It’s Coming

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Tomorrow marks the start of Easter break, and after we get back on Tuesday, it’s spring weekend, a weekend of finals, senior week and then graduation. I have never felt so horrified in my life. As difficult of a time as I had my first few years at school, I’ve suddenly re-fallen in love with Fordham and the thought of leaving and never coming back breaks my heart.

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With a casual month until graduation, I finally feel like I found my groove here. I have friends. I say hi to people on campus, in class, at the gym. I have a group of people to get ready with and go to parties with. I have friends who will hang out with me during the day. People I will miss once I leave.

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Springtime has also finally graced the northeast, and the green grass and blooming flowers on campus and in the city remind me exactly why I chose Fordham. It’s beautiful. The campus on a sunny day is stunning. On my way to the gym on Saturday I found myself really taking it in and I was overcome with all kinds of emotion. When I got to the gym I almost broke down in tears, the end of the semester–and college–finally hitting me.

I don’t want to be sad for the last month of school. I’ve been trying to just soak up as much as I can while I’m here, and spend as much time with my friends as I can. Instead of laying in bed watching Netflix (my favorite hobby) I’ll make plans with Kaitie for fro-yo or drinks. Instead of spending hours slaving away on my homework and readings, I put spending time with friends as my priority. Because at this point, my GPA really isn’t going anywhere, and no one really looks at in anyway. When I look back at college, and specifically, my senior year, I want to remember the late nights spent with people I care about and who care about me, laughing and being happy. I won’t remember writing papers or getting a good night’s sleep.

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I also keep reminding myself that this isn’t the end. Yes, it’s the end of education and I’ll never go to school again (hallelujah) but post-college is what all this school has been preparing me for. Graduation is the start of my real life. As sad as I am that this stage of my life is ending, I am also incredibly excited to become my fully formed self, and see what else life haws in store for me.

Graduation is scary and sad, but there are so many more important things to think about and to do than to just be sad about it.

Cheers to one more month!

Affordable Senior Week Dresses

Second only to the inherent horror of graduation itself, buying dresses for all the preceding events is the worst thing about graduation. At Fordham, we have an Under the Tent Dance, Senior Ball, Parent Appreciation Dinner Dance, and graduation itself, and then any other special ceremonies or events you might have to attend, and the costs just add up.

After shelling out an unreal sum of money just for tickets to most of these events, I swore to myself (and my mom) that I’d be frugal in my dress purchases, without sacrificing quality or classiness. Some dresses I already have and am re-wearing from other events (Bridget’s graduation, my high school graduation….) but there were some I just needed to buy. While Kaitie and I agonized over cheap but cute dresses, I compiled a pretty extensive list of sites that had just what we were looking for at the perfect price points.

Formal

My biggest concern was a dress for Senior Ball. While last year at Andrew’s ball I didn’t go all-out formal, Fordham’s ball is a pretty extravagant affair. A lot of girls wear long dresses and the event is catered and at a really nice location on the water. I have nothing against long dresses but I didn’t want one. However, long gowns come with a kind of inherent classiness, so I had to find a short dress that wouldn’t look cheap or casual alongside the longer gowns.

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This is the one I ended up purchasing from Francesca’s. I liked the structured poof of the skirt and the textured fabric. My mom liked it because it would be simple for her to alter if it didn’t fit exactly right, and it’s a classic LBD that would be re-wearable in the future.

However, these were some other contenders:

 

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Forever 21: I really like the fit-and-flare cut, since it flatters most body types, and the lace patterning is super chic, I think.

senior-ball-dress-francescas-pinkFrancesca’s: This dress was pretty much my second choice. The bright pink is such a fun color, and the cut of the top is sweet but still elegant.

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Nasty Gal: Something about the deep v-neck and open back of this dress called to me. The cleavage might be a lot, but the full skirt makes up for it.

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TJ Maxx: I had initially not wanted an a-line or fit-and-flare dress, and something more like this one. With pretty earrings and simple heels, this could be chic to the max.

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DailyLook: If I were to go the long gown route, this dress was in the lead. I love the neckline and open back, and I think it would have looked classy in an effortless way with a loose up-do and drop earrings.

Semi-Formal

The rest of the events of the week still require dresses, but less formal ones, as most classify as cocktail parties. For these I just wanted to be comfy but still stylish. Because there are obviously going to be tons of pictures.

