Thursday, November 10, 2011

Swan and Shadow

It's been almost a month since I've blogged, and this time, it hasn't been because I've been too busy. My love for writing comes and goes, and it got to the point where posting every week was becoming more of a hassle than anything else. I've had a lot on my mind the past month or so, too much to fully allow myself to pour my thoughts out in writing.

But I'm back, still in shock that it's November and I'm almost halfway through with sophomore year. Before I know it, I'll be in a cap and gown receiving my diploma. Or hopefully receiving one, if I can get through school.

I'll give you a quick recap of the past month.
Declared a minor in Southern Studies, had a wonderful Halloween and Parent's Cocktail, visited Vanderbilt, became a certified addict to 3 cups of coffee a day, helped Cam choose her wedding dress, spent more time reading emails and browsing pinterest than doing homework, and got a job at The Daily Tar Heel. My little also started her own blog, and one of my best friends here at school started blogging for Scope Magazine found here. Holla.

Also, I just couldn't help posting this poem today. We're discussing it in one of my classes, and I love that the meaning and the shape of the poem go hand-in-hand. Beautiful.

Swan and Shadow
It's good to be back.

Monday, October 3, 2011

October Goals

Rabbit rabbit.
Skipped the nap and chose to blog in the kitchen, thanks to Hannah's encouragement and a cup of iced coffee. Here's a couple pictures from the weekend:
October. For me, it's a month stacked with fall festivities, midterm exams, and weekend trips.

This past weekend, after coming back from Greenville, I spent my Sunday relaxing at home. And it was lovely. Life at school has been so fast-paced that it almost felt like I've forgotten how to just take a deep breath and give my body some time to rejuvenate. My mom made my favorite chicken salad and vegetable soup and I cuddled in a blanket on the couch for most of the afternoon. And of course we shopped a little too, hitting up Marshalls and T.J. Maxx as per usual. (I bought a beautiful new suitcase for fall break!) It was just like those Sunday afternoons I remember in high school. A day of rest, not a day of cramming for the exams I put off studying for. I desperately needed that yesterday.

I've realized that I won't be able to spend much time with my family until Thanksgiving, besides a couple day trips back to Raleigh here and there. It's a little sad, to say the least, because I've missed those comforts that being home can only give you. Growing up isn't always what it's cracked up to be, y'all.

This week's a bit easier, so I'll finally have some time to get my life back on track in terms of mental sanity, exercise, and sleep.

The goals--
Take time to unwind. At least give myself one or two afternoons/nights a week to sip pumpkin lattes, watch Hulu, or catch up with friends...just because.
On that note, I do need to get ahead in the schoolwork department before the weekend hits. Since I have yet to get anything accomplished on Fridays and Saturdays.
Get on the ball with studying abroad. (Long story, but it's looking like a semester abroad has instead turned into a few weeks during the summer. Just can't bear being away from Carolina for that long.)
Clean out my closet. Summer things out. Fall things in.
Give others a chance, even if I don't see any point or immediate result right away.
Accept challenges in school as beneficial and rewarding.
Stop seeking security and instead focus on developing my patience.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mallard Ball Eve = the equivalent of Christmas Eve

Well almost.

This weekend (excuse me, the next few weekends) are going to be a blast. Between Mallard Ball, the ECU/UNC game, wedding and bridesmaid dress shopping, Gatlinburg, and NASHVILLE, I can hardly contain myself.

Sophomore year, I'm really lovin' you. Need I say more?
Here's a photo of MBall last year...of course I was sporting the neon orange vest and the short haircut. Not so cute. This year, I'm stepping up my game.

And now on to wedding ideas, Cam here's my current pinterest loves:

Friday, September 23, 2011


This year, I'm going to have the privilege to work as Assistant Features Editor for Scope, UNC's fashion and lifestyle magazine. After hearing more about it from the Senior Features Editor, coincidentally another ADPi who I absolutely adore, I knew it was something I wanted to try for myself. The magazine puts together four issues throughout the school year, as well as a few premier parties and a spring fashion show.

Stephanie, the Senior Features Editor, gave me some great advice yesterday that I thought I would post, just as little reminders to myself.
-- Fashion editorial or other magazine writing/pr or marketing type jobs are influential and successful careers, don't let anyone tell you they're not. Even if you're not going to law school or med school or studying to be on the high end of the business world, doesn't mean you're a failure.
-- Follow your heart. However cliche this may sounds, it's probably one of the best phrases of inspiration out there. If you've always wanted to work for a specific company or write what you love most, then find a way and pursue it.
-- Don't let anyone bring you down. Whoever that may be. Guys, professors, your friends, or your parents.
-- Play up your strengths. Always, always, always.

Friday, September 16, 2011

a fresh breath of fall

Don't these potato wedges just look divine?

