Santa Baby

jacket // turtleneck // vest (old) // pixie pants // necklace // boots + socks

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas! I had a great 3-day celebration with my family and friends and I feel very blessed. Santa was very good to me, but my favorite part of Christmas is getting to be with my extended family that I don't see as often as I would like. I am truly grateful for each and every person in my life. I'm very excited for New Year's Eve and to see what 2015 has in store for me! Also, I'm going to start posting on my Instagram more, so follow if you aren't already :)

PS: Shoutout to my cousins Lainey and Michael for these pictures! Also, to my entire family (who should be pictured soon) for continuing to support me through all my adventures! I love you all.

Turning in Tulle

Class in the Bluegrass and... a flying Jenna? :)

Woohoo for two posts in one day! I used Halloween as an excuse to buy this tulle skirt (50% off right now!!) and I am in love with it! I thought the Nutcracker ballet was the perfect occasion to bring it out and I wore it with my favorite button down, jeweled necklace, and black pumps. After exploring through Pinterest and Tumblr outfits, I was so excited to finally get to put this together.

More on our Nutcracker adventures - xo

Night at the Nutcracker

In September, my awesome friend, Eliza, got tickets for the Cincinnati Ballet Nutcracker at the Aronoff Center and I jumped at the chance to go with her and my other close friends, Jenna and Bethany. We drove up this past Sunday, checked into our hotel, and headed to the show! We stayed at the 21C Museum Hotel and loved it so much! It was very cool to get to look at all the art pieces and be right across the street from the Aronoff. I hadn't seen the Nutcracker in probably 10 years, so I didn't really have any memory of it, but it blew me away! The symphony was incredible and I absolutely love the Nutcracker music. We had the best seats and the whole thing was so beautiful.

Afterwards, we ate dinner at Nicholson's Pub (which had Nutcracker-themed drinks- so cute) and went to Fountain Square. At the end of our night, we stopped at the Waffo (waffle taco *insert heart eye emoji*) truck and took a (very cold, but fun) carriage ride through the city. Monday morning, we ate at First Watch and explored the city in search of a bakery Eliza really wanted to go to.

The four of us became close friends after rooming together during a school trip to Chicago two years ago. We are going to New York City in the spring for the same school trip together and couldn't be more excited! The holiday season always makes me feel so blessed, especially for great friends like Eliza, Jenna, and Bethany. I have found that good friends can be hard to find, but I am especially grateful this year for all of the amazing friendships I have. Happy Christmas Eve Eve! xo

Anatomy of a To-Do List


I am constantly trying to find new ways to get organized and stay on top of everything. I read a ton of blog posts and search for videos with other people's tips and tricks and what they do. I love seeing what works for other people and I think it's really fun to try it out for myself! Today, I'm going to be sharing what works for me. Obviously, my agenda helps me so much and I am definitely slightly OCD about organization, sooo in addition, I have to make a to do list
every day.
Sometimes, I will start my list in the morning, but usually I wait until last period for what I need to do after school because that is when I get the most work done. My lists aren't just reserved for my school work because that's what I use my agenda for. Here are the steps I follow when creating my list:

1 // School Assignments
I start with the most important aspect, school work. Right now, school is my job and the most important thing, so I include this first. Writing assignments down in my agenda and on my to do list help to reinforce how important it is because sometimes I can procrastinate just a little... :)

2 // "Fun" To Do's 
I like to include fun things to do and switch off completing one of these and a school assignment. This helps to motivate me and to treat myself to something fun after doing important work. Some of these could include to catch up with blog reading, paint my nails, write a new blog post, etc. I highly recommend including multiple break times to break up your work to keep you on task and more motivated. This is something that has helped me extremely.

3 // Things I Need
Usually when I start a list, it really gets my brain moving, so I tend to think of things I need. If I have a project or am planning on baking something, I add those supplies to my list. I always keep my to do list with me, so when I pull it out to check things off, I am reminded of what I need to pick up the next time I'm at the store.

4 // Things I Want to Do
Right now I have an ongoing list of books I want to read over the Christmas break (even though it's a little far off, a girl can dream). My mind goes a mile a minute when I start writing and planning everything going on and it's nice to see something fun to work towards like ice skating over the holidays with friends or curling up with Gone Girl (currently reading!!) by the fire on the same paper as my workload.

*Tip* : I highly recommend color coordinating. If you don't do it, give it a shot with your agenda, list, or class notes. It is truly a game changer.

Creating this list with all the sections (or at least the first two if I'm running low on time) helps my productivity tremendously. I hope you try this out for at least one day and it helps you out! Happy Wednesday! xo

PS. I've been really into reading Lifehack and Thought Catalog recently and here are two of my favorite articles I've read! 
one // two

Back with 10 Beauty Favorites

I have taken a crazy long, but much needed break from blogging focusing on school and cheerleading, etc. etc. I have planned out my December schedule and (fingers crossed) will be sticking to it!

