Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year, New...




Happy New Year! As a student, the new year is cool but not my time to start over. For me that time is when the school year begins. For a long time, I have used the New Year as the excuse for the school to give us more time on winter break. However, there are so many things that are refreshed when the new year comes. So many people make resolutions (I am definitely one who makes them and breaks them) or lifestyle changes. Instead I decided to talk about what I really do change or repurchase in the new year that I usually wouldn’t do. These things help me start the new year in a fresh way with the things that I love.

Laptop or Phone Case- I am very lucky to occasionally have this gifted to me, but if not my case for my very expensive and breakable electronics is around a year old. I know most places give large warranties on these things or facts that they will protect no matter what, but I am very clumsy. I like to use this time to get a new protective phone case that is cute as well as sturdy. The same goes for a laptop case, my favorite brand is Speck, because sadly I have dropped my laptop a few too many times.

Socks- I know this sounds so weird to buy these at this time, but the sock eating dryer is real. I cannot even explain how long it takes me to find socks in the morning. Right now is the perfect time for me to go to Costco or Target or where ever and get the packs of socks to last me a long time.

School Supplies- For me the semester isn’t quite over but my pens and pencils would show a different story. For me being someone who loves to write down and color coordinate everything pens becomes very important to me. I do not have time to have a dull pen, especially one of my favorites that goes in my planner. While I have the time, I order a few spare packs of my favorite ones.

Closet Staples- Funny story, while I was packing for Arizona I was looking for my white t-shirt. I had outfits planned around this versatile thing, shorts, skirts, pants, jackets. Somehow it was gone. I mean I checked every room and it was gone. Going in to the new year fresh with the things I love is important to me, and a white t shirt is one. If something was stolen by the gremlins that steal goods from house, order yourself a new one and save yourself the trouble later.

Bedding- I read somewhere that you are supposed to wash your bedding a special way certain amount of times each year and get new pillows every couple of years, and let me tell you I have not followed this. I am someone who is a little bit of a clean freak and hates thinking about the gross stuff hiding away in my things. As soon as I get home I am getting myself some new pillows and tossing out the old. I will also use this time to deep clean my bedding. Eww.

I hope you guys enjoyed this and are using this time to be able to start the new year in a fresh and exciting way without over doing it.

Allie

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Organizing For The New Year

This time of the year is great because now that Christmas is over, I have some much needed time to organize for the new year. Organizing is my thing. I love, love, love it. Unfortunately this year has been so busy of me with school, work, volunteering, and the lovely college applications that my time to organize is slim. I am someone who needs a clean space to think clearly and do my best. It also makes me happier when I am not constantly worrying about where something is. Right now I am in Arizona with my dad, so rather than a post about organizing my physical space, I decided to talk about what you can do with just the necessities to make life a little easier.

Something that can be super time consuming but so helpful for me is going through the files on my computer. I have so many things that I don't need anymore, are pointless, or just taking up storage. These can head to the trash and no longer cause any clutter on my laptop. Another quick thing, empty the trash on your computer. When you delete something it hangs out in there until you empty it, just taking up space! For the stuff you don't want to get rid of but don't need in your face, folders. I use folders within folders within folders. I usually start by saying Personal, School, College, and Trips. I can sort everything into those and then divide the stuff up from there. Each school year gets a folder, then each class with in the folder. Each vacation gets a folder within the trip folder. This also makes it so much easier when it comes time to find something.

A super simple thing I do when each season changes is to update my desktop background. I usually look on Evelyn Henson's website or on Pinterest. I love to have a cute and colorful one that makes me happy each time I look at it. Here is the one I am using right now. Its an older Evelyn Henson one that I found on Pinterest. I think it is so cute and a nice reminder to be happy and grateful each day.

One of my biggest pet peeves is having email notifications. Each morning I go and delete or read the emails I received. However, the ones I save become useless after a certain amount of time. Right now I am taking about 30 minutes to just get rid of any old emails that I don't need to save so there is less in there. I'm usually a more is more, but when it comes to my laptop and emails it is Less is More. This seems very tedious but it is totally worth it in the end.

Something I did yesterday during my plane ride to Arizona was deleting apps. I always download apps that I think are cool but stop using after a week. I think I deleted around 10 or more apps. It made it so much easier to find my favorite apps and no longer be overwhelmed by apps I no longer use. I think simplifying the amount of apps and other stuff on our phones makes us feel less attached to it as well as no longer feel the need to be on it every 10 seconds. Honestly, they are just apps and if I really miss it I can always re-download them.

