The Hardest Thing About College


Since my last blog post, I have joined a sorority and successfully completed my first semester of college! That feels like so long ago, but at the same time, the days are flying by. It has been an adventure, but lately I have been feeling like I have a lot to write and say. College is so much fun. I love being on my own and making my own choices, but I also love being able to go home when I want to... There is no doubt in my mind that I picked the right school!

When people ask me how I've adjusted to starting college, I say "Great!" with a smile because that really is the truth. I've had academic success (so far ;) ), I love being a part of my sorority, and the friendships I've made are the best I've had in my entire life. But with that being said, being in college is a lot different than I expected and sometimes it is really hard. While my classes are difficult and I am constantly busy, I'm very good at managing my time so that really wasn't a surprise to me. What really hit me hard that I didn't see coming is the constant pressure I feel to do and be everything. In high school, I had choices for what I wanted to do with my time, but every day and every week was pretty much the same: school was from 8-3, I cheered a game or had practice, did homework, and hung out with my friends on Saturday nights. In college, my schedule is different every single day and my longest day of class is 4 hours, so obviously I have a lot of downtime. With so much freedom and such a Type A control freak personality, I can't rest until I feel like I'm getting up early enough and checking off every single thing for the day, staying involved, being a good friend/daughter/sister, making money, having fun, working out... and the list goes on and on. If I go out with my friends, I get mad at myself for not staying in and studying, but when I stay in and study, I fear that I'm missing out on the most fun night of my life. When I take time to just chill out, my mind races about the things I could be doing to "make better use of my time."

It wasn't until the start of this semester that I realized how weighed down and exhausted I truly feel because I give myself such a hard time. As I was on the brink of a meltdown earlier today, I realized I am trying to do and be a thousand things at once and it's just not realistic and that is OKAY. I wanted to put my thoughts to words because I know I'm not the only person that feels this way. I think everyone needs a reminder that you don't have to do everything all at once to be enough and if you fall short, you don't have to give yourself a mental beating! In a world full of social media where we are constantly comparing our lives to what we see online, it is so so important to realize that we are all on different paths and just because you think someone has it all together on their Snapchat story, doesn't really mean that's what is going on behind the scenes. I have been guilty of this for way too long and am vowing to find balance between being productive and being crazy and to cut myself some slack every once in a while... stay tuned :)

New Beginnings



I found this post on my computer from last week and I thought it would be good to share especially during the craziness of my first week living in a new space and going through sorority recruitment. I am loving dorm life and can't wait to get into the swing of things at school :)

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First, I have not abandoned my blog!! I think about it all the time and still write in my journal almost every day, but when it comes to publishing my thoughts online, I find it hard to find exactly the words to say. With all the changes that are coming up in my life, I find it hard to concentrate on writing about silly, fun things when my mind is constantly filled with thoughts about bigger things in my life that are coming up. Since I haven’t written about it yet here, in just three days, I will be moving just 15 minutes down the road to the University of Kentucky. I am so beyond excited, but with any big life change, a lot of bittersweet feelings come along too. I ask myself almost everyday how I ever thought I was going to go 10 hours away!

Graduating high school and making the choice to take this next step is what I’ve basically worked for my whole life. Every thing has led me here to this point and I’m truly grateful because, so far, I can see how everything worked itself out like it was supposed to. With this big change, I am putting complete faith and trust in God that He guides me along this journey and helps me to accept that what I may think I want might not be what is in store for me. I’m scared, but I know that everything will work out according to His plan and somehow I find a lot of peace in that.

As someone that is extremely independent, I am excited to be on my own and have my own space. I can’t wait to learn, grow, and start a new chapter of my life. I am going through sorority recruitment (starting Sunday!!!) and have already joined a few other groups that I feel really blessed to be apart of right off the bat. So down to why I decided to finally bite the bullet and write a new post… my mind is going a million different directions with so many different emotions. While I know that ultimately, change is so good, I am hesitant towards it. I’ve been in virtually the same routine for almost 18 years and now that is all coming to an end. What I have to remind myself is that this is NOT the end, but the beginning of a whole new world. Despite what I think about during my meltdowns while attempting to pack, my mom and dad are not going to forget about me and I will always have my childhood room to come home to.