It's a given. Fall is my favorite time of year.

For one, the clothes. Two, the food. Three, all the activities and events, little things to look forward to that make the days slip by. Even though midterms are creeping up on me soon, this first month of sophomore year has really felt, in essence, like a fresh start. It's been so much more relaxed and enjoyable, which I can partly say in thanks to living in a house. Just having coffee brewed in the morning and a serene chilly walk to class is enough to make me a happy girl.

My week was filled with meetings, movie nights, a mixer at La Res, and homework involving an art history book twice the size of one of those huge family Bibles. And this weekend is another busy one. Big/little reveal, UNC vs. Virginia football game, chapter retreat, a friend's birthday brunch, and I've also got to squeeze some work in and tackle that to-do list of craft projects and errands.

But once again I will comment on how sweet it is to be in Chapel Hill on a crisp "fall-like" Friday.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Life Update

Open house round.
Skit round.
House tours.
Pref night.

Because for one, I have my life back!

Rush is over. It's bittersweet really, after all those hours we put into practicing each and everyday. I now longer have an excuse to not do my homework anymore, but ADPi ended up with some of Carolina's best (and I must say prettiest) girls. From the first round to pref night, I absolutely loved getting to know the girls visiting our house while getting closer to the girls already in my sorority. Rush is a crazy whirlwind of no sleep, mouth aches from smiling so much, and sore bodies, but it probably will remain a highlight of this year. Rush might not be for everyone, but I grew to love (almost) every minute of it.

My best friend is getting married. I woke up to a text with a picture of her ring that read, get ready to start planning a wedding! I don't think I have hyperventilated the way I did that morning. Holy crap. I am so happy for her, and couldn't be more excited for her and her fiancee to start their life together. So in the midst of school and everything going on this year, I have a wedding to help plan. Procrastination at its finest. But I could scream I am so excited for May 12th, 2012.

And on to the last life update. I decided to live in a house next year with my girls right off campus, and I am already about to jump off the wall in excitement. (I've been in this incredible mood ever since I got back to Chapel Hill so please excuse my "I can hardly contain my excitement" expressions). It's going to be so nice, relaxing, and perfect for junior year--I can already feel it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Things I love, Friday edition.

1. A fresh start to the school year, complete with new professors.
2. Seeing the beginnings of deepening friendships.
3. Ephesians 3:20 which says,
Can someone please remind me of this truth every single day?
4. Lunch dates with good friends.
5. An online boutique called Vestique, created by two NC State girls. Their game day section is the bomb, check 'em out.
6. Quiet morning walks through campus.
7. Busy nights and lazy afternoons.
8. Swapping shoes.
9. The shorts pictured above.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pi Pi ADPi


Back for my second year at Carolina. And it's already been amazing.
I'll begin with stating how much I love living in the house. Living here is certainly different than what I expected. It's not always crazy, I can find peace and quiet when I need it, and there are girls around when I need someone to talk to. I'm pretty sure I can get used to the smell of biscuits in the oven when I wake up for my 8 am and afternoons spent in the rocking chairs on the porch. I'm in a quad room in the back of the house with another sophomore and a junior (pictures to come later when our room is actually together).

The past week has been filled with rush practice, of which has caused my voiceto sound like a dying frog, and of the start of classes. It's such an exciting, exhausting time of year, but I have no complaints as of yet. Seeing the freshman around campus makes me think aboutlast year and how much things have changed since. Maybe it's just because I've gotten used to how things go around here, but I'm loving this calmness and everything is going to work out attitude I'm feeling lately. I sure wish I could tell my freshman self that this time last year.

Off to more studies and memorizing rush songs...
Like it, love it, ADPi.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hebrews 6:19

I love the rest of this verse as well as the next one which says, "It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus has entered on our behalf. He has become high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."

Beautiful words to meditate on this morning. This kind of certainty and promise is not something the world can offer. Security is something I for one continually seek. Security in school, security in my abilities, security in relationships, security in my image and how others perceive me. But He is the only person who remains steadfast and unchanging. We have to accept that fact before we can fully rest on the hope that He provides.

Going on a bit of a tangent, but if you ever get a chance to stop by Jubala coffee in Raleigh, GO. I've spent this gorgeous morning sipping coffee, being serenaded by Bon Iver, and I am always encouraged by the number of people in here studying God's word. Also, 10% of their profits go directly to families and children in Africa. Man, I really am going to miss this place when I head back to Chapel Hill.

Monday, August 8, 2011

August Goals

After almost a month, I'm back. And I was right, the month of July flew by before I could hardly catch my breath. The month was filled with long days of work, a weekend trip to celebrate a dear friend's birthday, and shopping dates with mom. But now I can hardly fathom that I head back to Carolina in just 10 days for my second year.