I'm really excited to come back with a post on my favorite makeup products. When I was about 13, I discovered the amazing world of beauty YouTubers and have been a religious follower ever since. In middle school, I went on a crazy kick spending all my babysitting money on MAC makeup and a lot of other expensive, high end makeup products. After burning a pretty big hole in my wallet, I've found the beauty of the drugstore and products that are really worth spending the money. I'm not a makeup expert at all, but I definitely have experimented enough to share my favorite things!

1 - Urban Decay Naked 1 Palette
This is, hands down, the greatest beauty investment I have ever made. It definitely is an investment ($54), but worth every penny. I use this almost every day and am always coming up with new looks. I'm just obsessed with it. Any of the Naked palettes are the perfect Christmas gift to give or receive.

2 - Rimmel Scandaleyes Liner Pen
You really can't go wrong with a felt tip pen for around $5 and this one is awesome!

3 - Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion
I have really oily eyelids and primer is a must for me to keep my eye shadow on all day. I've tried a lot of different primers, including the Two Faced Shadow Insurance (a really popular one on YouTube) and this one is by far the best.

4 - L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara
Best. Mascara. Ever. It gives my lashes a lot of volume and length and is very inexpensive since it is at the drugstore. I highly, highly recommend it.

5 - Benefit Boi-ing Concealer (01/02)
I got the concealer duo pictured in a Benefit set from Sephora. I use the lighter color under my eyes and the darker one on other areas of my face that need a little extra attention. The consistency of this works really well with my skin and I don't know what I'm going to do when I have to repurchase it because I'm definitely not going to spend the money on both colors... HELP!

6/7 - NYX Stick Blush (Orchid) & NYC Bronzer (Sunny)
I put these together because I rarely use one without the other. The NYX stick blush is the perfect coral color and can be easily blended without a brush. The NYC bronzer is awesome for contouring because it's the perfect matte color for my skin and it was only $1... once again, that is not a typo.

8/9 - MAC Lustre Lipstick (Plink!) & NYX Butter Gloss (Tiramisu)
This is my favorite lip combo for every day. I'm sure there are drugstore shades similar to MAC's Plink, but I've been using this one for years and I love it. The NYX butter glosses are sooo amazing and I need to start growing my collection because they're so cheap, but such good quality.

10 - Revlon Lip Butter (Red Velvet)
I discovered these thanks to YouTube and this one is the perfect fall color. You can really build this up to be super dark or look more like a lighter stain.

Some of my favorite YouTubers are: Alexandrea Garza, Ingrid Nilsen, and Tanya Burr.
WARNING: Only click these links if you have endless free time because you can seriously dig yourself into a very deep hole with all the amazing-ness that is YouTube hahaha.

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful! I promise there are amazing products out there that you don't have to spend all your money on. Two more full weeks of school until finals and I seriously can't wait. Happy Monday/1st day of December!!

4 Tips for a Regroup

This week I am focusing on regrouping myself and getting my motivation levels back up for the final 6 weeks before exams. I'm very thankful to be feeling especially inspired on a Monday morning and I'm excited to finish out this semester strong and keep my grades up. It feels good to be staying organized. Here are my top tips for regrouping yourself and staying productive throughout the cold weather months:

1 // Keep a Clean Room
This is crucial for me. When my room is clean, my laundry is done, and my bed is made, I feel like I can accomplish so much more. I don't know about you, but having a messy room makes my daily to-do list feel a lot longer and less manageable. I make it a priority to make my bed every morning before school and put away my clothes/clean up my room before bed.

2 // Sort & Organize
My school divides our semesters up into 3, 6 week grading periods. Each 6 weeks, I sort through all of my papers and notes and decide what to keep and what to throw away. I have to do a sweep more often than just at the end of every semester, so I don't feel so bogged down. Just this morning, I organized all of my papers in my folders and locker and I already feel so much better.

3 // Stay Healthy
This is something I have been slacking with quite a lot lately. Diet and exercise has so much to do with how you feel and how productive you are throughout the day. I'm putting healthier eating (more fruits and veggies and less sweets, Panera, all things delicious...) and getting at least 3 days of working out in at the top of my priority list this upcoming winter. I'm planning on doing a post dedicated to health and fitness after I finish completing a few goals I've set for myself and have more to share.