The hardest thing to grasp is how fast time as flown by. It seemed like just yesterday I was going into my freshman year of high school. I can’t believe it’s over. My senior year was one of the best of my life and it hurts a little bit knowing we won’t share those same experiences again, but I’m thankful that I have the amazing memories and, even more importantly, lifelong friends that will be able to look back on that time with me. The best part of this is that we have so much to look forward to. The greatest thing about life is that no matter what happens, we can always look ahead to the amazing things God has in store for us and that is what gets me through the craziness of this big transition. 

xo

Weekly Workout Routine



 Since around December, I've been sticking to a pretty strict workout routine to get ready for my spring break trip to Sanibel (that is this week!!). I thought I would share my routine for a typical week. I like to mix it up each day because I get bored really easily. I made up my own routine in my Notes for abs and arms that I included in this post. I find a lot of my workouts on Pinterest, so I'm planning on doing a post in the near future rounding up my favorites.



Monday // HIIT
My sister and I share a personal trainer and we do a 30 minute HIIT session with him every Monday. Even though it's only 30 minutes, interval training is really challenging! I've learned a lot of different leg/ab workouts from him that I can carry over into my workouts on my own.

Tuesday // Legs + Abs
For my cardio on Tuesdays, I like to get on the treadmill. I'll usually jog at a high incline for a little while, then bring the incline down and sprint, and keep switching off for about 30 minutes. After this, I'll do abs. I find most of these workouts on Pinterest, but some of my go-to workouts are planks, V-ups, Russian twists, and toe touches with a med ball. For legs, I like the leg press and adductor machines and doing different kinds of squats and lunges with a kettlebell. 

Wednesday // Arms + Abs
If I've done the treadmill on Tuesday, I'll usually do a 30 minute interval workout on the arc trainer/elliptical. This is my favorite cardio to do at the gym. I'll do a different ab workout than the day before and then move on to arms. For arms, I usually do the reverse fly, shoulder press, and chest press machines, as well as some kind of workout with dumbbells. 

Thursday // Spin Class or Legs
I found a spin class at my gym that I love going to on Thursday mornings before school. I can't always get myself out of bed at 5AM for this, so if I don't go, I'll do cardio and a different leg workout than what I did on Tuesday after school. I try not to focus on abs everyday, but I like to at least do a few one minute planks and side planks also. 

Friday // Rest Day
Friday isn't always my rest day depending on my schedule for the week, but usually I'll take one or two rest days in between. I plan my workouts around whatever else I have going on and switch it up accordingly.

Saturday // Outdoor Run
Now that it's warmer and nicer outside, I try to do a 4 or 5 mile run outside one or two days a week. If it's extra nice outside during the week, I skip the gym and come home and run. My goal is to run a half marathon in October, so I'm making more of an effort to get on the road. I always tend to run more outside in the spring and summer. My favorite app to track my runs is Nike+ Running.

Sunday // Full Body
I try to get in a long, hard workout on Sundays. I do a few minutes of extra cardio and a little bit of everything. I mainly focus on abs and then do a little bit of legs and arms.

I don't do the same thing every week, but it's really important for me to stick to a routine and be accountable to working out 5-6 days a week. I also try to sit in the sauna and stretch before and after my workouts a couple days a week. Here is a link to my workout playlist on Spotify that keeps me motivated and is always changing! I love to sweat and working out almost every day is like therapy for me! Stay tuned for a post on all my favorite workouts from Pinterest in the near future.

xo

How to Make Time


The best skill that I have developed in high school is learning how to manage my time. Because I have done many activities and kept up with my school work, I feel prepared for college and being able to balance my social and academic lives. Today I'm back with a post on my best tips for managing your time. The biggest excuse (that I make at least) for putting things off is "I just don't have time right now!" Well, the truth is, it is absolutely possible to make time even when you think you don't have any.

1 // Plan on Sundays
On Sunday night, look at your calendar and see what you have going on what days and what times. If I see I have a game Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I block out time for that, and usually I'll block out an hour or two on Tuesday and Thursday to study for upcoming tests and work on big assignments. Going in to school Monday morning with a plan for the next five days makes accomplishing tasks manageable and allows you to make the most of your free time. 

2 // Set blocks of time
I've said it before, but my agenda saves my life. Get an agenda and write everything down. I usually block out time at school for finishing little homework assignments or activities, which leaves my time at home for studying or writing papers. On a typical day, I block out time from 3:30-5 to be at the gym and 7-8:30 to do homework, which leaves the time in between to eat dinner or scroll through Instagram.

3 // Prioritize
Figure out what matters the most to you, For me, it is important to block out time to workout. So I commit to working out before or after school by writing it down in my agenda. During basketball season, it was a priority for me to be at the games, so I wrote it down and planned working out and homework around that. To me, writing something down on paper means that accomplishing that goal is non-negotiable for that day.

