never wear outside of the house. I always say that I have to look “decent” before going out. This doesn’t mean going full glam 24/7, but it does mean no sweatpants, pajamas, or old, unflattering clothing outside of the house. While it many not seem like it, I definitely have quite a few casual days too!

Now, I have mentioned this before, but I find it difficult to describe my style. I am constantly changing up my looks, from girly and chic to casual and cool. I can be really bold and out there, and other times I like to keep it simple. It honestly depends on so many things! If I had to use a few words to describe my style, I would say vintage inspired, feminine, and bold. I find myself always going back to a feminine and classic look.

This outfit perfectly captures my go-to glam look (not necessarily my everyday look).

Clothing

Crop tops

Crop tops have been in style for quite some time now, and I have been a fan since day 1. I know that they can be worn very casually, but I have found ways to wear them and make them look classy (see photo above). It depends on the style and color! I own quite a few crop tops, and I’ll typically wear them all year round (but even moreso throughout the spring and summer time)!

High waisted bottoms

Ever since high waisted bottoms have come back in style, I have been completely obsessed! I feel that they are flattering on so many body types! If I decide to wear jeans, they are always high waisted. The same can be said for shorts, and even some skirts! Plus, crop tops look best with high waisted bottoms. When pairing the two pieces together, you really can’t go wrong.

Midi dresses/skirts

Most of the time, especially in the warmer months, I’ll opt for skirts or dresses over pants or shorts! I absolutely love how effortless dresses are, and they can be so easy to style! I love the classy look of a midi dress/skirt. They aren’t too short, and they aren’t too long. They perfectly end mid-calf.

Accessories

Block heels

While flats are incredibly comfortable, and I choose them over heels often, there is something about heels that I just love. While I love the look of stiletto heels, I am terrified of falling in them! Plus, I don’t think I could walk in them very easily! I am a big fan of chunky/block heels. These are much easier to walk in, and they are still very stylish. In the spring and summer, I’ll wear strappy block heels, and in the fall and winter you’ll see me rocking chunky booties!

Gold dainty jewelry

I used to be a big fan of silver jewelry, but in recent years, gold has become my go-to. I still wear silver, depending on what looks best with my outfit! I also used to love chunky jewelry, and now I absolutely adore the look of dainty pieces. I’ll typically wear dangly earrings, simple bracelets, a dainty necklace, and my 2 gold rings.

I always have to laugh when my family and I go out together because 80% of the time, I am overdressed compared to the rest of them! I never really mind though, because I love dressing up (even if it is just to go out to eat on the weekends). I always say that I wish I had big, fancy events to go to because then I could dress up all the time and have a real reason for it! Some people say that they save fancy outfits for special occasions, well, I’m the type of person who feels that life is a special occasion!

I hope you’re all having a beautiful day! Thank you so much for reading!

What’s in my May Ipsy Glam Bag

Hey everyone! I’m excited to share my May glam bag with you all today! I feel like lately my glam bags haven’t been that great but I did enjoy this one a bit more, so let’s get into it!

This month, Ipsy wanted its members to glow for magic hour, and I think that this is the perfect theme to start off the summer! I really love the bag this month. It is a beautiful ombré of pink, yellow, and orange, reminding me of a summer sunset. I rated the overall bag 4/5 stars. If there was a half star system I would have given it 3 ½ stars!

Inside the glam bag:

  • Thebalm Cosmetics – AUTOBALM ® Day 2 NITE in Wall St

I always love receiving eyeshadows in my glam bags and this one did not disappoint! I tend to go for browns, golds, and taupes when it comes to eyeshadows, so this one is perfect for me. I love doing very natural, glowy makeup looks. This shadow is a gorgeous champagne/gold color and it is very pigmented. This is the perfect everyday color. I rated this shadow 5/5 stars (though I would like to receive more browns in the future).

  • SLMISSGLAM – SS57 Brush

I never really care to receive makeup brushes because I already have quite a few. Though this was not needed, it is a cute makeup brush. I like that the handle is sparkly and pink with 2 small diamonds at the top. I’ve been using this brush to add shadows in my crease and it blends the colors beautifully. I rated this 2/5 stars (simply because I didn’t want the product but if you’re looking for a new crease/blending brush this one is great).

  • Pure Brazilian – Daily Anti-Frizz Serum

I was happy to see that this was in my glam bag because I always struggle with frizzy hair, but especially in the hotter months! I have a leave-in conditioner by Pure Brazilian and I love how smooth and shiny it makes my hair, so I was hopeful when trying this. The directions say to apply a quarter size amount onto towel dried hair from root to tip. I think I applied it while my hair was still too wet because it made my hair even more frizzy when I woke up the next morning! I tried using it again, but this time I waited until my hair was a bit more dry, and it still made my hair pretty frizzy. The only good thing about this serum is that it makes my hair softer.  I’m not sure if it didn’t work for me because of my hair type (wavy/curly) but I was disappointed in this product overall. I rated this 2/5 stars.