I always forget to do this because I love my planner. Somehow I forgot it this week; I blame it on the 2 am wake up and 5 am flight. This gave me a good time to update my phone and laptop calendar with important dates to my life. I use my planner when ever I can but sometimes I need my phone to remind me that my Aunts birthday tomorrow or that a big college application is due. I also try to get rid of things I no longer need on my calendar like my old work schedule.

I love social media, not really posting on it but more seeing what everyone has been up to. I know that social media can be really bad for my mental health by constantly comparing my self to the life they choose to show on the internet. Right now I am trying to unfollow people I don't care about or make me insecure. I also try to only go on it when I am in a good mood instead of using it to feel worse. Social media is great and amazing but I think we all need to take it with a grain of salt because usually it isn't real.

I am using this time away from home to really take a look at my beauty routine. Right now I only have the "essentials" but this it 2 large makeup bags filled with makeup and skin care products. Half of that is stuff I don't use but convince my self I might need. I am making a pile of all the stuff I have used on this trip and a pile of the stuff I haven't touched. The pile of the untouched doesn't need to be thrown out or anything crazy (I am such a girly girl and love my beauty stuff) but I can realize that I don't need it with me at all times.

Finally, I am using this time to reflect on the past year. I am trying to see what I really do need in my life and decide what things can go. There are things I need with me at all times like my phone, debit card, license, chap stick, and deodorant. On the other hand, I don't need to have 3 granola bars, my laptop charger, and 13 different colored pens. This goes for other things in my life as well like I need to call and text my mom every day, but worrying about Snapchat streaks with people I barely talk to? Nope.

With the new year so close, I hope you go into it with goals and clarity of how you will handle it. For me, organization leads to a clearer head and simpler life ahead of me. What I have shared are just a few of the things that help me find my goals for 2018. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Living With Divorced Parents

Hey guys,

I wasn't really sure if I wanted to write this, but I thought that this could help someone really struggling right now. With the holidays coming to an end I have realized how much I have changed since my parents got divorced. For me its been about 5 years, but the holidays and winter are when it effects me the most. Overall, it really does suck, but it does get better. I have developed a way to get through the holidays and really any day without having their divorce ruining my favorite time of the year.

My biggest thing to tell you is to not pick sides. It can be really hard to stay level headed, trust me. My hardest Christmas's were the ones were I was constantly thinking mom's would be better or who would get me the better gift. That doesn't make anything better and it just puts you in a position where you aren't enjoying the time with the parent. I had picked sides in the beginning and it just ended up with me getting hurt no matter what.

An easy way to try to make it easier  around the holidays is to have your parents split the holidays evenly. One has thanksgiving and one has christmas, then next year they switch. I think this is really helpful so you don't feel like your favoring one parent over the other. This can be an awkward talk at first, but usually both will end up agreeing and just needed someone to start the conversation.

Packing has always been an issue for me while going between my moms and my dads. I live full time with my mom but see my dad a lot. This makes the wardrobe situation a bit crazy, especially because I like to have ALOT of options. Having the basics at both make it the easiest. For me that is a cozy sweater, jeans, boots, necklace, and under garments. I know this seems simple, but it makes things a bit easier and is something you no longer have to worry about.

Finally, don't be afraid to talk about it. It is totally okay to see a counselor or a therapist because having your parents divorce can be so scary and heart breaking. It is something that is out of ones control. There is no shame in seeking help about what your feeling about your parents divorce.

I hope this helped any of you going through divorce. If any of you need to talk about it or have any questions for me, feel free to email or comment.

XO, Allie

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

How to Survive 1st Semester Senior Year

Hey guys,

I am sorry that it has been so long but senior year has been hard. Applying to colleges has been time consuming and classes have been harder than I have expected. However, I am almost done with my first semester. I know, my school is weird and our semester ends in February. I have gained a lot of knowledge on how to get through this crazy time.  Here are my tips!

Apply Early- I have applied to 5 colleges and I got into all 5! I now have such a weight off my shoulders knowing that I have options and no longer stressing. I totally recommend applying to colleges early (i did early action) so that you can hear back quicker and focus on other things.

Take Hard Classes-  I know this is not what you want to hear. You have been waiting all that time to have an easy senior year, but sadly colleges don't want to see that. Also, if you are only taking easy classes you will not go to school. I am taking 3 AP classes and an extra math and English class. Each day is somewhat of a challenge, but keeps me focused.

Work Experience- I know there are a lot of opinions on whether or not to have a job in high school, but my job has been one of the best parts of my high school experience. It also taught me how to handle and save my money, a skill a class will never teach me. If you are able to work somewhere that you will enjoy, do it.

