Unplug

I’m really not doing too hot on the whole blog thing, but it is something that I love to do, so I need to make it more of a priority for me. I spend so much time on my phone and my computer that sometimes writing feels like a chore. So, I’ve decided to delve back into what made me loving writing to begin with—books! I’ve had this ongoing list of books that I want to read and buy, but like many book lovers out there, I couldn’t help but be guilted by all of the books on my shelf that I purchased, but never got around to reading. I decided to pull out all the books that I hadn’t read yet, because surely there couldn’t be that many. I went shelf by shelf, watching my pile grow and grow to a whopping 28 unfinished books!

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I was shocked, but at the same time, I was like “Oh, it’s only 28?” In an attempt to motivate myself to read more, I gave myself a “no phone after 9PM” rule. Basically, this entailed setting my phone somewhere that it would not tempt me, and then forcing myself to be productive. It’s easy to convince yourself that you don’t have the time to read, or finish that project you started 6 months ago, or whatever other thing you might have put off. The truth is, time doesn’t just run away from you. You must decide what is worth your time and what should take the backseat.

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The first night was difficult, but I forced myself to read about 50 pages of a book that I’d gotten for Christmas, started, and then put down sometime after last spring semester. The book was Stephen King’s On Writing. I had specifically put it on my Christmas list, because I wanted to get serious about writing again. Without the temptation of checking Snapchat or watching Instagram stories, I suddenly was not able to put it down. I brought it with me to school, to work, basically anywhere that would maybe allow me to read for a few spare minutes. I finished it in a couple of days, and I felt completely refreshed and inspired to write and read more.

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Side Note: Anyone who is even remotely interested in writing, and I mean like real writing—the kind of writing that makes you want to lock yourself in a room for months on end, building this world and creating this story that just seems to burn through you like wildfire—if you’re into that kind of writing, then you should definitely read this book. I could feel his love for writing and books so fervently that I couldn’t help but be reminded of when I felt that way, too. Anyway, this isn’t a review, but it really was so good, and helpful, and comforting, and terrifying—it was everything.

The point of this post is that after a week of reading, instead of scrolling mindlessly through social media accounts, I read almost 3 books. By distancing myself from the constant content being produced on Instagram, Twitter, and everything else I obsess over, I was also able to see clearly what I care about seeing and what I just scroll or click past. Ultimately, unplugging allowed me to better budget my time so that my 24 hours are spent doing what I care most about. I hope that in the few weeks I have before fall semester begins, I can fine-tune this whole unplugging thing so that I can use it to my advantage.

So, maybe try distancing yourself from social media for a few hours and see how it affects your day. Let me know what things you do to unwind!

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Thanks for reading! And I will be back next week with another post! I promise.

Formal Lookbook

So this past Saturday was my sorority’s spring formal. It was a lot of fun, but I mean, anytime I get to hang out with Amberlyn and Cassandra is a good time. We got all dolled up and took tons of pictures, so here is a bunch of pictures that I took before we left.

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I really love this one because it looks like we are at prom!
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Here is the beautiful Cassandra, who is so photogenic that it should be a crime
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And the lovely Amberlyn! I like to imagine that she is thinking of me 🙂 but she’s probably thinking about her adorable new puppy!

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This is me and my friend, Darby.

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My absolute favorite picture of MAC 
So there you go! I hope you enjoyed these pictures. It was a lot of fun to capture these snapshots of my life, and I hope to continue with photography.

I know I haven’t been posting as frequently, but I’m trying to get back into the groove of things. As always, thanks for reading (or in this case, viewing)!

3 Reasons Why You Should Have a “Staycation”

For my spring break this year, I decided to have a “staycation” right here in Atlanta, Georgia. I probably spent as much money as I would have anywhere else, but it was all worth it. In fact, I highly recommend a staycation to everyone, and here is why:

Housing is Free

You don’t have the hassle of booking a hotel room or an Airbnb, and it also means you get to sleep in the comfort of your own bed (or air mattress, in my case). I spent most of the week in Kennesaw with my friend, Cassandra (check out what she’s been up to these past couple of weeks here!), which meant I spent most of the week on my air mattress, but it’s pretty comfortable compared to sleeping on the floor.

You Get to Experience New Things

We all have a list of things we’ve been meaning to do or see in the city that we live in, but we never get around to doing it. With a staycation, you can check off all of the things on your list. I hardly ever explore Atlanta because I hate driving in the city, but thankfully I had Cassandra and Phoenix (may she rest in peace) who graciously drove us everywhere. One of my favorite places I went to was Cinnaholic, which serves gourmet (vegan friendly) cinnamon rolls. You can pretty much have it made with whatever toppings you want. I got cream cheese icing with Oreo crumbles and cookie dough.

You Can Also Hit Up Your Favorite Places

Sometimes, when you are on vacation, you can be underwhelmed by certain attractions or maybe an experience wasn’t everything you thought it would be. With a staycation, you already know what to expect when you go to your favorite mall or amusement park. One of my favorite places in Atlanta is Ponce City Market, and during my staycation, I went there with a few friends. Going during the week was such a strange, but fun, experience because no one was there. There weren’t any crazy lines or packed boutiques. It was kind of refreshing.