  • Purlisse Beauty – Matcha Green Tea + Lemon Detoxifying Charcoal Mask

I prefer wash-off masks over sheet masks (which I have a lot of), so I was ok with receiving this product. I like that it is a detoxifying charcoal mask because I have found that using products containing charcoal works pretty great for my skin.  As I was applying this face mask, I realized that it included tiny beads meant to exfoliate the skin.  I am always hesitant to try exfoliants because I had a bad experience when I tried exfoliating my skin a while ago. I don’t know if I was being too rough, or if I just wasn’t using the right products, but ever since, I’ve been a bit nervous to exfoliate. I tried to be super careful when applying this onto my face. I let it sit for around 10 minutes, and then I washed it off with warm water. I’d say that I didn’t really care for the smell, and I would like it even more if it were just a face mask and not a combination of a face mask and exfoliant! I rated this 3/5 stars.

  • Tarte – SEA H2O Gloss Lip Gloss in Below Deck (my pick)

I absolutely LOVE the brand Tarte, so when I saw that I could choose this item for myself, I was excited! The color is absolutely stunning, and it is perfect for summer. The gloss is not too sticky, and it doesn’t have an incredibly strong scent. I typically go for lipsticks over glosses but because I love the brand, I wanted to try it out! The one downside to this product is the fact that it is a pretty small sample size! I rated this 4/5 stars.

Let me know what you received in your May glam bags in a comment below! As always, thank you so much for reading!

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Sister Style Swap

Hey everyone! Today I am doing something a bit different! I was watching YouTube recently and came across a few “sister style swap” videos. I thought it was funny seeing two sisters with two very different styles swapping looks for a day. I was inspired to do this myself, and I knew my younger sister Alexa would be interested in doing it as well.

Alexa (or Lexi, as we call her), is my younger sister. She is 16, and I am 20. When we were little, I would always dress Lexi up, often putting her in kitten heels and frilly dresses. At the time, she didn’t mind being my own human barbie doll. If anything, she loved it. As we got older, we came in to our own personal styles that ended up being very different from each others. While my love of heels and dresses remained, Lexi found a love for graphic tees and mom jeans.

Let’s start by describing our own personal style!

Amanda:

If you have been following my blog and keeping up with my ootd’s (outfit of the days), you most likely have a feel for my style already. I personally feel like there is not one way to describe my style. I always say my style is all over the place (in the best way possible). I am constantly changing up my looks. One day I will walk down the stairs in a long pink dress, and the next day I’ll be in jeans and a t-shirt. If I had to describe my style in a few words I would say that I am mostly attracted to pieces that are vintage (or vintage inspired), feminine, and bold. I can wear some things that are very out there and unique, and other times I am very laid-back and casual (it honestly depends on so many things; the weather, my mood, the event, etc. though I think many people could say this). I feel that the outfits in my “before” photo represent my style most.

Lexi:

Lexi enjoys being comfortable and if she had to describe her personal style, she would use the words laid-back, fun, and unique. She often goes for jeans and t-shirts, but she mixes it up at times as well. She isn’t afraid to rock bright colors, and she will SOMETIMES choose to wear a dress or a matching set. Lexi has a small collection of sneakers and that is really all she wears when it comes to shoes. While her style is not incredibly girly, she likes to go all out when it comes to her hair and makeup. The “before” photo above perfectly captures Lexi’s style.

Time to Swap!

Amanda:

Ok, so it’s pretty clear that Lexi and I have different styles. I am much more girly, and she tends to be more casual. So, this is different for me, to say the least. I never really wear graphic tees, and if I do, it’s rare. This one specifically has old cartoon characters on it (most of which she was unfamiliar with, but she liked it and wears it anyway). I was comfortable wearing the jeans because they are mine (we are different sizes in jeans), but the shoes were very out there in my opinion. They are light pink and floral (which I liked), however they are a bit more of a platform shoe. I really only wear sneakers when I am working out or hiking, so I wouldn’t really ever choose to wear these myself. Lately, Lexi has been putting butterfly clips in her hair almost daily, so she put a couple in my hair to complete the look. I never really do much when it comes to styling my hair, but I am not exactly a fan of butterfly clips! I felt like I looked a lot younger than I am while wearing them.

The entire outfit was very Lexi, which was exactly what I wanted for this challenge. I wanted us to completely transform ourselves into the other person. I felt fine walking around in public (mostly because all we did was eat some lunch at the park, so there was really no one around).

