An Evening at Kendra Scott & Velvet Taco!

Happy 2019, and uhhh hey long time no talk. Thought I could kick off my posts for 2019 with a night in my life in Chicago! We barely survived the recent Chicago polar vortex, when temps were down to -50 windchill, so I was READY and so excited to be able to spend an evening downtown with my favorite gals.

Last night one of my amazing friends, Krista, invited me and a few other ladies to a Kendra Scott color bar party that she had won!! I had been to one of these before and they are SO much fun!! First of all, Kendra Scott stores are just insanely beautiful. Just being in there makes me want to buy it ALL. The winner of the party gets a free piece from the color bar and the rest of us got 15% off our purchases! We walked around, shopped, tried pieces on, enjoyed little snacks and drinks they so kindly provided, and had such a nice time. I ended up getting the Elaina Gold Adjustable Chain Bracelet In Gold Filigree Mix and I am IN LOVE. I am working on slowly building up my jewelry collection, and dainty gold pieces have my heart. I am really into stacking and layering different pieces so I thought this would be a great addition to my collection!

After macarons, champagne, & so much gorgeous jewelry we headed over to one of my fav spots in the Gold Coast, Velvet Taco. I got a chicken & waffle taco, a flank steak taco, and a super yummy margarita!! It was a really nice night with such great friends, fun experiences, and yummy food. This is why I live in Chicago.

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SO happy to be back!! Happy 2019, love you guys!!

xoxo Anna

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9 Things I do to Stay Organized in College

College is one huge, big, insane mixture of all the highs and all the lows. There is so much stress but also so much joy that comes along with being a college student. You are finally on your own and able to do your own thing, but at the same time YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN DOING YOUR OWN THING. WHAT. When it comes to fitting it all in, staying involved, making money, and being social, it can definitely take some planning. Staying organized is super important as the crazy busy student that you are. Here are some of my tips for ways to stay organized in college:

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Create Daily To-Do Lists

This one is the most basic but SO effective for me. I make multiple lists a day with anything from homework assignments in my planner, to a grocery list, to chores I need to do around my apartment. I like seeing it all laid out in front of me so I know exactly what I need to do and by when. I will add due dates or write them out according to importance so I know what needs to get done first. Checking things off the list is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world I swear!!!! Makes you feel so good and accomplished.

Balance Work & Play

This is crucial in staying on top of your stuff! When it’s crunch time get down to work but make sure you are scheduling in time for things you enjoy. You never want to get so overwhelmed that you can’t complete what you need to. So take breaks and hang out with friends, read a book, or curl up with a blanket and binge-watch your favorite tv show. It’s all about balance.

Stick to a Schedule

This is such an important way of how I live my daily life. As nice as it is sometimes, I can’t function without a schedule. My body craves routine and I honestly struggle without it. Plan out your day and stick to your to-list. Your classes are scheduled which leaves you with a certain amount of hours in the day to accomplish everything else that you need to get done. Personally I think following the same strict schedule day in and day out can be repetitive, but having a general guideline can definitely be useful and help you stay on track.

Create Incentives

If you’re finding it difficult to focus, think about something you want, or would like to do, and promise yourself that you’ll grant yourself whatever it is once your work is complete. For example, don’t start the next season of the Office (for the 7th time) on Netflix until you’ve handed in your Lit paper on Friday. Or, if you’ve just gotten yourself through a particularly exhausting week, take a breath before jumping into your next string of assignments. Do something for yourself as a reward for your hard work.

Get Enough Sleep

I feel like I am constantly saying this but sleep is SO important. My body relies so much on sleep and how productive I am the next day is heavily dependent on the amount of sleep I got the night before. Whether it is going to bed earlier, sleeping in an extra hour, or a nap it all adds up. I do so much better when I am well rested, and what is better than a nice two hour nap after classes???

Don’t Take on Too Much

It is so easy in college to take on too much at once. You are told you need to do well in all your classes, land an internship, be social, get involved in leadership roles, join clubs, and stay healthy all at once. I have fallen into this too many times to count and the pressure to do it all can take a mental and physical toll on your body. So test some different things out and figure out how much you can handle so you can see what works for you.