4 // Mix it Up
With colder weather rapidly approaching (we had our first snow in the Bluegrass on Halloween night!), it's important to not get stuck in a boring routine. I've been mixing up my makeup routine, accessories, and workout routine lately and it has helped my productivity tremendously. Try a new lipstick or quick Pinterest workout (I love this one) to help boost your spirits. It's no surprise that when you're in a better mood, you can get more accomplished!

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I've sat down to write a new post probably 5 or 6 times in the past couple weeks and I've struggled to write something that I really love and want to put out there. It's hard for me to find inspiration to write when my life is filled with complete craziness. I feel like I'm slowly coming out on the other side of that craziness and it's time for a regroup. Often, it is important for me to declutter my life and I don't mean in the sense of sorting through closets and desks. When you are going through life at light speed just trying to make it through each day in one piece, you don't realize how much negative thoughts, people, and attitudes affect your life. I have to really stop and take account of all these things and try to turn it around into a positive situation or simply get rid of it. If there is one thing I need to remind myself more often, it's that it is perfectly okay to do what's best for you. At the end of the day, life is about being the best version of yourself and not about trying to constantly please others. On another note, I'm working on influencing positivity into my life through healthy habits, good people, and trying to be better. Life is too short to let negativity consume your life and be anything but happy. 

Hope everyone has a great week.

Baking with Baigin

Monday was our bake sale to raise money for an amazing organization, Pencils of Promise, that my school has partnered up with to help support, Although I may not always be able to help charities like this one in huge ways, I can help by baking tasty treats to sell for the cause. Sunday morning, I was scrolling through my Pinterest like crazy trying to find just what I wanted to make and I came across these peanut butter cup blondies. I included the link, so I'm not going to completely copy out the recipe but I will share some photos of the fun and tips! I've been into baking and cooking for a while now, so I can't wait to share with everyone my favorite recipes! These came out just like the photo and recipe said they would and were AMAZING. Tweet me a picture (@classinthebg) if you make these and follow me on Twitter for updates on all things blog related :)

TIPS // The recipe says to bake these in a square dish, but I used a rectangular one (smaller than a 13x9, but not sure the exact size) and just baked them for 15 minutes instead of 20. Also, I only had enough batter to make 15 and they were fairly thin, but it might be different using the square pan.

OOTD Sunday :)

I hope everyone has a great week and stay tuned for more Class in the Bluegrass this week!

Disney Daze

This past weekend was probably the best I've had in a while! For fall break, my friends and I packed up and headed to Disney World in Orlando, Florida to celebrate superstar Katie's 16th birthday. Of course, it was only right to document every minute of it and that's exactly what I did! Shout out to Leslie, Sarah, Katie, and Hayley for putting up with my constant blog talk- they really are the best! We left after school Wednesday, headed for the airport and (after a slight luggage mishap) arrived at the Grand Floridian around 10pm.

THURSDAY // Animal Kingdom + Hollywood Studios Part 1
We had an awesome itinerary planned out for us and we were up at 7 Thursday morning ready for our bus to Animal Kingdom. There weren't many roller coasters, but the Safari and Lion King show were AMAZING. We caught the bus and then rode our favorites: Tower of Terror and Rock'n Roller Coaster.

FRIDAY // Magic Kingdom + Hollywood Studios Part 2
There is nothing like the feeling of walking through the gates of Magic Kingdom and seeing that castle for the first time. It's been about 11 years since I was last at Disney, so it was like experiencing it all again for the first time. We hit just about everything in Tomorrowland and Fantasyland and then went back to Hollywood Studios for the Frozen Sing Along show in the late afternoon. It was seriously amazing. As a huge Frozen fan, this show made me so happy. I couldn't stop singing or smiling. Side note- Sarah and I made the genius decision to buy fanny packs in a shop on Main Street and we couldn't get enough of them. Fanny pack Friday (and no, Les, that was not a typo) in Magic Kingdom was everything we could have asked for.

SATURDAY // Magic Kingdom
I slacked a little on pictures this day, but we visited Liberty Square, Adventureland, and Frontierland Saturday morning. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Aladdin carpet ride were my personal favorites. We came back that night after resting in our room and waited in line to meet Tinker Bell and rode a few more rides since the park was open until 1am!

SUNDAY // Last Day
We woke up early and had breakfast at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and the other characters. It was so cute and the food was delicious. We ended the trip in Downtown Disney for a little while and then headed off to the airport to return home.

I've been working on this post and cropping/editing all of my photos all week and I'm so glad to get this post up finally! To be honest, I've been in a funk since getting back into my routine because this trip was so amazing and I'm having withdrawals! No matter how old you are Disney is seriously the happiest place on Earth and I don't think we could have asked for a more perfect trip with the most perfect friends! I'm headed to a vocal competition this weekend, but when I get home, I have several fun posts coming :) Hope everyone has a great rest of their week. xo