First Day of School + Fall Semester Goals

I’m starting my third year of college today (WHAT?!) and I’m actually really excited.

I’m equally just as bummed because that means that summer is over and I am halfway done with college. Time flies when you are having fun (and when you are trying to balance a social life, health, clubs, work and a blog, while also maintaining a decent GPA!!).

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Dress: Old Navy // Shoes: Birkenstocks // Backpack: Northface

This upcoming school year, I am trying to be more present, mindful, and intentional with the way that I am living, so I decided to put together a short list of things that I want to accomplish in this next school year, separated by various “life categories.”

ACADEMICS: 

  • maintain my current GPA
  • scheduling in time to work on homework daily
  • complete homework OUTSIDE of my bedroom

SOCIAL: 

  • go to a concert (just bought tickets for my fav band in September!)
  • book club meetings once a month
  • go to 3 football games
  • invite new people/friends over to my apartment 2x

PERSONAL GROWTH/DEVELOPMENT:

  • read my Bible every day
  • read “Redeeming Love” + 3 other books on the side
  • journal everyday (no word limit/requirement)
  • keep on a budget each month
  • allow for an hour of “me time” every couple days

BLOG: 

  • write a total of 5 posts per month
  • collaborate with others for a giveaway
  • reach 2,000 followers on Instagram
  • reach out to 2 brands/companies

FITNESS/HEALTH:

  • run 2 times a week
  • complete a Pilates workout routine 3 times a week
  • cook 10 new healthy recipes
  • (TRYING MY BEST AT) only eat 2 sweets a week

What are some of your goals this semester? 🙂 Have a great first day, whenever it may be!

Love, Jennifer

 

Adding Color to Your Wardrobe with ThredUp

Recently, as I have scrolled through Instagram and Pinterest, I’ve noticed that less and less fashion bloggers, influencers and women in general are wearing and experimenting with color. While many claim that they prefer to wear black, grey and cream over the brighter shades, I think that many stray away from color because they are scared of it.

They are unsure of how to add an appropriate amount of color to their outfit while still looking polished and chic. However, it can be done.

Personally, I lean towards the warm-toned, darker, “fall” colors, such as burgundy, olive green, navy and burnt orange. These shades help me to add some color into my outfit, while still being versatile and easy to mix and match in my wardrobe. I’d like to think they are the “bridge-between-the-gap” of neutral tones and brighter colors!DSC_0720I got this top from ThredUp and it is originally from Madewell, but I got it for a much lower price! I am in love with the color and the pattern, and the fit of it! It serves as a great piece to add color to, as I did with this navy blue statement necklace. In the cooler months, I would most likely pair this blouse with an olive green army jacket, a pair of blue jeans, and brown riding boots! DSC_0742If you are new to experimenting with color, opt for a colored accessory, like a navy blue bag, like this one originally from Target. This is a practical and classy piece, but it still adds some more interest to any outfit! I personally would wear this bag year round, but I am especially excited to style it for fall. DSC_0749Because there is so much color on this outfit, I chose to go with a pair of black jeans and black lace-up flats to tone it down a bit. I would wear this outfit out to dinner, work, or anywhere in between!

Are you looking to update your wardrobe by adding some color? Make sure to check out ThredUp to find awesome, like-new pieces on a budget!

top and purse: ThredUp // necklace (old): Target // shoes (old): Old Navy // jeans: Citizens of Humanity

*This post was in collaboration with ThredUp but all thoughts/opinions are my own.*

Love,

Jennifer

Getting Back on Track with Your Health

You might have recently returned from that summer vacation, the one where you ate ice cream everyday and laid around a little too much? Yeah, me too. Personally, whenever I go on vacations, my eating habits are poor and I rarely get a good workout in.

The minute I get home, I am ready to get back into the swing of things, in terms of setting aside time for physical activity and eating healthy foods. But, if you are anything like me, then you might feel overwhelmed and stuck in your not-so-healthy habits.

To help you (and myself) to “reset” your health and habits after a vacation, I came up with this short list of ideas to help you get and stay motivated!