Make Your Bed Everyday

This is a very minuscule task in the big scheme of things but it can kickstart your day right off the bat. I often put this and other smaller tasks at the top of my to-do list so I already have a few things crossed off heading into my day. It makes you feel accomplished and ready to take on the day.

Keep Track of Spending

Money in college is such a hard thing. One minute it’s there and the next it’s gone. There are so many miscellaneous expenses. Being knowledgeable of how much you’re taking in, how much you’re spending (and on what) and how much you need for future things is essential as a college student. Learning to budget is difficult, but it’s a practical skill that you’ll carry with you into adulthood.

Set Goals & Stick to Them

It doesn’t matter how big or small you start, but you need to start thinking about what you want for your future. I’m not necessarily talking career planning; your goals could be about anything. For example, if you know you want to travel, start thinking about potential study abroad options. The sooner you work on this, the better; you don’t want your opportunity to sneak up and pass you by because you were unprepared. Another great thing about planning early is that it gets you excited for what’s to come, and encourages you to work harder to achieve your goals.

Have an incredible Sunday!

XOXO Anna

Alpha Chi Formal

Everyone knows at this point how much I love to dress up. I love fashion and I especially love dresses. So even though going into yesterday I wasn’t super excited about formal (due to the copious amount of homework I am stressing about currently) I ended up having such a good night! Our formal this spring was hosted at the River Roast in downtown Chicago. It was a beautiful venue on the river with the lovely view of the skyline. We took a party bus to our location and stopped at Navy Pier for some pictures. Although it was absolutely freezing we still managed to capture some great memories!

I love these women with my whole heart and always make my time here in Chicago that much better. Alpha Chi, you truly are some real strong women and I am so lucky to call you my sisters. I really do believe I am a better person because of you.

Outfit Links:

Eliza J Floral Dress: This is one of my favorite dresses! It’s fun and springy but still classy and formal. I couldn’t find this exact dress since it was from a couple of years ago so I linked some similar options!

BP. ‘Luminate’ Open Toe Dress Sandal in Blush Patent: I have been wearing these shoes a lot lately and as a result I think I finally may have broken them in! THANK GOODNESS. These shoes, although a blush pink, can totally be worn as a neutral and I love how versatile they are. They can go with anything!

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Happy Sunday,

XOXO Anna

March Favorites

This month has been SO much fun!! I have been so busy, met so many great people, tried out new things, and experienced things I never thought I would be able to. I thought I would share with you what I have been loving this month: some products, some people, and one INCREDIBLE team.

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  1. Glossier Solution Exfoliating Skin Perfector: I have just recently started to get into Glossier products, I know, a little late to the game. Their marketing and customer engagement is incredible and really is what drew me in. They show not just one but many progress pictures that real customers have sent in showing the true results and reviews of the products. So after wanting clearer and more radiant, glowy skin I decided to try this out. This is a chemical exfoliant but is super gentle. It uses AHA, BHA, & PHA, which are the three acids that make your skin look so amazing. After about a month of using it I really am noticing a difference and my skin feels and looks so much healthier and clear.
  2. My Little, Katy, and her incredible artistic abilities: I touched on this in my last Weekend In My Life blogpost but WOW she just continues to amaze me. So anyone who knows me even a little know how much I am in love with Disney. Growing up it was such a big part of my life and Katy knows that. So this last Thursday at our Alpha Chi Omega Pearl and Paddle ceremony we revealed our paddles we had been crafting for the last couple of weeks. Please just take a moment to admire the incredible talent this young woman has (picture above) because WOW!!!
  3. THIRDLOVE: So I will admit, I am the first one to fall for all the trends and gimmicks out there. But I really had a good feeling about this one. Apparently, 80% (!!!!) of women are wearing the wrong size bra. Being a bigger chested gal myself, it’s really difficult to find a bra that has everything I’m looking for. So I took a quiz that literally took 60 seconds and found what I needed. I bought one bra, their 24/7 Classic T-Shirt Bra, and am SO content with the results. I don’t have any discount codes for you but trust me there are so many out there. I just used one from all of the Bachelor people doing the #ads lol. Seriously check it out though I am really happy with mine so far and plan on purchasing more in different styles!!
  4. Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion: There are sooooo many moisturizers out there it can be really hard to find one that works well with your skin. I got this one in my Spring FabFitFun Box and actually am totally obsessed. I usually try out all of the products in my boxes (which is the point duh) but if they don’t really work for me I move on. Let’s just say I haven’t moved on from this lotion yet!!! I am LOVING this and for real think it is making a difference in my skin. My skin gets pretty dry especially with these strong Chicago winds and this stuff has been doing wonders. HIGHLY recommend.
  5. Loyola University Chicago Men’s Basketball (& WAY more importantly, Sister Jean): Obviously I came to Loyola for a reason, and sadly sports weren’t really a factor. Coming from a huge sports high school it was honestly a difficult and sad transition to make. But I had so much here and fell in love with this school so I was willing to make that sacrifice. UNTIL THIS MONTH. Boy oh boy am I one happy girl. I never was super into March Madness growing up, I would make the brackets with my friends or family but I usually would just pick the team I liked best or had the best seed. THIS TEAM IS EVERYTHING. I am SO proud to be a RAMBLER! I will admit, I didn’t even have that much faith in the Blers heading into the tournament. I mean, of course I wanted them to do well but I assumed it wasn’t likely we would get past the first few rounds. Man was I WRONG. This has been such an incredible few weeks and I am so excited to see the Ramblers play their game in the FINAL FOUR. GO BLERS!!!!!

