Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Looking Back and 2016 Resolutions!

January is the month when everyone makes a list of goals they want to achieve by the end of the year, many of which tend to be the same. Many people don't make resolutions, because they don't see themselves following those resolutions past week one. However, I tend to like to set goals, since I often (or sometimes) find motivation to at least try to achieve some of those goals. I also tend to write these posts more for myself as an easy way to look back to see how I did throughout the year. If you are for any reason curious to see what I hope to achieve this year, read ahead!

Name 4 things you did in this past year that you're proud of.
         ∙ Saying "Yes" more. During the second half of the year, I learned that often times you can only benefit from saying yes to opportunities and miss out on the chances that you don't take. Saying yes and pushing myself helped me step out of my comfort zone and progress.
         ∙ Getting into shape. One of my goals at the beginning of the year was to be more healthy, and over the summer I pushed myself to eat better and workout more. In the end, I noticed change and felt better about myself as a whole.
         ∙ Learning to accept but not settle. Well, it's more like learning to learn how to accept parts of myself, whether it's physical or related to my personality. With that, I have also learned the importance of not settling and improving myself. Learning, acceptance, and growing is an ongoing process that I still have yet a lot to work on.
         ∙ Traveling by myself. I have never really traveled for a longer period of time by myself. Most of the trips I took while abroad were with other people, however, during my last week in France, I traveled by myself to two different cities, which was thrilling and something I have wanted to accomplish before going abroad.

Name 1 thing you wish you'd have done differently. To be honest, many of things that I wished that I had done differently in the beginning of the year I was able to change in the fall. However, I do wish that I would have had my future figured out more by the end of the year.

What was your biggest highlight this past year? Study abroad. I met some great and different people that I would have never met apart from that experience. I also had experiences that I would have never thought I would be able to do and fell in love with a language and city along the way.

Who do you want to thank for being amazing this year? The friends that I have made this year. I have learned that friendships don't necessarily last forever, but I have also learned that it's about the quality of the time, rather than the quantity. Although they may not know that they have made an impact, they are some of the people I have to thank for this being a good year.

What are your personal resolutions for next year?
          ∙ Have a permanent plan for the remaining years of college and after. I always had a future plan, but it is a matter of committing to a plan that I need to accomplish.
          ∙ Get healthy again and find a routine. After getting into a routine over the summer, but then four months of bread and cheese got the best of me. I'm not very happy with my body now, but after seeing where a healthy routine can take me, I am motived to get back into working out.
          ∙ Worry a little less about others and start putting myself first. I have a habit of putting others and their happiness before myself. Although this isn't necessarily a bad trait, I realized that it is also important to be a little selfish from time to time and sometimes put myself before others.
          ∙ Be Happy. This was my resolution last year, which I think I achieved, but being happy is an ongoing process that I hope I can continue throughout 2016.
          ∙ Make the most of the year, because your only 20/21 once.

Name 1 thing you want to check off your bucket list next year. Road trip. Doesn't matter when, where, or how long. I think that going on a road trip would be a great way to see different places and bond with friends or family. I would particularly want to road trip down the Pacific coast or through several states. Also applying to grad school as a more serious goal.

What's a resolution of yours?

I would love to read your responses below!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Favorites!

Wow, it's been a while since I have done a Friday Favorites posts. A lot has happened since my last Friday Favorites post (in October!), which I explained in a few recent posts and will post about more soon. The past two weeks have been a change transitioning to University life again back in the states. The beginning of the second quarter of junior year has thrown a somewhat overwhelming amount of work so far and it won't change anytime soon. Anyways, here are some of my favorites that I have found throughout the week.

Favorite Fashion Inspiration: Shearling Vest

Favorite Hair Inspiration


Favorite Food Inspiration: Oatmeal Lovin'

Favorite Quote

(Although I am only 20, this quote reflects some of the realizations I had last year. I may write a post with some reflections on the thought.)

What was a favorite of yours this week?

Thank you for reading!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Best of 2015!

I can't believe that I'm already doing a Best of 2015 post and that it's the start of 2016. I tried some new products and trends throughout the year, but a few of my favorites are repeats from past "Best of" posts (here and here). If you have been using the same products for a couple years straight, I guess that's when you know it's a good product. Here is a somewhat short compilation of products, trends, and random favorites from 2015.


Kiko Automatic Precision Eyeliner in "712" and "713"
I bought these eyeliners in France mainly because they were cheap and advertised as long lasting. The eyeliners quickly became one of my favorite eyeliners, since they are creamy, last all day, and easy to use. The color 712 is the perfect dark brown and 713 is a sparkly bronze-brown perfect for night outs. I just regret not buying more before I came back home.
The first time I used this mascara I wasn't a big fan. I found it clumpy and the formula too wet. However, after a little bit of getting used to, the mascara quickly became one of my favorites. It adds volume and length without clumping easily.