  • Don’t feel guilty. Regretting your decisions over the past week or so won’t make them any different, so why waste your energy on worrying about your past choices? Acknowledge that you enjoyed your time on vacation, the food that you ate, and the mini break from reality that you were able to have!
  • Rest. Even if you had a relaxing weekend getaway, you might be more tired than you realize. Plan to go to bed early for the first couple days back and ease back into your schedule by allowing some time to take a nap in the afternoon, if needed.
  • Grocery shopping. I hardly ever leave fresh produce in my fridge while I am away, so I make it a priority to get to the grocery store as soon as I am able to. I love getting healthy foods from the market that I am excited to eat and cook with!
  • Meal prep. On a similar note, look up recipes that are easy and simple to make and plan out your meals. If you have the time and desire, try cooking and prepping food ahead of time, so you already know what you are going to eat for the next couple days. It is harder to make a poor eating choice when you have healthy meals ready in the fridge!
  • Limit the amount of sweets that you eat. Other than a square or two of dark chocolate, I am really trying to only eat sweets on the weekends, or at least only two days out of the week. I have found that this is the best “diet” for me, because I have a giant sweet tooth and love to indulge once in a while!
  • Ease back into your workout routine. Even if you were away for a short time, getting back into working out can be rough. The first day back from my vacation, I only did about half my workout routine for the day, as I wanted to slowly readjust into working out, rather than overwhelm my body! I would recommend going for a brisk walk/jog and doing some simple strength exercises for your first workout back!

How do you like to get back on track with your health and fitness goals and habits? Let me know–I could always use more ideas!

Love,

Jennifer

Wardrobe Essentials for College

Packing for college? Don’t know what clothes to bring? It can be a bit overwhelming, but have no fear! As a soon-to-be junior in college, I know what clothing pieces have proved to be necessities in my closet and what items are best to leave at home.

First things first: Bring plenty of tee shirts, leggings, Nike shorts, and sweatshirts. Many others have probably already told you that comfy clothes are the name of the game in college, especially in the dorm or at the library, so for this post I decided to focus on items that are more practical for everyday wear and several occasions that can (and will!) come up.

1. Pull-on shorts: These are a part of my everyday uniform in college. While they make you look put together and cute, they are extremely comfortable. In fact, I would compare the comfort level to that of Nike shorts, so I’d call that a win. Mine are from Madewell, but Old Navy  and J. Crew Factory have some great options as well, for a more affordable price. DSC_0654DSC_06902. Everyday Purse: Even though I recently purchased this purse from Old Navy, it has been my go-to bag all summer. It is the perfect size to be able to fit the essentials: my wallet, chapstick, phone, keys and my planner. An everyday cross-body bag, that isn’t overly expensive and therefore can be easily replaced, is a MUST for college! DSC_06693. Versatile tanks and tees: Running to class? Going out to dinner? Hanging out at the library? These are all occasions that I would choose to wear this oh-so-soft striped peplum tank from Anthropologie (which is currently on sale!!). To dress the top up a bit, just add a necktie or a necklace and a nice pair of jeans! DSC_0588DSC_05474. Slip-on Tennis Shoes: While I haven’t been wearing these as much this summer, these shoes are still one of my most worn pairs of shoes. You might be surprised about how many steps you have to take in an average day of college, so comfortable shoes are a necessity. In order to switch it up and look a bit more put together, swap out those Teva sandals or Birkenstocks for a pair of slip-ons. Mine are from Steve Madden but Vans also offers a wide selection. I promise, your feet will thank you later! DSC_05655. Little Black Dress: I cannot tell you how many events and occasions I have worn this dress to! From banquets, to birthday parties to class presentations, this dress has seen it all. Invest in a flattering dress that can be paired with different accessories to create countless outfits! When you are running a little late for your class or dinner date, a dress like this one will help deciding what to wear a breeze. I got this one from Buffalo Exchange, but Forever 21 and H&M have plenty of options. DSC_0628DSC_0620

Hope you enjoyed and found these tips helpful! Happy packing!