 

I hope you have an amazing Sunday!
XOXO Anna

 

 

 

WEEKEND IN MY LIFE

These last few days have been SO MUCH FUN and I just needed to share them with you. Coming back from spring break has been rough, really hard to get back into the swing of things. But this weekend has made up for it ALL. It all started this past Thursday night, so we’ll start there.

THURSDAY, March 15, 2018: BIG/LITTLE REVEAL

I have been waiting for this for what seems like forever. I couldn’t wait to spoil and love on this amazing young woman I was lucky enough to eventually to call my little. The time had finally come. I have been crafting for weeks, have used so much paint, and made her gift basket as perfect as I could. So without further ado, welcome KATY, the most perfect little in all of the land!!! Welcome to the fam Katy, I love you forever already.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from Thursday night!

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FRIDAY, March 16, 2018: NICK JONAS CONCERT

Let me just say, WOW. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this concert as much as I did. I mean he is no Harry Styles. But dang I was impressed. Not only is he crazy talented and SO good live but he is such a good performer! He was so engaging with the crowd and came all the way from Japan just for us!! THANK YOU NICK JONAS PLS COME BACK!!

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SATURDAY, March 17, 2018: CHICAGO ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE

Yesterday downtown was INCREDIBLE. SERIOUSLY SO MUCH FUN. I wasn’t sure what to expect because this was my first year downtown for the parade (it fell over spring break last year). But it was awesome!!! We got down there pretty early and walked around and people watched. We watched the parade and ended with a yummy lunch at sweetGREEN, how festive for the day am I right?!!

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SATURDAY NIGHT: RAMBLERS WIN AGAIN!!!!

In a SUPER AMAZING EXCITING turn of events, Loyola Ramblers make it into the SWEET 16 of the NCAA Tournament!! GO BLERS!!! Great cap to the fun weekend!!!

XOXO Anna

My 10 Favorite Ways to Unwind

Happy Sunday! The weeks seem to be going by quicker and quicker and how we are already almost through the month of February is beyond me. My spring break is right around the corner and we are in the midst midterms as I speak. SO much to think about and prepare for and keep on top of. Life is hard enough, but college. Man, college is hard. We all need to unwind every once in a while. These are 10 of my favorite ways to relax when life just becomes a lot sometimes.

WALK

One of my favorite things to do is going on a walk. I might walk to the lake, around campus, or even just to the mailroom. Just something that gets me moving and my mind off of responsibilities. I usually pop in my headphones and listen to some playlists or my favorite podcasts. The Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard is my personal favorite at the moment!!

PAMPER

If this isn’t obvious by this point I LOVE pamper nights. Take a shower, moisturize your body, apply a hair or face mask and paint your nails. I find that making myself feel my best helps me do my best, in all things.