I had such a wonderful spring break, and it was a treat to experience Atlanta as a tourist. If only it hadn’t been 30 DEGREES OUTSIDE, I would have enjoyed it more.

Real quick story time:

Just because you are familiar with a place doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cautious. One of my days of spring break, we went to the Marietta Square to walk around. While I was taking some pictures of my friends on one of the park benches, I heard footsteps quickly approaching. As I looked up, an old man (who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, or maybe even Satan) fell flat on his face as he was sprinting towards me. He stood up and claimed he was just coming to offer to take a picture of all of us together. As he said this, he reached out towards my phone. I told him I was fine because I just had my own little photoshoot a few minutes prior, but he was really insistent. I was about to just hand it over to get him to leave us alone, when the thought came to me that he might run off with my phone. So, I slid my phone into my purse and told him no once again. He finally walked away, saying something like, “I was just trying to do my one good deed for the day”. It was a very unsettling experience, but I’m glad everyone involved was okay, even him because he definitely took a dive.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you all have/had a great spring break!

March Ipsy Bag!

Good morning!

So last month, I decided to get an Ipsy subscription. A few ladies at my work were talking about it, and I really wanted to give it a try. 

And it’s finally here! 

When I first subscribed, I was too late for the February bag, but the March one is absolutely beautiful.  


It came with this cute inspirational card that you are supposed to pass on to someone else to spread the love, although I might just keep it for myself. 

But seriously, how beautiful is this bag! It has a black mesh overlay and the rose pink fabric is a soft canvas material. 

If you’ve never done Ipsy before, it comes with five beauty products with a mixture of sample size and full size products. 


The first product is INT Goddess Gold eyeshadow. It is a beautiful rose gold color and the gold really comes out on the skin. 


Next is the Air Repair Complexion-Boosting Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid. I tested it on my hand and it is very lightweight with a pleasant floral scent. It feels a little tingly after a while but it made my skin feel very soft afterwards. 


It also comes with a full sized Model Co. black crayon eyeliner. It is smudge and water resistant. In fact it was a pain to remove but that seems to be a trend with the eyeliner in my life. 


The bag also came with a sample sized Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in the color rosé. It is a very beautiful color and once it dries it becomes very matte. Some of the other liquid lipsticks I’ve tried have become kind of sticky and tacky but this is very nice. 


Finally, it came with a Beau Gâchis tapered blending brush. The brush is very soft and this might be what I’m most excited for because I was just thinking this morning about how I needed more eyeshadow brushes in my life. 


I hope you all enjoyed this “haul”! I’m so excited to do this for the future months. 

Beauty Favorites

I am far from a “beauty-guru”, but I do like to dabble every so often into makeup products. My most recent obsession is nail polish. I have always been a nail-biter (gross, I know), but I have made it a priority to grow out my nails. This also apparently means that I am physically incapable of resisting to buy every nail polish I come in contact with. If you want a great deal, check out the Sinful Colors Professional line available at Target (only $1.99!!!). I have three already  so far!

Eyes

If I had to get rid of everything and keep only one makeup product, it would be my Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette. I still think back fondly on the day I first bought it. I’ve had it for over a year and I absolutely love it.

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Another go-to for me is the Wet N Wild black liquid eyeliner. The brush is very stiff so its easy to get straight, dark lines. The only issue I currently face is that it is a huge pain to remove at night, leaving me with odd black marks along my eyelid. But no other eyeliner has come close to its accuracy, plus its super affordable. I know it’s technically water proof, but not even Holy Water from Heaven above could get this stuff off.

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Lips

A few months ago, I went to Atlanta with Cassandra. While there, I went to Sephora for the first time in my life (sad, I know). I was pretty overwhelmed at first and kept thinking that we would get in trouble for playing with the makeup. Somewhere between Cassandra doing my eyebrows and giving myself a manicure, I fell in love with the Kat Von B. Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (in the shade Lolita). It is such a beautiful color, but sometimes a little dark for everyday wear. However, Cassandra told me that they are almost never in stock, so I snagged it.

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Face

I’ve added a few new products to my (previously non-existent) skin care routine. The first is the Shea Moisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask which I’ve never really done before but now I’m obsessed with. I feel like a whole new person afterwards.

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I also recently purchased St. Ives new oil scrub. I use it at night to wash my face. Because it is an oil scrub, it can tend to make my already oil-prone face more oily, but I like the way it leaves me feeling refreshed. So I use it mostly as a way to wash my face after I remove my makeup. Side note: my friends would be so proud of the effort I’ve made to make sure my makeup is off before I go to bed.

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My next skin care product is e.l.f.’s Illuminating Eye Cream. It is supposed to get rid of those dark bags that accompany me throughout the day. I just bought it (like today) so I guess I can’t really call it a “favorite”, but I’m really excited to use it, so it counts!

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Body

My final beauty (?) product is this body wash that Cassandra has me hooked on. It is the Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap in the scent Tea Tree. When we lived together, I hated this stuff because it smelled like twigs, but it’s kind of grown on me, mostly because it leaves me feeling SO CLEAN. Seriously, my entire shower experience has changed. Whenever this one runs out (which will probably be when I’m 87), I want to try the lavender one.

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I hope you beauties enjoyed this post! Hopefully, this awakening I’ve had with beauty products will lead to more informed posts in the future.
***ALL IMAGES ARE FROM GOOGLE