The feeling of going back is quite different than last year. There's a peace and an excitement for this semester to begin. I'm ready to see my friends, I'm ready for the Summit on Sunday mornings, I'm ready for fall classes, I'm ready for mixers and cocktails and sorority living. Fall might not be the beginning of a new year, but it always seems like a fresh start.

My goals for these next 10 days/the rest of this crazy month:
  • capture some last summer pictures to hang up in the sorority room.
  • email teachers about study abroad recommendations.
  • search for more job/internship opportunities on campus for the fall.
  • organize, organize, organize and pack, pack, pack for school.
  • shop for new school supplies.
  • read The Help and Water for Elephants poolside.
  • catch up with friends I haven't been able to see all summer.
  • find some new music artists to update itunes.
  • kick up my workouts.
Compliments of pinterest. Football season is right around the corner, and even though Carolina has been bombarded by controversy lately, I can't help but be pumped for tailgates and the energy that surrounds campus on game day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Life is precious.

I will preface this post by stating what a week it has been.

Crazy how in a split second, life can just throw you for a loop. Tonight, on my way home from work, I got into a car accident. I first should add it was raining, the first part of this week has not been the easiest, and I was feeling dehydrated and drained from the sun. Okay so. I got into the wrong lane to exit on the highway and while attempting to merge into the other turn lane to make a u-turn so I wouldn't have to backtrack a car behind me came up fast and smashed into my driver's side mirror and front fender. Awesome luck, right? I hate changing lanes in the first place, but I honestly did not see him whip up that fast. And as we continued to block traffic for the next twenty minutes to wait on the dreadfully slow police to get there, I of course was a nervous wreck. That feeling you get when you hear another car crush yours, in the pit of your stomach, man I do not ever want to experience that again. Oh and the best part of standing outside in the dripping rain with a dead phone and smelling like camp lake water? It was just a little past rush hour on one of the busiest roads in Raleigh. I'm sure it was a sight.

As much as I can complain about what happened and feel sorry for myself, the accident was in a way a reminder. Perfection is something I can never attain. Just when I feel like my life is going the way I want it to and everything is lining up in a neat little fashion, I get knocked down a few notches. Which is probably the best thing for me at the moment. I don't believe for a second that some purpose is behind it either. I have to be thankful for the man behind the other wheel, for him keeping calm throughout the whole ordeal, and that neither of us were hurt. For all I know, if I turned my steering wheel a couple more inches to the left, I could have become paralyzed, or worse. My sweet little Honda did teach me a life lesson or two tonight. I'm not invincible, and life is precious.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Front Row Challenge

I had the privilege of taking photos and helping style this lovely girl for an internship position I'm applying for next summer with Marie Claire. I am in no way a photographer, but I gave it my best shot. Here were my top picks.
Work/job interview.
Everyday attire.
Saturday night date night.
And last but not least my favorite outfit, brunch with friends.
She's the best.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

oh hey, July

It's July 2nd, and I'm convinced that this summer is flying by, more so than any other year. Anyone else feel this way?

Home again, home again. I think the worst part about coming home from a vacation is the whole unpacking part. No, I don't want to wash out the salty smell of my beach cover-ups nor do I want to shake the sand out of my shoes. My duffel bag might just sit on my floor for a couple days before I see it fitting to pull all my stuff out.

So as I reminisce, here's my list of the wonderful things I'll miss about my past week in the Outer Banks...
The fresh seafood. The miles and miles of docks around our condo. Feeding the ducks. The smell of coconut tanning oil. The long walks on the beach. The boat rides. The feeling of sunshine on my skin. Reading novels in a day. Climbing Jockey's Ridge. Fishing with my family. Singing knee deep in the water somewhere when I'm actually knee deep in the water somewhere. Wine on the deck. Reading the sixth edition of matchbook on that cozy light blue couch, coffee in hand. Getting out of the shower feeling rejuvinated after hours on the beach. Watching dolphins swim by the shore. Drooling over the yachts in our backyard.
Oh, to be back on vacation. It was sad leaving, especially on this holiday weekend when everyone is packing up and going to the coast for time in the sand and sun, and to watch the fireworks over the ocean. For me, it's going to be a week of road tripping to Charlotte to see my Carolina girls, essay writing, working closing shifts at Loft, and planning another fun-filled weekend. I'm crossing my fingers that this week doesn't pass by as fast as the last.

My favorite photo during our stay is this one of my Dad and I relaxing at the marina's precious little tiki hut. I'm already missing that place...
"I still find each day to short
for all the thoughts I want to think,
all the walks I want to take,
all the books I want to read,
and all the friends I want to see."
John Burroughs.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Coastal Living

Finally. The vacation I've been longing for all summer is here. And where exactly am I you ask? North Carolina's beautiful Outer Banks. I haven't been here in ages, and I'm already in dreamland. A week to myself, well for the most part, to fish, swim, eat seafood, jet ski, and lay in the sand. Heavenly. Our place is literally right on the sound, off the marina in Maneo. I'm confident that being surrounded by water is the perfect remedy for any ailment or stress.