READ

Disconnect for a while. Light a candle, grab a cup of tea and read a book. Sometimes it’s nice to escape your world and enter someone else’s reality. I have a few with me here at school and it’s a nice distraction. I also love Audible for listening to books when I am on the go and walking to class or taking the shuttle downtown.

JOURNAL

Start your day by writing down your thoughts and what you need to accomplish. It helps to lay out everything in front of you so you can tackle one thing at a time. Aside from making a to-do list, I also find that making a gratitude list is super beneficial to my day. It puts me in the right head space and brings me back to what’s important.

CRAFT

This isn’t something I usually gravitate towards but it really does help. My favorite is coloring in those incredible adult coloring books. Anything to stimulate your mind in a more creative way than school does.

COOK

Experiment in the kitchen. Try a new recipe from your Pinterest board. Bake something. Mug cakes have been a recent find of mine and there are COUNTLESS recipes, even “healthy” ones! But also cookies are always a good option.

LISTEN

Make a playlist with your current favorite songs so that you can be ready to face the week. Music can actually influence your mood, so why not make a playlist with happy and upbeat songs to listen to on your journey to school or work?

SOCIALIZE

I know more than anyone sometimes I just need my alone time. Especially when I have a lot going on this is a crucial part in getting me through. BUT it does help to see some familiar faces and focus on other people

WATCH

It sounds great to read and switch off, but we can’t stay away from the Internet for too long, am I right? The weather is still cold, so there’s few things better than to snuggle up on the couch binge-watching a tv show. Netflix, Hulu, HBO go, go crazy.

SLEEP

I need so much sleep. I always have and probably always will. I seriously get at least 8 hours a night, even in college. I can’t function without it. Sometimes that’s all our body needs is a little extra rest. SO let it have it so you can conquer the time you’re awake!!!

XOXO Anna

Will You Be My Galentine?

Oh Valentine’s Day, the holiday with the most love-hate relationships. People love to hate on Valentine’s Day for all the romantic and lovey-dovey cheesiness it brings. But at the end of the day, it’s a day celebrating love — and I’m down with that. Because who doesn’t love love?? Whether you’re celebrating with a significant other, some of your best gal pals, your family, or your pup… it’s all love. Since I’m away living my college life in Chicago I will be spending this Valentine’s Day with my gal pals. And everyone who is anyone knows that this special day has been coined Galentine’s Day, the Valentine’s Day spent with your gals, on February 13th. And anyone who has no idea what I am talking about or what I am referring to, here is the lovely Miss Knope to explain:

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Now that that’s out of the way let’s get into it! So if you’re hanging with your besties this holiday, here are some fun slash cute slash AHMAZING ideas of what to actually do!

HAVE A SLEEPOVER

Gather up all of your bffs and bring it old school! Binge watch your favorite Netflix show or marathon a movie series. Pop some popcorn, get ALL the snacks, pump the old tunes, and build a blanket fort for all I care! This is such a good idea for some serious catching up and much needed girl talk.

BAKING PARTY

I’m at least speaking for my friends and I when I say we LOVE to bake and therefore EAT all of the baked goods. AND Valentine’s Day is ALL about the sweets so why not take advantage of it?? It’s all about the comfort and all about the fun. There are so many options to bake! Pinterest is the epitome of everything food wise. There are so many recipes to choose from. Take one and run with it, baby.

MANI-PEDI DATE

You don’t always have time to plan an elaborate movie night at your house so you can go out to do things too! A couple hours spent pampering is never a bad thing. SO find a girlfriend that might also need a polish change and set up a time to meet up. This is great way to not spend the whole day while still getting to hang with your friends and treat yo self.

BRUNCH AT HOME OR ON THE TOWN

One of my personal favorites and I know a lot of other people’s too is the inevitable brunch. You could host a brunch or go out on the town to a fun new trendy restaurant. If you host, make sure to send out invites and come up with a fun vday menu (full of a possible waffle bar)?! And a pj’s only rule is must. So whichever one you decide, fill up with all the conversation, iced coffee, and avo toast your little heart desires.

I hope that whatever you thoughts are on Valentine’s Day, this year you can find it in your heart to have some good old fashioned fun with your girls!

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Happy Galentine’s Day to all my ladies!! LADIES CELEBRATING LADIES! Will you be my galentine?

XOXO Anna