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!



Summer Essentials

There are a few things that have saved me from the Arizona heat summer after summer, and while these exact products won’t last me forever, I plan on using and repurchasing similar essentials in years to come!


What I have been loving:

  1. Flavored water — The day this photo was taken, I had this Suja Probiotic water in the flavor “raspberry.” I loved it! I’m a sucker for a refreshing drink in the summertime to keep me hydrated, especially when it is low in sugar!
  2. Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets — Alright, if you haven’t tried these yet, I would honestly be SHOCKED! These are amazing, especially because my skin is oh-so-oily in the summer time. While there are similar products from different brands, Clean & Clear’s product stands above the others.
  3. Aviator sunglasses — Up until earlier this spring, I wasn’t a fan of sunglasses. I thought they made me look weird, to be honest. Then I found these and another pair during a sunglasses sale at Francesca’s and I am in love! For only being $10 a pair, they are awesome quality and seem like they will last (at least) this season.
  4. Leave-in conditioner — I don’t know about you, but my hair can get pretty tangly after a day at the pool or beach. To combat this in advance, I have been hooked on using leave-in conditioners. This one was in my Ipsy bag from May, and the brand is Briogeo. While I have tried a ton leave-in conditioners, and loved many of them, this one in particular smells amazing!
  5. Magazines — Whether you are lounging by the pool or jetting off on your next adventure, I love browsing through lifestyle and fashion magazines, especially Real Simple. I love their recipes, organization tips, and their helpful life hacks!
  6. BB Cream — Again, I got this one in particular from my May Ipsy bag, but as I am nearing the end of the product, I am seriously considering repurchasing it. It provides the perfect amount of coverage and blends into my skin perfectly! The brand is Pur-Lisse, but regardless whether or not you try this specific product, I would highly recommend BB Creams for the summertime.
  7. Lastly, one of my essentials would have to be this highlighter pallette from Elf in the shade Golden. I recently repurchased this because I hit pan on my previous one! This product, while being around $3, is great quality and is the perfect amount of shimmer for a highlighter. DSC_0008

What are some of your summertime essentials? I am always open to trying new products!



30 reasons I am FAR from perfect

On my journey towards mindfulness, I am learning to embrace the messy and the moments that I may not be so proud of. A good place to start is acknowledging my imperfections, and what better way than to share them with you! (Plus, you can get to know a girl quickly if you know her short-comings.)

  1. I get “hangry” really quickly.
  2. I hardly ever make my bed.
  3. Either my makeup or my hair is done–never both.
  4. Sometimes I forget to say I’m sorry.
  5. I say sorry too much.
  6. I am at least 5 minutes late to almost everywhere I go.
  7. I compare myself to others.
  8. I’m selfish.
  9. There are at least 5 clothing items on my bedroom floor at all times.
  10. I don’t remember things very well, even if they happened last week.
  11. My first inclination is to judge a book by it’s cover.
  12. I do not like math.
  13. I have to actively choose to love others, each and every day.
  14. I do not always love others well.
  15. I feel the most like myself when I have had coffee.
  16. I can’t sit still for very long.
  17. One of my pet peeves is when people do not listen to what other people say.
  18. I forget to wear sunscreen a lot.
  19. I don’t, and will never have, the “perfect summer body.” Whoops.
  20. I spend a lot of time planning out what I want to do rather than actually doing it.
  21. I do not know what I am going to be doing next week, let alone after I graduate.
  22. I really like being independent, but I love when others care for me too.
  23. I’m more sensitive than I should be.
  24. I can waste a day easier than I’d like to admit.
  25. My mind is often on things of this world, and not on things above.
  26. I am impulsive, especially with my money.
  27. I try to “do it all” and it never works.
  28. I get bored and distracted easily.
  29. I forget to text people back all the time.
  30. I seek out others’ approval.

Here’s some bloopers for you too 🙂

Alright, so I was vulnerable–now it’s your turn. What are some of your short comings and are you in the process of coming to accept them?




What to Wear to a Summer Wedding

This is one of the first summers in my life that I have been invited to weddings that my parents are not also invited to. In other words, I know couples around my age getting married! How crazy, right?