Exciting Saturday night plans for me? My sweaty post-beach run self is watching the sun go down and the boats pass by off our patio. Pure bliss.
Side note: Good ol' Avett was stuck in my head the whole ride down.
"Are you feeling, feeling, feeling like I'm, feeling
Like I'm floating, floating, up above that big blue ocean
Sand beneath our feet, big blue sky above our heads,
No need to keep stressing from our everyday life on our minds
We have got to leave all that behind" At The Beach.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Into The Mystic

and Free, by Zac Brown Band and Van Morrison. Can it get any better this? The fiddle part at the beginning gives me chills; listen.

We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the mystic
Hark, now here the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

photo thanks to pinterest

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

french press, a blueberry waffle, and good conversation.

This morning wrapped up in one word: idyllic. I met up with one of my favorite and dearest teachers from high school at a new coffee shop that I have fallen in love with. (And yes I just ended my sentence with a preposition.) From the warehouse feel, to the ink and pen drawings, to the french press coffee, it's absolutely perfect. No more Starbucks for me this summer. But what was really wonderful about this morning was catching up with my sweet friend. She offered godly advice about life at Carolina, and for two hours we caught up about this past year. Seeing her was such a great way to spend a relaxing summer morning.
Now I'm off to spend some quality time with my Politics in the Americas book, while I try not to overdose on caffeine, keep myself from cracking open The Time Traveler's Wife instead of doing my work, and not think about me skipping the gym today. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Time for an update. Not that I've been extremely busy or anything, but summer in itself in its glorious amounts of chill time that I have waited all year long to enjoy.

Things I'm currently loving...
That it's the first day of summer, and I've already been on break for over a month. Purebarre, a mix of pilates and dance-inspired muscle training that will tone up your tush in no time. But be ready to sweat. My lifeguard job at a summer camp, easiest thing ever. Besides the cleaning up kids' bloody toes part. Jason Aldean's latest album, it's been playing in my car nonstop. Floppy hats, new mix and match swimsuits, and the feeling that a week in the Outer Banks is almost here. My discount at Loft, however dangerous it is to my checking account. Bike rides, I forgot how much I used to love them as a child. JP on the Bachelorette and Rory McIlroy, need I say more? My 96 on my Poli-sci midterm, thank you Carolina for summer school and grade curves!

A couple nights ago I picked up Redeeming Love off my bookshelf and started reading it again. And let me tell you, it's better the second time. The first time I read it was the end of junior year, but so much has changed since then that the story about God's deliverance and a man's love has hit me in a whole new way. I'm also searching for some new reads to bring with me to the beach, and I desperately need recommendations. Please help a girl out.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Blog (a day late)

Perfect birthday party setting, don't you think? Those flowers + that tablecloth, just dreamy.

I can't believe it's been a year since I first started Brunch at Julie's. It's been quite a roller coaster of a year. This time last year I was anticipating college, anxious about where it would take me and what kind of life I would find there. But now in reflection, it's funny how in just a year my perspective has completely changed. Last night I went out to dinner with a good friend and we chatted about almost everything that could sum up the past months we've spent away from home. We found it crazy, and completely amazing, how God has worked by opening up the right doors at the right time. Prayers were answered. We realize now how silly our impatience for certain things really was. This particular friend is now facing an extremely difficult time due to her father's cancer, but you know what? Her attitude is still pointed in the right direction. She's hopeful and thankful, with this beautiful peace of mind that everything will turn out how it's supposed to. What an incredible testimony.

Monday, June 13, 2011

College Shopping List, for the grads.

Here it is, my just-graduated girls. I remember having a difficult time figuring out what I needed/didn't need at college and what I needed to prepare before move-in day. Dorms are small, but here's a list (in my opinion) of what you might want to pack and some extra tips to consider. Hope this helps on your summer shopping endeavors!