Join Clubs- My school doesn't have a ton of clubs that interest me, but this year I joined 2 and founded one. I didn't realize how easy it was to start a club and how interesting they can be. Ours meet at lunch so it isn't a huge time commitment either.

Don't Stress About Tests- I thought I was going to take the SAT and ACT again this fall but I realized that stressing for weeks isn't worth 30 points or 2 points. I will tell you this and I want you to repeat it again, YOU ARE MORE THAN A TEST SCORE. Yes, the tests are super important but there is so much more to a student like grades and activities.

Know Your Limits- I thought this year I was going to go to every single game and lead all of the cheers. Well guess what, I like games but I don't love them. I went to about half the home games and only went for as long as I wanted to. I had fun, but I didn't get overwhelmed with it.  Don't feel like you need to do everything because its your senior year, but do show school spirit.

Take Time- Knowing that I will be somewhere else in 9 months freaks me out in the best way possible. However, I feel like I need to spend so much time with my family and friends. I think this is a good and bad thing, but spend time with the people you love. I will never regret time I spend with my mom or grandma.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this and if you have any questions please comment or email me!


Friday, July 28, 2017

What I Keep In My Purse When Traveling

Hey guys,

I love to feel prepared, especially when traveling. If I can use a small purse I will always use it. My go to small purse is this one by J Crew. I love how simple it is and how it matches almost every outfit. Since I am a bit of a freak when it comes to traveling, I feel like I need to be prepared for anything.

I think it is important to get a great bag. I love mine because the size is small enough where I don't feel like I am carrying around my entire suit case and large enough for my wallet, phone, and all my other essentials. Another amazing part of this bag is that it comes with a  lock and key. That gives me some peace of mind while traveling. I think this bag is a great option, but I do think it was expensive for such a small purse but I think it has passed my test.

So finally, here is what I keep in my purse when I am traveling.

Wallet- I use a Kate Spade wallet and it isn't my favorite thing. I love the color and the size, but it really bugs me that there is no space for coins. I think before school starts (ahhhhh) I am going to get myself a new wallet. I always like to keep my wallet on me because every place does things differently. I think its important to keep money on you- for example in Peru you have to pay to use a bathroom. 

Hand Sanitizer- I like to use the Honest Company hand sanitizer because its a spray hand sanitizer and it is fairly cheap. It also smells super yummy. I get grossed out super easily and feel better when I know I have hand sanitizer. 

Lotion- My favorite lotion is from Origins and it is so moisturizing. It is a hand cream so it is very thick. Not everyone enjoys it because of how thick it is or the price. It is really expensive but when you make purchases at Origins, they sometimes give you them for free or for a discounted price. BTW- Origins is my go to for all skin care, it has never failed me and and completely changed my skin. 

Pens- My favorite pens are the Le Pens and I always carry them in my bag. For some reason I always need to sign receipts in another country and sometimes its quicker if I have my own pen. I also always want to write something down when in a car or something. 

Perfume- I like to keep the roller ball of my favorite perfume on me because I hate smelling gross. I also hate smelling things that are gross, so if I am ever in a situation where something smells not so good, I just roll on some perfume and smell it. I instantly feel better.

Lip Balm- I always get chapped lips and I hate them. It is gross and I think the only lip balm that works for me is Vaseline. They honestly have the best ones and they have all sorts of cute flavors. They are also super small so they fit practically everywhere, especially in a small purse. 

Lip Stick- When traveling you never know when you are in the perfect spot for a picture. I think lip stick is the quickest way to spruce myself up and get photo ready. I have a few go to's but I think mt favorite is by Burt's Bee's because its moisturizing and has great pigment.

Tissues- So maybe I have allergies, but I think I sneeze about a million times a day. It doesn't really bother me, but sometimes I feel like tissues are important to keep. People always joke that I act like an old person with my weird tissues in my purse. Honestly you never know when you need tissues because life happens. I would always rather be safe then sorry.

Scrunchies- Scrunchies aren't the cutest things ever and sorry if you think they are. However they work great when you want to pull your hair up and you don't want a gross kink in your hair. I usually just get the cheap ones from target because I always end up loosing them.

Phone Charger- I recommend bringing a phone charger with a plug for that country because having a dead phone in a place you know sounds horrible. I can't even imagine how much that would stir up my anxiety. I think its just safe to keep one just in case.

Girl Products- I have recently learned that some countries do feminine products differently. I now carry my own with me at all times because going into a weird store to buy something that you aren't comfortable with sucks. Again, life happens and its better to be prepared.

I loved writing this one because I honestly love reading about what other people keep in their bags.  I also do not keep all this stuff with me in my purse at home.

Have a great day,
Allie