Lexi:

When I first thought of doing this swap, I knew I wanted to put Lexi in a dress. She typically goes for jeans or shorts rather than skirts and dresses (plus, she sometimes claims that I dress like an old woman, so I wanted to put her in something a bit more… vintage 😉 ). I knew this would be out of her comfort zone for sure. As I watched Lexi walk around in my heels, I had to laugh. She didn’t struggle very much but she did complain that her feet were killing her a couple times! I am normally comfortable wearing heels a bit longer.  For her hair, I simply took 2 strands in the front and clipped them back with a diamond hair clip. I never really do too much to my hair, but I love this hair style because it is so easy to do, plus I think it’s pretty. As we walked around the park Lexi brought up the fact that she felt awkward and uncomfortable because she would never wear this outfit. Again, lucky for her, no one was really around. Plus, no stranger knows how we normally dress anyway.

I have actually worn this exact outfit before (if you’ve been following my blog from the beginning you may remember 😉). I am so used to standing out when I am with my family because I dress up so often. Even when my family is out in t-shirts and pants, I’ll be wearing a dress. Lexi, however, is not used to that at all!

Seeing our family’s reactions to our new look was hilarious. My brother even walked over to Lexi thinking it was me, so I’d say we did a pretty good job!  Lexi and I also thought it would be fun to include our older sister, Michelle, in this challenge so maybe we will do that sometime in the future! We all have such different styles so it would be fun to do it again!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Lexi and I had fun swapping styles! Lexi will be posting a YouTube video of our style swap experience in the next few days, so be on the lookout for that and subscribe to support her! Her YouTube channel will be linked here (I will update once she posts the video)!

Leave me a comment and tell me whose style is most similar to your own!

Thank you so much for reading!

The Beauty of Vulnerability

I’ve always been someone who wears my heart on my sleeve. This has both helped me and hurt me in the past. I’m rarely afraid of being vulnerable. I love having deep and honest conversations with people because it allows us to open up, and that is when you really get to understand a person.

That is the beauty of vulnerability. You see the truth. Sadly, some people do not look at it the same way. Some people see vulnerability as a weakness. I’ve never looked at it that way though. I’ve always seen it as strength. Being able to show your emotions and tell people how you feel about them is beautiful. It takes strength, and it takes courage.

So many people would rather put on an act than to simply be themselves. I was never the type of person to do this though. I think that sharing my feelings has scared some people in the past. Some people are not used to so much transparency. I love forming relationships with people, and I have found that being honest and true is always worthwhile. No one can relate to perfection.

I’m not going to lie, being vulnerable, at least to some people, makes you a target. If you’re vulnerable, there is always a possibility of getting hurt. This is the tricky part. You need to be careful about who you let in to your life. You shouldn’t share everything with just anyone. Not everyone is going to stick around, and some people use your own vulnerability against you.

I often feel that I am very good at reading people. Even if my heart is telling me to look past the red flags, the voice in the back of my head is always there to tell me otherwise. One of the biggest lessons I’ve been learning is to trust my gut instincts about people. I don’t have very many friends, but I am lucky because I know that the ones I do have are true. I think that I come across as antisocial and sometimes even “stuck-up” but this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve had to learn to be careful about whom I share my personal life with, and while I think that it is sad that people must learn this in the first place, it is also smart.

Once you find your people, at least for me, opening up is easy. Being yourself is easy. Because if they are the right people, they are going to love you no matter what. I know that for some people, opening up can be really difficult. Maybe you’ve had a difficult past and you don’t like to talk about it. Maybe you’ve been hurt one too many times, and you don’t want to go through that pain ever again. Maybe you’ve seen people close to you get hurt after being vulnerable. Whatever it is, you can’t be afraid of being honest. You can’t be afraid of connecting with other people. It will only lead to a life with empty, meaningless connections. Life is so much more meaningful and beautiful when you allow yourself to be seen to the people that mean the most to you. If you find people who feel comfortable sharing their feelings with you, remember to be that person for them as well.

I’ve never been one who hides my emotions very well. If I am happy, you’re going to know it. If I am frustrated, you’re going to know it. And if I am sad, you’re definitely going to know it. Yes, I would describe myself as emotional, but I think that many people look at the word “emotional” and automatically associate it with being sad all the time. This however, is not the case for me. I am a very happy and positive person. I feel my emotions very deeply. I simply accept them. I talk about them. I write about them. It is so unhealthy to bottle up your feelings and keep them to yourself. It only hurts you in the end.

If you remember anything from this post, let it be that it is ok to be vulnerable, and you should never fear it. However, always be careful about the people you connect with. While people’s true intentions always show in the end, it’s better to be smart from the beginning.

I wanted to share this message to remind anyone and everyone that vulnerability isn’t something you should steer away from. If anything, vulnerability is what connects us. I hope that the next time you interact with someone, you open up, even if it’s just a little bit. Whether you’re sharing your favorite color or your deepest secrets, when it comes to those you love and trust most, allow yourself to be seen.

Thank you so much for reading!