Necessary items:
  • Portable drying rack. I hardly dry anything in the dryer, so this was a must-have for me.Will save you from having to wait so long for your laundry to dry downstairs as well.
  • Towel wrap to wear out of the shower. Trust me, you'll want this when you're getting ready to go out with your friends.
  • Storage boxes/bins/etc. You'll want to keep everything organized. I even labeled some of the boxes so I knew exactly what should be in them.
  • Bed risers.
  • Notebooks. No more high school binders, think about getting a couple 3 subject ones to separate between your Tuesday/Thursday and your Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes.
  • Highlighters, pens, pencils, post-its, page markers, ruler, stapler/staples, you know the drill.
  • Foam mattress pad. Seriously, I didn't think a dorm bed could be so comfortable.
  • Swiffer. If you have wood floors like I did AND you have long hair, this is quite necessary.
  • A id wallet (I recommend the Vera Bradley ones) to hold your college id, debit card, and keys to quickly slip in your book bag before class. You won't want to drag around your purse all day.
  • A quality, sturdy book bag. North Face is the most popular on college campuses right now, but just find one that will easily tote all your books and your laptop.
  • Laptop case. Also vital.
  • A good planner. The ones they give you for free on move-in day are crap. I'm still using my Lilly one that I bought in August, they are the best for planning out your week!
  • Photo paper, to print recent pictures you've taken at college that you might want to put up in your room.
  • Plenty of blank cds and memory sticks. I recommend buying an external hard drive to store anything that you don't want on your computer. Make sure you also clean up your folders on your comp so everything is organized when you get there. I make a new folder for every semester, and then additional folders for each class. Helpful, people.
  • Fan. My dorm was always smokin' hot, so definitely consider bringing one.
  • Earplugs. If you're a light sleeper like me, I can't stress this enough.
  • Large duffel bag, a couple bathing suits, and a beach towel. For those unexpected weekend trips!
  • Rain jacket, umbrella, and rain boots. You'll be thankful on rainy, stormy days where you have to trek across campus.
  • One of those Turvis Tumblrs. I used mine all the time to load up on caffeine before hitting the library.
  • A couple food storage containers. I ended up bringing way too many, so just a couple will do.
  • Zip-loc bags, wet wipes, tissues, and paper towels.
  • Cleaning supplies for your fridge, your computer, and if you'll have a suite, your bathroom.
  • Extra ink toner, computer paper. But make sure you take advantage of your school's printing allowance, I made the mistake of not using any of my allowance until probably the last month of classes.
  • Lint brush, sewing kit, and safety pins.
  • Coffee mug/maker. I actually ended up bringing my coffee maker home and instead used a coffee press every morning, but bring what works for you!
  • Thank-you notes, cards, envelopes, stamps, and a list of addresses. I'm a big note-writer, so I bought a ton of stationary, but you'll want some things on-hand to send to your family and friends.
  • Brita water filter. My roommate and I used this thing to death.
  • A jewelry/accessory rack to hang in your closet. I used it to store my belts and scarves.
  • A throw blanket and a lap desk, especially if you think you're going to study in your room. I ordered a car monogram to put on my lap desk, just to personalize it a bit.
  • Extra toiletries. I stored mine in one of those ottomans you can find at Target or any home store.
  • Small ironing board and iron. I really didn't use mine all that much, but it's good to have just in case. The ironing board is also great for making forts during exam time when you should be studying. Hah.
  • If you're only going to bring a few pairs of shoes to school, these are the ones that you absolutely need: a comfortable pair to wear to class, flip-flops that you don't care about getting wet, a good pair of running tennis shoes, a pair of black pumps, cowboy boots, winter boots (not uggs, perhaps riding boots), wedges for more casual occasions, and fancier sandals.
  • Nail polish stash. You'll make instant friends.
  • A satchel. You'll want one.
  • Yoga pants to throw on for class cause norts just don't cut it in the wintertime.
  • A stash of sports bras. You'll live in these.
  • Order checkbooks. Once again, especially if you're going Greek.
  • Power strips and extension cords to hook up all your electronics.
  • A hamper/laundry bag that's easy to tote downstairs and to-and-from home. I think I bought three, actually. Probably over-the-top, but I can't stand wearing dirty clothes.
  • Good headphones. For the gym, library, etc.
  • Book light.
  • Chip clips and a coozie.
  • Plastic hooks to hang your jackets/purses/etc.
  • Dry-erase board with markers. Get this cheap.
  • A journal. I kept mine on my nightstand, right where I could get to it in the morning or before bed.
  • Instead of buying all your books from the student store, check out My suitemates told me about this site, and I'm hooked. Saves SO much money.
  • Monogram your towels, especially if you'll have a hall style bathroom. It makes keeping up with them a lot easier.
  • Personally, I hate the look of those rolling desk chairs. Try covering in a cute fabric in your room colors! (This also goes for a DIY bulletin board).
  • Instead of bringing hangers from your closet at home, buy those thin velvet hangers you can find at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. They are great for saving precious closet space!
  • I can't stress this enough, you don't have to bring a full set of plates, bowls, cups, and utensils. I bought so much dinnerware for my future apartment, thinking I would bring it just in case for my first year, and boy was I wrong. I recommend bringing a couple of each.
  • If you're thinking about joining a sorority, you're going to get more t-shirts than you ever thought imaginable. I bought one of those rolling plastic stacking drawers, just for t-shirts, and it also served as my nightstand. (Hint: just bring a few of your high school t-shirts because you really won't wear them, except for bed or maybe as work-out attire).
  • On that note, only bring clothes that you will wear. Why I decided to bring every color J Crew t-shirt I own who knows. I probably only wore 1/3 of my closet the whole year. Make sure you pack layers, invest in some cute going-out clothes, dresses for football games, Nike shorts, and bring things that you can mix-and-match.
  • Check out stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Homegoods every week. They are constantly getting new shipments in and you'll want to snatch them up early before everything gets gone. Also remember that not everything in their "college section" is worth the money. Think of what you'll use after this year and what you'll want to have in an apartment or house someday. I found some great deals at these places though for frames and desk items.
  • Shop at Target for some things. Almost everyone is going to go there for bedding, lamps, etc. so think outside the box. You can even make your own curtains and pillows, and look at stores online for bedding.
  • Choose your colors wisely. Will you really be happy living with bright orange things all year?
  • Bring a watch, or a couple. I found out how convenient they are, so you don't have to pull out your phone to check the time while you head to class.
  • I never wore much jewelry in high school, but boy do girls lay it on in college. Stock up on some statement pieces that will instantly dress up an otherwise boring outfit.
  • Come up with a storage option for your shoes and your hair accessories. I stored my shoes under the bed in two big pull-out drawers, and organized my hair things in a box, separate from my makeup. You could try hanging your shoes, but I couldn't bare to use any room in my closet that wasn't for clothes.
  • Unless you really want to bring iPod speakers, just use your computer for playing music. Saves space.
  • Think about getting a big canvas storage bin for your textbooks. I put mine under my desk, so my books wouldn't be thrown around all over the room.
  • Buy a cute lamp. You will never use those bendy ones after your first year.
  • Try to make your space as homey as possible, look for big photo frames that will dress up those god awful blank walls.
  • Store your necklaces on a jewelry holder so that they won't get into a tangled mess.
  • Think about getting a cover for your laptop; skinit has great options. You'll be carrying that precious thousand dollar thing everywhere.
  • I used cute place mats to line my desk drawers, and I even put one on top of my dresser so it wouldn't get scratched. Dorm room furniture isn't the best quality.
  • If you're going to school close to home, switch out your clothes by season. You don't need a winter coat in August, and take those summer shorts home over fall break.
  • Take extra ribbon, pledge hooks, and tape move-in day. It's a crazy, long day in itself and you don't want to be running out to the store every five seconds.
As I think of more things this summer, I'll add to the list. It's a bit scattered, but I hope you've found it helpful! If you have any questions about anything or want any more advice on college shopping in general, just leave a comment.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Live, Love, Loft