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Forever 21: Since graduation is in the spring, simple, springy dresses work best. The bright pink pattern of this one and its playful cutout are cute but still cover enough not to look cheap or trashy.

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Forever 21: I LOVE the back of this dress. It’s so simple but still so chic. AND it’s only $23. I feel like I could wear this with wedges all summer.

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Forever 21: Forever really is the gold mine for inexpensive dresses. The color of this one is universally flattering, and the draping in the back is seriously unique.

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Red Dress Boutique: The sweetheart neckline (a favorite of mine) plus the springy floral pattern make this dress perfect for any spring event. Not sure how I feel about the belt, though.

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Red Dress Boutique: I’m really into the high nick/low back combo with this dress, and it just seems so breezy and girly, perfect with wedges. Bonus: those scallop details.

Graduation

For commencement itself, I’m re-wearing the dress I wore to Bridget’s graduation last year, mostly because it’s a long ceremony that will most likely be super hot (we graduate on the lawn) and I’ll be wearing my gown over it most of the day anyway. But for the most part, graduation dresses should be comfy and light.

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Forever 21: This dress is flowy with a really cute sweetheart neckline and open back. So many of my favorites all in one dress.

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Forever 21: The shape of this dress is super similar to the one I’m going to wear. The lace fabric and light blue color are springy, and the swingy-skirt allows some breathing room.

Whether or not you’re graduating in May, a lot of these shops and stores have tons of affordable options for any spring event. It is possible to look cute without dropping a ton on dresses.

I Went to Lehigh!

freshman year at fordham

freshman year at fordham

Freshman year, Lolly came up to Fordham for a weekend and since then I had been promising her for the past three years that I’d make it down there to return the favor but between cheerleading and Lauren being abroad last year we couldn’t work it out. I had almost given up on getting to see her until something came up for Saturday night I really didn’t want to be a part of and after I confirmed that Lauren would be around, I decided to go visit.

I arrived in Bethlehem around dinner time Saturday night and after we went and changed and got ready Lauren had a reservation for us at a martini bar. Spoiler: we got margs. A girl after my own heart. We sat in the booth for hours (literally, three) just talking and talking and catching up. We had both gone out Friday night, so by the time we got back to her apartment, we just crashed.

Sunday, we got bagels (more favorites) and she took me around campus, which was essentially a hike because Lehigh is literally on the side of a mountain. Super pretty, but super exhausting.

It was so nice to see Lauren, since she’s working in Delaware after graduation and I probably won’t be able to see her as much as we used to during summers. She’s one of my oldest friends (since 6th grade, holla!) and one of my closest still. Lollu just gets me ;). Fingers crossed we can get more visits in in the future.

xoxo love you La

also, we didn’t get any pics together, how sad :(

March Favorites

Somehow, March ended. And it came in like a lion, out…also like a lion. The mystery still remains: where is springtime? I already brought home all my winter coats and boots, in hopes of coaxing spring out, but no such luck yet.

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Regardless, I have a few favorites from this month, starting with Yogi Teas. Before Spring Break, I bought the DeTox Tea, in hopes of cleansing before break. I don’t know how cleansed and toxin-free I am, but I do know that it tastes delicious. Next I bought the Blueberry Slim Life Green Tea, maybe a little in hopes of it slimming, but mostly because blueberry green tea just sounded so good. I love both of these, especially because on each bag tag, there’s a little inspirational quote. Plus, they taste fantastic.

While in Florida, Bridget and I spent an afternoon at Downtown Disney, where we stumbled upon Basin. We spent, like, an hour in there, touching and smelling everything. I walked away with the Oatmeal Facial Soap bar and Egg Noggin’ Conditioner bar. While I’m kind of confused by the conditioner bar, I absolutely love the facial soap. It is extremely gentle. When my face was burnt and peeling off (gross) this didn’t sting or irritate it at all. Plus, since it’s a solid, it’s easy to buy one block, and then break it in half so I can keep one in my shower and one by my sink for when I wake up in the morning.