Love,

Jennifer

 

Style This: One Thrifted Shirt, Three Outfits

I am so excited for today’s post because I am starting a new series called, Style This! I always love reading blog posts where people explain and show how they styled one “problem” piece in their wardrobe or created several outfits from the same clothing item.

I am going to be sharing how I style this top that I got from ThredUp  for under $7 in three separate outfits. (YES, it was $7! You read that right!!)

Outfit #1: A Night Out DSC_0365

I already LOVE this top. It is originally from the brand Blue Rain, which I believe is sold at Francesca’s. The silhouette of the top makes the top look effortless and easy to wear for many occasions. I am a lover of color, but sometimes I like to stick with more neutral pieces, so this item seemed to fit both of those categories!

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Jeans: J. Crew Toothpick Jeans // Shoes: Target // Purse: Rebecca Minkoff

Skinny jeans are my jam. In my opinion, they take this otherwise summery outfit from day to night. I added a few of my favorite accessories, including my Rebecca Minkoff purse, some statement earrings, and one of my favorite pairs of sandals to complete the look.

Outfit #2: Sunday Morning

I would wear this outfit on a Sunday, whether I was going to church or out to brunch, or in many cases, both.

DSC_0461If you have followed me for a while, you would know that I love to mix prints. These prints are easy to combine because they are both “cool” tones and they are not too busy. I’ve had this J. Crew skirt, which I thrifted, for a couple years now and it has come in handy for pattern-mixing outfits! Also, blue and white stripes are now a staple in my wardrobe, so I’ve been reaching for this skirt a lot lately.

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skirt: J. Crew (thrifted) // shoes: Target 

Outfit #3: Running errands

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Nothing like a tassel necklace to jazz up an outfit! I love this color combination and how this simple accessory takes this outfit to the next level. I would definitely wear this outfit to work, to the grocery store, or even to class!

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necklace: Charming Charlie’s // shorts: Gap (thrifted) // purse: Old Navy

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Hope you enjoyed my first post of my new series! Let me know what clothing piece, trend or style you want me to style next!

Disclaimer: All opinions and thoughts are mine. ThredUp did not sponsor this post.

Love,

Jennifer

How to Get Organized For College Before Move-In Day

The start of the school year is just around the corner! (I’m so sorry to be the one to break this news to you, but ignoring it won’t make it go away.) This is both extremely exciting and terrifying, especially if you are about to start college.

Moving in and starting school can be stressful and difficult, especially if you are not prepared or organized prior to leaving home.

In order to avoid this stress and worry, I compiled a list of things that can be done prior to move-in day that will make the transition much easier and smoother!

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  • Meet up with your roommate. Even if you have known them for years, grab a cup of coffee with them or call them up to talk about their expectations about living together and what they are bringing so you can share some general appliances and household items. Communication is key, especially with your future roommate.
  • Invest in a backpack.  I’m talking a heavy-duty, strong and sturdy backpack. A cute tote bag from Target or Vera Bradley won’t do the trick in college. My favorites are from the brand Herschel or Northface. They may not be the most stylish, but trust me, your back will thank me later!
  • Research the clubs and opportunities available at your new school.  Getting involved, especially in your first year, is extremely important! However, before saying yes to everyone who asks you to be in their club, do your research. Find out what clubs interest you and what kind of opportunities are offered throughout the year, so you can plan ahead.
  • Clean out your closet.  For real though. Clean out those clothes, shoes and accessories that remind you of high school. Starting college means starting a new chapter in life and your wardrobe should reflect that as well! Make room in your closet for more pieces that fit your lifestyle.
  • Determine your goals and priorities for the semester.  I’m big on setting goals and things that I want to accomplish, as it motivates and inspires me to keep moving forward. What do you want your grades to be at the end of the semester? How many times a week do you want to workout? Do you want to read or write more? Think about these things before school starts, and you will be more successful with these areas of your life. DSC_0033
  • Buy some basic school supplies.  Make sure to stock up on some notebooks, folders and pencils before the school year starts. Professors will tell you if they want you to have anything special, like a certain binder or notebook, but normally they are not too picky. Plus, Target and Office Max become a zoo after the semester starts, so beat the crowds!
  • Look up local restaurants and shops that are located in the town of your new school.  If you are moving or going to a college in a new town, get excited by researching some of the best local places and shops! This will get you excited to explore your new city and it will make you appear knowledgable when you suggest a cute and charming hole-in-the-wall brunch place to your new friends!
  • Spend time with your loved ones and plan for the next time you will see them! Be intentional when spending time with your family and friends! Be present, appreciative and in the moment. To curb homesickness, plan a weekend for them to visit you or for you to come home! Having something to look forward to will make saying goodbye become a “see you later.”DSC_0046