Style? Casual chic.
Atmosphere? Upbeat.
Service? Helpful and easy-going.

I've worked up a boatload of hours at Loft lately, and I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. The job is by no means an internship or any kind of loaded salary position, but I do love it. I love working with customers, helping them find the right fit and offering styling advice. I love helping out on crazy afternoons when the store seems like its exploding. I even don't mind refolding the same shirt four times if that means the customers are liking what new shipments are in that week. I like seeing the regulars come in, on-the-go moms hurrying to try on clothes before they have to pick their kids up from school. But retail is a whole new ball game for me. Working a register, SO easier said than done. Overall though, Loft is a great place to work. I'm thankful to have this job this summer, being that I hope to apply for some internships next summer. Just trying to rack up that cash before then!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I'm slacking.

(And currently craving a new pair of cowboy boots.)

Excuse my blogging laziness for the past few days, but my life feels like its taken a three hundred and sixty degree turn since last week. Can't complain. Posts will return on a regular basis soon, pinky promise.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Barefoot Blue Jean Night

Man I love this girl. Whether we're dancing the night away, laughing until our stomachs hurt, or gushing to each other about everything that's going wrong, we'll always be there for each other. She's a friend that I'll never take for granted.

So I guess it's time for an update. I've been feeling pretty uninspired lately, sortofkindofwantingtogetoutofthistown? Good 'ol Rals is getting old. Sure I love Loft and I love being back at camp, but I'm starting to think I might have a little spark of my brother in me. Just a little.