NYC Smooth Skin Sunny Bronzing Powder
This bronzer has been a cult favorite for years and still doesn't let down. I dropped using blush and instead just used a bronzer to warm up my complexion and add a slight bit of contouring. Check out my review here for more details about the product.

Revlon Lip Butter in "Juicy Papaya"
I'm not one to wear anything on my lips other than chapstick, but when I did want a little bit of color, I would usually reach for this Revlon lip butter (review here). It's gives a natural wash of color and it's moisturizing, so it doesn't feel like you are wearing anything on your lips.
I'm not one to wear a base since I don't usually wear face makeup, but I've been using this product nearly every day. It's a base with a similar consistency as a serum and gives a natural glow, which is perfect for those who don't like wearing a lot of makeup.


White Jeans
One of my favorite new pieces of clothing other the summer was a white pair of skinny jeans. It was a great alternative to leggings and dark wash jeans that paired well with most tops and shoes.

Blanket Scarves
Throughout the fall and winter, blanket scarves became one of my new fashion obsessions. Not only are they very comfortable, but they are stylish and were the perfect addition to any plain outfit.

Brown Riding Boots
My pair of Ralph Lauren brown riding boots were in my "Best of 2014" post and have made it again to another yearly favorite posts. The boots are comfortable and go with everything, from a casual pair of leggings to a dressy skirt and tights.


Favorite Blogs
I read a lot of blogs via Bloglovin this year, so it's hard to narrow it down to just a few. For fashion/style blogs, my favorites include Hello FashionThe Style BungalowSouthern Curls & Pearls, and Twenties Girl Style. Some of my favorite beauty blogs include Kate La Vie and From Roses. Last but definitely not least, some of my favorite food blogs have been Half Baked HarvestDamn Delicious, and Skinnytaste.

Favorite TV Shows
I'm someone who watches maybe a little bit too much television, but I find TV the perfect way to escape and relax. One of my favorite shows this year was How To Get Away With Murder, which is a drama mystery show and I recommend everyone who likes a good show with many twists and surprises. Some of my other favorite TV shows included Parks and Recreation, Drunk History, Workaholics, Vampire Diaries, and rewatching Chuck and Modern Family.

Favorite Song(s)
Listening to music is one of my favorite ways to pass time, so compiling a list that didn't go on forever was a little hard to achieve. Below is a list of songs that were some of my favorites or most played this year.

What were some of your favorites last year?
I would love to read your responses below!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Reflecting On 2015 Resolutions

For the past few years I have posted resolutions for myself, and now it's time to review my 2015 resolutions (post here). I had honestly forgotten that I had even written down my resolutions by the middle of the year, but looking back I have realized that I have accomplished many (but not all) of my goals. Here's a look back on the resolutions.

What are your personal resolutions for next year?
     ∙ Find out my passion. This was on of my resolutions last year, but I unfortunately didn't accomplish it. I know that finding a passion isn't something that can be forced, but I am hoping to be closer to finding it this year.
     ∙ Finally declare a major. This falls along the lines of my previous resolution, but since I am a sophomore in college, I need to pick a major I'm passionate about and stick with it.
     ∙ Take risks. Whether it's with school, travel, or life in general. I need to push myself more than I have already have and hope that it will lead to great learning experiences. Even if it's something like study abroad.
     ∙ Eat healthier and work out more. I know, this is on everyone's resolution list. Even though I kind of accomplished this last year, I definitely still need to try to eat healthier and work out more.
     ∙ Be happy by December 2015. I hope that by the end of the year, I have moved forward from a restricting past, have taken risks, and lastly, find a way to be in a place where I'm happy.

Find my passion: Although I didn't accomplish this resolution, I did learn that for some people, finding your passion is a process rather than a distinct moment. I am in the process of finding my passion and confident that I will reach that point.

Finally declare a major: This I have done. Kind of. I have declared one major, but in the process of possibility adding another major, which is a little nerve-racking.

Take Risks: This I can proudly say I have accomplished! I definitely took a lot of risks this year, particularly with travel and life in general. I have learned that there is a lot to benefit from saying yes more and taking more chances. Now I think it's time to take more chances with school.

Eat healthier and work out more: I have accomplished this as well (kind of)! Over the summer, I pushed myself to eat healthier and work out almost everyday, and I felt better and was in the best shape in my life (which isn't really saying much). However, this all went to waste over study abroad where I stopped working out and the bread and cheese got the best of me. But I'm excited to get back into a routine in 2016.