Hope you enjoyed these tips and found them helpful!

Love,

Jennifer

Things I Wish I Knew: Freshman Year of College

Are you starting college in the fall? Are you close to nearing the end of your high school career? Then this post is for you.

To kick off my back to school/college series, I’m sharing with you 10 things I wish I knew before starting my freshman year in college! Even if you have older siblings, have read a million of these posts, or have a general idea of what college may look like, one can never be too prepared. (Take it from the girl who probably wasn’t prepared enough.)

1) Everyone feels as nervous/weird/unprepared as you do. Even if no one is showing it, every freshman who is starting college is FREAKING OUT. They don’t know what to expect either, so it is okay to let your guard down and quit pretending like you have a clue of what college is like.

2) The friends that you make the first couple weeks of school, or even throughout the first semester, are not guaranteed to be your BFFs all throughout college. Friend groups are constantly changing in your freshman year. It wasn’t until sophomore year that I felt like I had a steady friend group. Learn to enjoy the time that you are spending with others around you as you meet lots of new people.

3) There is never a time that you don’t have homework. Yes, your homework might not be due until the following week, but throughout my college career, I have almost always had some assignment to do or work on. Take advantage of those days where the “only” thing that you have to get done is that end-of-semester project. You’ll thank yourself come finals week.

4) It is possible to avoid the “freshman 15.” If you choose to eat well, move and exercise regularly, and regulate your sleeping patterns, there is a good chance that you can dodge the freshman fifteen. It isn’t inevitable–it just depends on the individual’s choices and habits.

5) It takes a lot of effort to keep up with friends at home or at other universities. If some of your friends live at home or are going to a different college and you want to keep pursuing a friendship with them, be intentional about it. Call them while you are walking to class, send them a quick text, FaceTime them while you are doing laundry! If you are good enough friends, both of you will find time and put in effort to talk to each other.

6) It’s okay to say no. Whether it is a small event in your residence hall, an event that the university is putting on, or a group of friends wanting to catch a bite, there is always something social going on. It is okay to put yourself and your priorities first and say “no.” (I’m still learning this, FOMO is a real thing.)

7) You don’t need to bring that many “cute” clothes to school. Throughout high school, I was the girl who always wanted to look cute and I paid special attention to what I was wearing. However, after the first couple weeks of college, I found my regular uniform to be a t-shirt with my school’s logo on it, a pair of leggings and some Nike’s. Sure, bring a couple of cute pieces to mix and match, but comfort wins over cuteness when you are rushing off to class, running on 3 hours of sleep.

8) Scheduling is important. The only way that I have found to survive is to plan on how I use my time and my energy, before the day even begins. Get a planner, look at it at least three times a day, and keep track of what you have to get done and what you would like to. Plan, plan, plan!

9) It’s okay to rest. Similar to number six–more on this later, in a future post!

10) Independence has its’ benefits and disadvantages. This isn’t meant to scare you–trust me, I love being independent. However, sometimes independence can feel a lot like loneliness. Not always, but sometimes. This is a growing pain of growing up, but it will get easier. Take comfort in the fact that friendships form slowly, family is one call away, and most of the other students around you feel the same way.

Know that this first year will be an incredible adventure, whatever it may bring. College is a wonderful and unique time of growth, maturity, freedom, and fun. I hope that you feel more prepared, and more excited, after reading this post!

Love,

Jennifer