On the other hand, the past couple days have put me in a good (need a better word) mood. So here's my playlist for the weekend, country version. Hope you like!
:: Barefoot Blue Jean Night Jake Owen. Uh hello post title.
:: Just A Kiss Lady Antebellum.
:: Dirt Road Anthem Jason Aldean. Aka the song on everyone's Twitter and FB. (Guilty).
:: Carolina Eric Church.
:: Knee Deep Zac Brown Band. Perfect song for a day at the beach.
:: Crazy Girl Eli Young Band.
:: You Lie The Band Perry. That song you wanna sing at the top of your lungs with the windows rolled down.
:: Coming Home Gwyneth Paltrow.
:: Old Alabama Brad Paisley, you make me melt.
:: What Do You Want Jerrod Niemann.
:: Wanna Take You Home Gloriana.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


"And so with the sunshine and the great burst of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow fast in movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."
Oh, Gatsby.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Lazy Days of Summer

This long weekend in Maryland was a wonderful respite, a nice break before everything picks up again. Despite the mosquito bites and the humidity, I loved spending time with my grandfather and my family, sipping sweet tea out of mason jars and relaxing on the porch. We ate dinner at the Cambridge airport, at this cute little country restaurant that had this to-die-for coconut cake. My cousin's wedding was beautiful, she looked absolutely stunning and I loved how she incorporated her blended family in the ceremony. Right down to the beachy, casual theme and the cupcake table I was in heaven. Mmmhm. Heading back home today, we stopped in Fredericksburg, Virginia for lunch. And let me tell you, that town has picaresque Southern charm. Downtown window shopping and eating on the side of the street with our dog was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I didn't want it to end.
So it's back to reality. Between working two jobs and taking a summer school course, I'm a busy little bee this week. Summer is still just getting started, and I really want this one to be worthwhile. Letsss go, Jules. You betcha I'll be the girl tanning poolside with a textbook, if I ever find myself with an afternoon free that is.

And one more thing, I can't believe that one of my good friends is jet setting for Africa, the other is in Sweden, and my brother leaves for Japan for three months on Tuesday. Travel prayers are flying high!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Going to the Chapel

Twine wrapped peonies, aren't you just in love?
This weekend I'm headed to Maryland for my cousin's wedding. Since it's in a small town, I can go ahead and predict that it will be a big to-do. It'll be near the waterfront, and I've been looking forward to this trip for almost a month. I'm so happy for my cousin, she's gone through a lot and she deserves her happy ending. All I've got to do is pack and slip my new turquoise dress and heels in the suitcase and we'll be on the road.

Going to Maryland, especially for a wedding, is bittersweet. This will be the third time I've stayed at my grandparents' house without my grandmother. I know how much she loved big events like this, where she could dress up in her fancy attire. After this bit of time has passed since she passed away though, the loss is becoming real. I miss her. She was such a thoughtful, warm person, and I wish I could say that she'll be sitting on the front row at my wedding one day. But on a more optimistic note, I know that she is experiencing an eternal happiness worth more than any day on earth, even a wedding day, can offer. She might not be celebrating with us this weekend, but she's celebrating with her heavenly family.

Monday, May 23, 2011


for Joplin, Missouri.
for Alabama.
for families living near the Mississippi River.
for the people of Japan.

Tornados, floods, earthquakes. It's devastating, even perplexing that so many natural disasters have happened in such a short period of time. It's almost impossible for me to watch the news now and not tear up at the heartbreaking stories of people who have lost everything. In most cases though, these people still have hope, remaining thankful that they are still alive and that their loved ones are safe. What an encouragement and incentive for me to focus on eternal matters, and not the things of this world.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My feet hurt.

Lesson from this weekend:
Don't wear my J. Crew wood flip-flops to work without any support, no matter how cute they are. Climbing up ladders + organizing stacks of clothes is not a good recipe for bad shoes. Owieee.

I'm sleepy and cranky and don't want to do homework tonight, so I'm complaining via blog. Sorry, y'all. A new post will hopefully be up soon!
Please excuse my bad mood, my weekend was really wonderful. I loved seeing my college girls! I miss each one of them so much. Shopping + cookie dough + Bananagrams + laughter + the Summit church + baptism celebrations, so loved it all. These girls are such blessings in my life, and they continue to inspire me daily.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Strikes My Fancy

And here you go, my top picks for the week.

Big, bold accessories.
Metallic skirts.
Neutrals. (And the bicycle please.)
Striped, knit tops.
Bright red nails.

Monday, May 16, 2011

because I love summer

Sportin' Loft.
And I'm as happy as a clam. It's amazing how good summer feels. A little summary: my stress level and anxiety are at an all time low, I'm making money working at my new job, and my summer class really isn't that bad. And I've been catching up with old friends and keeping myself active, but I've finally made time for me.

Part of me wishes I was going away for the summer, since it seems like everyone else is taking extravagant trips and I'm stuck here in Rals. But I think a summer like this is just what I need. A busy one working yes, but a summer meant for some time off to save for something in the near future. Studying abroad has constantly been on my mind and I cannot wait. My little homebody self needs to break out of its shell.