I wrote here that I didn’t like the makeup remover I got from The Body Shop, and after I ran out of that, I turned to trusty Boots No. 7. I got the Boots Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Make-up Remover. In the bottle, it’s separated into two oils, and before I use it I shake it up. I just pour a little into my hands and rub it all over my face, especially my eyes, and then I use a little water to suds it up. I either rise it off in the sink, or if I’m about to shower, I’ll do it there. It’s gentle and doesn’t sting, it doesn’t have a smell, and it completely removes my makeup, even waterproof mascara.

Speaking of waterproof mascara, I officially moved on from my They’re Real from Benefit. I loved how that mascara made my eyelashes look full and thick, but it weighed them down, and when I wore it, my lashes wouldn’t hold a curl. I did a lot of research, and finally decided on the Maybelline The Rocket Waterproof Mascara. It’s perfect: it adds volume to the base of my eyelash, holds the curl and stays on all day. I bought it at home, because for whatever reason, it was $3 cheaper there??! I’m converted.

A few months ago, Bridget was shopping at Saks Off Fifth, and a few little Stila kits were buy one get one free, so she asked me if I wanted one, and I chose the Sensational Eyes Set, which comes with two eyeshadows and a mascara. The mascara was okay, but what I really like are the eyeshdows. The colors are Seashell and Burgundy, which are, respectively, a shimmery light pink, and a matte brownish-red. I brought them to Florida with me, and they were ideal. The pink is subtle enough for day-to-day wear, and it’s easy to blend in the Burgundy color for some depth. This little palatte is perfect, much simpler than toting my huge Naked 3, and always worrying about it cracking.

The first night in Florida, due to a number of issues, Bridget and I had to stop at Walgreens on our way back from dinner. While allergy medication and band-aids topped our list, we got held up by the makeup, as usual. I had been eyeing the Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink for some time now and finally bit the bullet and bought some. It’s the perfect bright pink color for spring, and adds a tiny amount of shimmer/glow, which is especially pretty for nighttime.

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The Wednesday before Spring Break, I decided to pop into the nail salon across from my apartment for my first set of gel nails. I’m a little crazy about keeping my nails painted and not having chips, and I knew vacation would be the best time to test this manicure. It stayed on for just under two weeks after I got it, with absolutely no chips or anything. It was easy and I loved it. My nails looked great and I didn’t worry for a second about them looking gross. I’ll be getting another one before Senior Week (TEARS) for sure.

For music, I’ve been loving Paramore. Weird, right? I heard their new single “Ain’t It Fun” on the radio at home, and ever since I’ve been re-visiting. Hayley Williams’ voice is just the best. You can see all the music I’m listening to lately here. Speaking of which, I’ve pretty much switched my alliance from Pandora to iTunes radio to Spotify. A little late here, but I really do like Spotify better, especially since you can make it play the song you actually want to hear. Crazy, right?

Finally, my last favorite is New in Town, John Mulaney’s stand up comedy special on Netflix. If you have not seen this, you need to. I’ve seen it three times already. I cry laughing every time. It’s amazing. Every last joke he tells is hilarious and so relatable, not to mention how quotable it is. It will never get old. Kudos to Erin and Kara for making me watch it. I’m new in town, and it gets worse.

April is my last (full) month at Fordham and reality is sinking in. Up until now I swore I was ready to graduate, and now I don’t want to go. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and I can’t wait for the rest of the year.

On Being a Good Friend

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In light of a lot of friendships coming and going the past few years, I’ve been trying really hard to actively be a good friend to people. It’s important for me to kind of work through any internal conflicts I might have (ex: social anxiety) and just act the way I would want a friend to treat me.

For one, I try to reach out and make plans more. That’s something I used to struggle with. I’d wait for people to call or text me and when they wouldn’t, I’d act all sad and depressed because no one wanted to hang out. Now, I try to make more plans with people. I also try not to come across as flaky. I hate when I’ve made plans with a friend and they cancel on me. If I absolutely have to cancel on someone, I try really hard to reschedule (even if it means waking up at 8 am for breakfast before a flight).

I also try to just be nicer. This sounds awful, but sometimes I just really don’t have patience for people. There are lots of times when I would rather not reply to a text or talk to people. But I’m trying hard to just ignore my personal sassiness and be nice. Turns out, being kind and social puts everyone in a good mood and almost always strengthens a friendship.