One of my favorite parts of going to a wedding, aside from watching the groom’s face as the bride walks down the aisle, listening to toasts from the bridal party, and dancing the night away, is figuring out what I am going to wear!

Here are two recreate-able outfit ideas that can be worn to weddings or other summer events, both of which are very affordable.

DSC_0716DSC_0708*glancing over the dessert table like*DSC_0720These shoes are from Saver’s and they are some of my absolute favorite wedges for the summertime. The block heel makes them pretty comfortable too! DSC_0701Turquoise beaded necklace and crochet red dress? Yes please.

I’ve always been a fan of turquoise, but now, bright red is making quite the appearance in my closet. To make this outfit more casual and to combat those chilly summer nights, (it’s chilly somewhere, right?) I would pair this outfit with a denim jacket.

On a different note, let’s talk about this jumpsuit for a bit.

DSC_0845 (1)

I am IN LOVE with jumpsuits. If I could, I would wear them all day everyday. I have basically been living in this one and wearing it for different occasions, such as going out to dinner and running errands, and I have gotten so many compliments! I think that jumpsuits are a great option for wedding guest attire, especially in the summertime.

This jumpsuit is from Old Navy–they are seriously stepping it up this season.

I chose to keep my jewelry to a minimum, with my favorite wrap bracelet and brown Fossil watch. I also am wearing some coral dangly earrings that I have had forever from Target to add a pop of color.  DSC_0849 (1)DSC_0903 (1)These shoes are also from Old Navy. I’m obsessed with these shoes–I wear them all the time and I would recommend them to anyone!

You’ll most likely catch me in one of these outfits for my upcoming events! What’s your go-to outfit for a summer wedding/event?






Guatemala 2017


The island where the camp was is called El Faro, which means The Lighthouse.



My team–I came to love these boys and their unique, gentle, and rowdy spirits


My team ended up being in 2nd place in the tournament! They were incredible soccer players and they played well together.



The rich history, the ruins, and the architecture made me fall in love with the city of Antigua!



Just a heads up, these pictures don’t do the trip justice. Nor will my words, but I’ll give it a try.

Early in January of this year, the topic of going to Guatemala and partnering with a non-profit organization, Champions in Action, for a week was discussed within my church congregation. I went to the informational meeting, and I found out that we would be helping with a soccer camp for at-risk youth for a week, but more importantly, we would be talking to them about who Jesus is and how much He loves them. After hearing about this opportunity, I was left with an overwhelming desire to go.

In my opinion, the best part about this organization and the camp is that the kids on the teams go through a year-long mentor ship program in the year following the camp. The mentors act as their soccer coaches, but they also get to know them well and lead them towards Christ. More often than not, these kids are not offered the support, encouragement, and guidance by adults in their lives that they deserve.

In fact, they are expected to grow up and have responsibilities at an early age. Many of their birth parents either neglect or abandon them, leaving them to take care of themselves and potentially their younger siblings. Many of their family members and friends struggle with alcoholism, use illegal drugs, and are involved in gangs. Champion in Action’s mission is to break the perpetual cycle of Guatemalan youth of getting involved in gangs, using drugs, and participating in harmful and violent activities. The mentor ship program has been proven to promote a healthier and better lifestyle for the kids.

A short five months later after first hearing about the trip, a group of 15 adults from my church and I were boarding the plane to go to Guatemala. Over 25 other volunteers came from Pennsylvania and a couple came from Ohio and Texas.

There were 10 soccer teams, with 10 students each, and 5 volunteers were assigned to each one. On each team, there was also one interpreter and two mentors.

On Monday through Wednesday, our schedule looked liked this:

6 AM: morning run and conditioning
7 AM: devotions
8 AM: breakfast
9:30-12 PM: morning training
12-1 PM: beach time for the boys
1 PM: lunch
2:30-5:30 PM: soccer games
6-7 PM: free time for volunteers and nap time for kids
7 PM: dinner
8:30-10:30 PM: chapel

Thursday was a day full of soccer games, as we had our semi-finals and final game of the tournament. Although my team didn’t win, (lost 2-1 in the final game), I was incredibly proud and happy for them! They played their hearts out!!

On Friday morning, many of the kids got baptized in the Caribbean Sea. As the boys had previously made decisions to follow God earlier on in the week, this act served as a symbol that declared their love and desire to have a relationship with God. It was incredible to be able to watch as over half of the kids, who were so timid, angry, and hard-hearted towards others at the beginning of the week, make this decision.