Hmm other news...I went to my first wedding shower for a friend my own age yesterday. Honestly, I had this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach the whole time like uhhh am I behind on preparing for the rest of my life? But really I was just being over-dramatic. Per usual. I know she's young, but it's still crazy to think that in the next few years, I'll be going to a lot of engagement parties, bridal showers, and weddings. Ahh the twenties are a big decade my friend.
Anywho, here's my first checklist for the summer:
  1. Repaint my room. Seafoam, coral, or light gold? Thoughts?
  2. Buy summer country concert tickets. (Aka find a date to buy me summer country concert tickets.)
  3. Pitch or donate things I don't wear/haven't worn in the past year or two. My closet is getting ridiculous.
  4. Transfer all paychecks to savings. Right away.
  5. Learn how to do basic cooking for myself. (Sweet treats do not fall under this category.)
  6. Make some cross-stiches for my adpi room next year.
  7. Catch up on the tv show seasons I've been meaning to watch.
  8. Road trip/beach trip/get out of town for the weekend every now and then.
  9. Sailing and boating and waterskiing and tanning and swimming and all of the above.
That's all I've got for now, I've just got to go figure out a way to get "I'm just a summer girl...I wear my flip-flops" out of my head. Ideas?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

the house that built me

It's been a week since I've been back at home and so far, I've had a lot of time on my hands that I'm not used to. Time to just be, I guess you could say. Time spent cooking in the kitchen with my mom, time spent walking around our neighborhood lake, time spent getting back into my summer routine. Coming home from a crazy year away can be boring and somewhat depressing (I'm sure I'll learn this the hard way), but home is where I feel most grounded, most like myself.

I've come to appreciate living in the same house all my life, even though that didn't use to be the case. I always wanted to move somewhere else, have that thrill of house-hunting and starting fresh. But no, not now. I love coming back here, for home has become a beautiful place of comfort and blissful solitude.

The past couple nights I've stayed awake in my bedroom, my room of so many memories, meditating on something that I feel has been purposely placed on both my heart and my mind.
So many things can tear us down. We compare ourselves to others and feel inadequate; we constantly desire to be loved and praised for our talents and our looks. Someone else will always appear to have the perfect balance of intelligence, beauty, social life, future aspirations, and captivating personality. It can be frustrating, to feel that you can never measure up to this person.
The thing is, God doesn't set standards of perfection. He sees us as His daughters, beautiful and blameless, worthy of His love. He accepts us despite our inadequacies.
Believe, and not just know, that you are treasured, adored, loved, and protected. Let the unwavering truth of our Lord's great affection sink down deep into the foundations of your heart. This isn't something you'll master in just a day, it's a lifelong process of accepting God's acceptance.
"The undiminished radiance, which is the result of abundant joy, is not built on anything passing, but on the love of God that nothing can change. And the experiences of life, whether they are everyday events or terrifying ones, are powerless to "separate us from the love of God... (Romans 8:39)"

Monday, May 9, 2011

May 9th.

The Spoleto Festival is in just a few weeks, weekend escapade anyone?

In other news, I got a job. I'll be working at Ann Taylor Loft for the summer, and most likely lifeguarding some afternoons as well. Even after just a few days with not much to do, I'm already going stir-crazy. I need to get going again. (I might take back that statement when I start summer school tomorrow.)

Other news? I visited my sister in Tennessee this past weekend. It was definitely a good visit, she seemed to be doing well and was overall very happy. After not seeing her for almost four years, it took a lot of strength to want to open up and share. But God ultimately does work all things for good, and it was relieving to see that she was content.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


This website is amazing. I probably spent 3 hours last night (in my own cozy bed at home I might add) looking through all of the photos. Thank you RLT.

It's still in the works, but here's the link to my page.

Anddd I found this quote after many hours of blog browsing that I would like to share with you: "The world's favorite season is in the spring. Everything seems possible in May." Edwin Way Teale.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happiness hit her, like a train on a track

One final to go. Good time to blog? I think yes.

What a whirlwind of a year. I've started to pack up, okay maybe two duffel bag's worth, but I seriously can't believe how fast this year has gone by. At the same time, there's been so many changes, so many things in college that almost makes me look back at high school and think it was a million years ago, in terms of how I've grown.

These next three years are going to fly by too and that's the scary thought. Even yesterday when I was meeting with a sophomore from my sorority, she was telling me how fast life was happening for her. Internships, job offers, possible early graduation. And she's a sophomore.

So my lesson from this year: don't take this time for granted. Or wish it away. College can be this place to totally let your guard down and lose yourself, or it can be a place of growth and independence. I for one don't have it all together, but this semester especially I feel I've come quite a ways from that girl that graduated last June.
ps. I don't think it will come as any surprise if I'm not packed tomorrow morning when my parents arrive.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

your weekend

"Patient waiting is an important discipline for anyone who wants to learn to trust...waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one's thoughts. Waiting silently is the hardest thing of all."
Beautiful words of Elisabeth Elliot's Passion & Purity.
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