I’ve been trying to be there for people. Again, there are (lots) of times when other peoples’ problems feel trivial or like something I just can’t deal with at the moment, but I’ve been making an effort to set aside my preoccupations and let my friends know I’m there for them. Whether that means sitting at the kitchen table for hours just letting someone vent, or sending a text after seeing a sad tweet, it makes me feel good to be able to let my friends know I’m there for them, since that’s same kind of support I would want.

I live in my own little world sometimes, expecting people to reach out to me and playing the victim when they don’t, but by trying to be a better friend to others, I’ve found myself happier and surrounded by people I genuinely love and care for way more than my first three years of school. All relationships are a little bit of give and take, even friendships. I’ve come to learn that if I want good friends, I need to be a good friend, too.

Vacation Makeup

Sunday afternoon, Bridget and I are heading to Florida for a few days. As of now, rain/thunder are forecasted but I’m staying optimistic. Regardless, vacation never makes me want to wear makeup, but when I do end up going out to dinner or getting drinks I have a few products I’ll use.

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After a day in the sun, I’ll start off with a primer, just to even everything out and make sure my makeup stays on even in the heat. This one isn’t my favorite, but I’m not really in the mood to invest in a new one just yet.

Then I’ll quickly conceal any blemishes (read: zits) and my under eye circles with boi-ing by Benefit. Again, not my favorite. I’ve hit pan on this one and it’s pretty good, it just creases on me, like almost every other one. A little powder usually fixes it, though.

I had a short stint with the Cover Girl foundation that everyone and their mother on the Internet loves, but after a few moths, I came to realize I’m not really a foundation girl, especially when it’s so warm and humid out. This Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer is a little pricy, but I’ve had it for a really long time already and it still lasts and it just covers so perfectly without looking or feeling like too much. It also has SPF in it, a huge plus for the when in the Sunshine State.

Last weekend I also snagged this bronzer after going back and forth on it for months. It’s apparently a decent dupe for Benefit’s Hoola, which I really like. It’s also matte and not shiny or shimmery. It helps to blend out any sunburn or awkward discoloration I might get while out in the sun.

On top of that I’d just spritz a little De-Slick from Urban Decay. I am OBSESSED with this. I use it every single day because it keeps my makeup in place and keeps me from being shiny and gross. Essential for when I’m somewhere warm and humid.

On my eyes I’d just do a few swipes of They’re Real mascara and call it a day. Vacation isn’t the time for extreme eyeshadow or eyeliner looks. I just like to keep it simple and easy.

And finally, this lip gloss is my all time favorite. On New Year’s Eve (a delightful mess of a night…) I thought I lost it at Erin‘s house, and when she returned it I couldn’t have been happier. It’s sheer but with just enough color to pull a look together without making me look like I’m trying too hard.

These are basically for any nighttime activities. During the day I prefer just some sunscreen and chapstick and that’s it. Vacation is for just hangin’.

Products I HATED

I write a lot about products I really like, but I’ve also encountered products I don’t really love at all. Things that don’t work how they promised or that aren’t worth the money really get to me.

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The first product I really hated was the Camomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover from the Body Shop. I ordered a travel size on a whim to get my order total enough for free shipping, but this product sucked, frankly. Yes, it removed my eye makeup but it stung my eyes so bad. Every time I used it, it would somehow get in there and basically make me cry. No bueno. I just got a Boots Botanics eye makeup remover which has already proven to be much gentler.

Second, after I ran out of my Clinique Superprimer and a sample of Lorac POREfection, I went to the e.l.f. Studio downtown and grabbed a primer from them, mostly because it was cheap. And cheap it proved to be. I don’t know what it’s even doing under my makeup, but mostly, it just has the worst scent. I dread using it but I keep doing it only because I don’t want to waste my money. But I would NOT repurchase.

I had included Benefit Erase Paste in a favorites a while ago, but I’m afraid I might have spoken too soon. The salmon coloring of the product is perfect for undereye circles, and I love the idea of the thick consistency, but ultimately it just creases super fast and no matter what I try, I can’t stop it. I wanted to love it but I just can’t make it work. As soon as I can, I’ll be returning to my Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer, the best under eye cover up I’ve ever used.

My mom has been buying me the Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer for years now. It’s always done the job, but after I used the Boots Expert Sensitive Hydrating Moisturizer I can’t go back. I need to apply two or three layers of the Olay moisturizer and it hardly lasts. As soon and I’m done with this bottle I’m getting a jar of the Boots one and never looking back.