Shortly after baptisms, it was time to say goodbye. While leaving these children was incredibly difficult and emotional, it was comforting to know that they have trustworthy adults who are investing their time and their lives looking after and caring for these young boys. The week at camp was not the end of an life-altering experience, but only the beginning.

The next day, the volunteers were able to visit the city of Antigua for a few hours. My group and I explored the ruins of old Cathedrals and buildings, admired the architecture and history of the old capital of Guatemala and ate yummy food. I hope to go back and really explore the city, as I feel I barely scratched the surface! Hopefully I’m able to.

A few take-aways from my trip to Guatemala:

1) God can use the simplest things, like soccer, to bring people to Christ
2) being uncomfortable and out of my element is okay and freeing
3) the best way to learn Spanish is to be immersed in it
4) only in Christ is lasting joy able to be found–not in athletic ability, success, money, possessions, intellect, or anything else that we so often turn to
5) Kids are still kids and should be able to act like kids, even if they live in extreme poverty, hunger, and broken homes and neighborhoods
6) being on mission doesn’t have to end once the trip does

If you made it this far, thanks for reading this lengthy post!





Making a Simple Statement

I’ve been obsessed with statement jewelry lately. And while I will always be a fan, the bright-colored tassel earrings and layered, beaded necklaces are difficult to incorporate into my everyday outfits.

However, I have become so accustomed to wearing jewelry, that I feel like I am not completely ready for the day without it. A dainty necklace, a simple bracelet and gold stud earrings can make me feel and look polished. That’s why I am loving these jewelry pieces from Castillo & Co!

I’ve worn these necklaces non-stop–to work, to the grocery store, to the gym, to photoshoots…EVERYWHERE! I love layering dainty necklaces and that is how I styled them here.




Faux Suede Bracelet/Necklace $12 

This two-in-one braided piece is so fun! I chose to wear it as a wrap bracelet for this outfit, but it could also work as a chocker. I’m loving the different shades of blue and the gold clasp–it makes it easy to take the bracelet on and off!


Swarovski Crystal Birthstone Necklace Bar $15

3 Tone (Silver, Rose Gold, Gold) Necklace (16″) $15


I am pleasantly surprised by the quality of these pieces and how well-made they are! I have not seen any signs of wear and tear, and like I said, I’ve been wearing them a lot lately.

Due to their great quality and their versatility, I would say that they are worth much more than they cost! But to top it all off, with the code Jennifer15 at checkout, you can get 15% off your purchase, for orders placed from now until June 30th! Woohoo!

Happy shopping, and happy Wednesday!


*These pieces were sent to me, but all opinions are my own*

P.S. Not wearing makeup to photoshoots is weird, but it is also very freeing. 10/10 would recommend. 🙂


What I Wear: Summer Edition

In the unbearable and harsh 100+ degree Arizona weather (doesn’t that make you want to come visit me?), the main goal is to dress with pieces that are lightweight and comfortable. When you find and wear pieces that are cute and follow these two guidelines, you know you are winning at life.

This is one of those outfits that helps me deal with the summer heat, while still making me look and feel presentable. I would totally run errands, go to lunch, hang out with friends, and even go to my desk job in this outfit!



Purse (old): similar

This purse is my favorite purse that I own, and it probably will always be. I got it a couple years ago for my birthday, and it still makes me so happy every time I wear it out. Nothing like a cobalt blue stunner like this one to brighten up your outfit, and your day!


My top is from Old Navy and I got it early this spring. I absolutely love how simple and basic it is, and how many outfits I have already created with it! In this outfit, I chose to wear it less as an off-the-shoulder top and more as a slouchy-neckline top. It’s up to you to decide whether or not I did this on purpose.


Ever since I have started working at Anthropologie, I appreciate statement jewelry more than I ever have–especially the statement jewelry that is neutral and can be worn with different patterns and colors (AKA these earrings). These earrings jazz up every outfit that I put with them!


In conclusion, this outfit helped to declare me as a winner against the summer heat. Current score: AZ: 0 — Jenny: 1

Stay cool my friends and happy Thursday!