4 // Make the most of your time at school
This is the most important thing for someone that is busy in high school! There are many days when I've had free time or study halls during a class where I have 45 minutes of uninterrupted time to do work. When you are sitting at school scrolling through Pinterest (guilty...), take that time to knock out some work instead.

5 // Make sacrifices
Being productive and making time for what's really important doesn't come without sacrifice. It can be hard to miss out on a Tuesday night game or dinner with friends, but sometime, you have to put these things off for the weekend to stay on top of assignments.

6 // Figure out what works best for you
Learning how to manage my time has allowed me to learn a lot about myself. I work my best in the morning after a little coffee and I don't mind waking up at 5:00 in the morning to hit the gym before school. I also know I can't get a lot done at night after a long day and I have to be in bed before 10:00PM if I want to be a functioning human in the morning. When you learn more about yourself and how you work, finding time gets a whole lot easier.

xo

My Hope for 2016


For a long time, I tried to set myself up to be a style blogger and share my outfits and favorite beauty products all the time. It wasn't until recently that I realized that, while I love shopping and makeup and clothes, I love writing more. Instead of trying to be something I'm not on the Internet because I think people might like my clothes, I just want to write. While it may not be all that interesting, it is a therapeutic escape for me to be able to express myself in the best way I know how: words.

I have touched on this a little bit previously, but the past six months have been a huge rebuilding period for me. For a long time, I had been letting negative people and toxic energy consume my life so much that when I really took a hard look at my life, it was almost unrecognizable. I was so unhappy, but felt trapped in the mess that I had created. At the end of the summer, I decided that enough was enough. I was finally ready to take control of my life again and that's exactly what I did. This was not easy for me and letting go of the heavy weight that had been holding me down was very painful. However, what has resulted from those changes has been incredible. My life made a complete 180 when I cut out that negativity from my life.

On New Years Day of this year, I made a promise to myself to not stop pushing myself. My life and happiness is completely dependent upon what I make it to be and I want to make it even better. Every single morning when I drive to school, I just sit in amazement that this is my life. There were days last year, around this time, when I couldn't even imagine that things would turn around and I thought that I was going to be stuck in that rut forever. I am so proud of myself and how far I have come, but I'm not finished yet and I can't wait to see what is in store for me.

A huge part of my journey has been because of fitness and, as I've said before, I want to share more of that on my blog. I have always truly loved eating healthy and exercising, but it wasn't until recently that I really became obsessed with it. It has been a struggle for me to really believe in myself and strengthen my mind, but starting to get in shape and become physically stronger has pushed me further than I ever thought that I could go. I have worked hard to achieve my goals and, in 2016, I hope to set even higher goals and reach for something even greater.

This year, I'm sure that I will still share my style because I love clothes, but I'm going to get rid of the expectation I have set to be the perfect person. I want to focus on all aspects of my life, not just one tiny part. As I prepare to make a college decision, graduate, and start my life as an "adult" (I still don't believe that's really happening!?!), I can't wait to just write about my experiences. I wanted to wait until the end of January to post this because at the beginning of the month, we tend to get caught up in our resolutions that some of them fall to the side. However, I am even more motivated now to make this the best year ever.

xo

Pinterest Recipe Test: Banana Bread


I have always loved baking and I wish I had more time to test out different recipes. While I was on vacation during the week of Thanksgiving, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do some cooking and baking. Pinterest is my go-to for all of my recipes and I've found throughout the years that sometimes it can be hit or miss, haha! During the fall and winter, I am a sucker for any kind of break (pumpkin, banana, you name it!) I decided today to try my hand at a banana bread recipe and it was definitely a hit!




I followed this recipe and I was impressed with how easy it was. I added a handful of chocolate chips because my family and I are chocolate lovers, haha! The instructions were easy to follow and the ingredients were easy to find at the local Florida grocery store.. The directions say to bake for an hour, but mine only took 45-50 minutes. With the holidays coming up, I'm going to test out some more Pinterest recipes to share, so stay tuned!

xoxo

The Lazy Girl Workout



I'm back with a really exciting fitness post! A couple of weeks ago, my cheer coach, Kelsey, suggested I do a "lazy girl workout" for my blog. She has helped me come up with a workout that you can do without even leaving your bed and without any equipment! I've included pictures with labels for just about every move listed to make it as simple as possible. With all of the cold winter weather approaching, this will be perfect for those snowy days when you just aren't feeling like leaving the house to head to the gym.

xoxo