Be happy by December 2015: I honestly didn't think I would say this, but I think that I have achieved this! By December, I was definitely the happiest I had been in a very long time. A lot of this though was from being abroad and I'm a little worried that I'm going to go back to my old self, so I'm going to try my best to be happy this next year.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

That Went By Fast | Leaving Grenoble

It's hard for me to imagine that just four months ago I was packing for a semester that would end up being one of the best chapters of my life. I didn't know what to expect coming to Grenoble. I honestly didn't know a lot about the city and came in with an open mind. The past four months ended up being one of the biggest rollercoaster rides I've ever been on, from traveling and meet great people to making mistakes that you can only learn from. A lot of time was spent learning, not just in school, but mostly about another culture and adjusting to a new culture and new people. I look back and realize that I think I have progressed as a person more in the past semester than I had in a year at college. Study abroad pushed me harder mentally and socially, and although at times it would be exhausting, I couldn't be happier for that push forward. 

The hardest part in the end was saying goodbye to a city that become home, a host-family that became my second family, and friends with whom I shared experiences that can be found only on the other side of the world. I left sad, wondering where time went and not wanting to leave, but also thankful for the experience and thankful for the people who helped make this past semester one I will never forget.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Patterned Cape | Fall/Winter Fashion 2015

Outfits for Inspiration

Oh my gosh, has it been a while. Too long if you ask me. I could give you many excuses, but I'll be posting my recent trips and updates about what has been taking up most of my time. This post will be about one of the trends that I've been seeing everywhere, from blogs to the streets of Grenoble: The patterned cape. Capes are similar to cardigans, but often don't include sleeves. Instead, they are simply in-between a cape and a blanket scarf.

Capes are not only comfortable and warm for the cooler months, but also had a chic twist to an outfit. In particular, pattern capes can add twist to an otherwise simple outfit. Capes also can give a mixed, but stylish look of being both laid-back while also fashion forward. Although capes can seem intimidating, they can be easily paired with a simple sweater, skinny jeans, and a pair of booties, making it the perfect outfit for the fall and winter!

Will you be trying the cape trend this fall?

I would love to read it in a comment below!

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Plum Beauty for Fall

Nothing says chic and luxurious like a beautiful deep plum color. Maybe it's because I am currently sitting next to a pair of French, plum-colored drapes, but I am craving everything plum-colored. The color is not only gorgeous for the fall, but is also the perfect sophisticated pop of color. When it comes to beauty, plum compliments every skin tone and eye color, especially if you have brown eyes. Plum is the perfect alternative for a variety of beauty products this autumn, whether you are substituting a typical red lip with a deep matte plum lipstick or replacing a black eyeliner for a subtle, but complementary pop of color.

Will you be wearing plum this fall?

I would love to read it in a comment below!

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Provence, France

Day 1: Pont au Gard and Avginon

Pont au Gard

Palais de Pape

View from Avignon Bridge

So it's been a while. I know excuses are the worse, but these past few weeks have been busy full with school and study abroad in general. I've gone several weekend trips, with and without my program, which have all been growing experiences. One trip that I took in the beginning of October with my program was to Provence, a region near southern France (I know, this post is way overdue).

The first stop that we took on the first day was to the Pont au Gard, which was magnificent and beautiful against the setting of the countryside. After the Pont au Gard, we visited the Palais de Pope, which is a gothic building in Avignon and was once home to the pop during the medieval period. One of my favorite parts about Avignon was the Avignon bridge, had a beautiful view of the river, where you could get lost looking at the sun starts setting (or maybe that was just me).

Day 2: Arles and Château de Tarascon

Arles Amphitheatre

Arles Amphitheatre

Arles Amphitheatre

Top of Château de Tarascon

Top of Château de Tarascon

Caves in Beaux-de-Provence

The next day was a little less than pleasant. Provence is known for it's sunshine and beautiful weather, however, we happened to run into a full-day rain shower that occurs very few times during the season. Despite the rain, we visited Arles Amphitheatre, an old Roman amphitheatre. One of my favorite parts of the Arles amphitheatre was walking on top of the amphitheatre, whether or not it was allowed.

One of my favorite parts of the whole trip was the next stop, the medieval castle Château de Tarascon. My favorite part of the castle was the roof, where we had a view of the whole area and even a view of another castle in the distance. After the castle, we visited some man-made caves in Beaux-de-Provence, which displayed light shows and moving photography across all the walls. 

Day 3: Aix-en-Provence

Church in Aix-en-Provence

Streets of Aix-en-Provence

The last day in Provence was in Aix-en-Provence, which was a nice turn-around from the day before in terms of the weather. We got a tour of the city and had time to walk around the city on our own. The city had a different look than Grenoble that resembled southern France, which was interesting to explore. 

The whole trip was a bit of an experience, both in the rain and shine. As much as I like Grenoble, it was refreshing to see a different piece of France and French history. As cheesy as it may sound, I left thinking that Provence stole just a little bit of my heart that weekend.

Thank you for reading!

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