Going Long Distance

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I’ve been dating Andrew for all four years of college. I love him more than anything but long distance relationships are not a cakewalk. You don’t just go about your business in two different parts of the country without ups and downs, and most importantly, commitment.

The summer before I went to college I was terrified of a long distance relationship. The effort needed didn’t scare me, but the stories of other relationships falling apart messily did. I didn’t want a mess, just to be with my best friend.

Andrew was my first boyfriend, so I went into the whole thing completely blind. All summer before freshman year I avoided bringing up college or defining what we were, because I was afraid the answer would be “nothing.”  Until about a week before I left, we had a short talk where we both said we were exclusive and that was it. We weren’t even “official” yet. But off we went, him in Buffalo, me in New York. About a week into school we said our first “I love yous” and we both knew without certainty how committed to each other we really were. That was the key, I think, to the success of our relationship. We knew that we were exclusive and in it for the long haul and that we both cared about each other more than anything else. The understanding and commitment were, and still are, key.

Since we were decently far apart for the past three years, and extremely far apart this year, we don’t see each other often. But we do make every effort within our means to see each other as often as possible. When we were both in the same state that was about once a month, and now, it’s once every few. So when we do spend time with each other, we spend a lot of time doing our favorite things.

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That part sucks. It really really sucks, and it’s hard. Sometimes it’s easy just to get really busy and focus on my work and school and everything but there are quiet moments where I miss Andrew and I just get sad. It sucks not being able to see your best friend every day, every week or even every month.

We also make an effort to talk on the phone or face time as much as we can. Between Andrew’s work and mine it’s tough, but we manage to get as many in as possible, just to catch up and so we can hear each others’ voices every once in a while. We do text all day, every day, but even then we go long hours without hearing from each other.

But that’s easy. What’s hard is knowing how to balance our time when we are together. Summers, especially, make it hard to balance working with spending time together with spending time with our friends, most of whom are all in the same friend group. Sometimes we want to hang out together, but it’s also important to not really smother each other and spend time with our friends and families, too. This is something that took a little while to work out, but now it comes more naturally.

But I am glad that going to separate schools allowed us to have our own separate lives and our own separate times to grow. I would have loved to be able to go to school in a place where I could see Andrew more often, but I am extremely thankful that my friends aren’t just Andrew’s friends, and that my college experience was my own, and that my own challenges and growth were my own. Though, it was absolutely wonderful to have Andrew to share the ups and the downs with. And I am incredibly lucky that both of us have grown together through all this time, rather than apart.

this pic is four years old. enjoy.

this pic is four years old. enjoy.

There’s (hopefully) only a few more months left until Andrew and I are in the same city, preferably less than five minutes from each other. This whole thing has been extremely hard but this is what I’ve been waiting for. It’s incredibly important for me to get to be with Andrew after I graduate, which is why I’m more than willing to move down to Atlanta and get a job there, so we can figure everything out after. He means the world to me, and (hopefully!) me to him.

I’ve been missing Andrew a ton lately, but I’ll see him next week when I get back from Florida, and hopefully soon everything with a job and such will start lining up. Long distance is extremely difficult, but I know in the end everything will be okay and as it should be.

Spring Break Shopping

Ever since Bridget and I booked our trip to Florida, I was online shopping for spring break attire. As soon as I returned from Winter Break, I started ordering things, and they’ve finally all arrived!

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The first thing I ordered were my H&M aviators. I am obsessed with the colored lenses, and I don’t want to bring something to Florida I might lose or break. These were inexpensive enough not to scare me.

Then, I snagged a  Lilly Pulitzer sunglass strap from Pea Pod Paper and Gifts, where I’ve ordered a Lilly accessories from in the past. It was relatively cheap and I just like the idea of my sunglasses hanging on my neck when I’m not wearing them, mostly because it will keep me from losing/breaking them.

A few weeks later I ordered a tank top and this skirt from Forever 21, because I really couldn’t say no. First, the skirt looks just like the J.Crew City Mini (which I’ve been dying to have for MONTHS now) but was only $15. WHAT A STEAL. And then the tank is in a pretty blue color that’s not pink or navy (but goes with both) and was under $10. I couldn’t resist. I cannot wait for Florida so I can wear them, probably together.

I also placed an Etsy order for a red flower necklace like the J. Crew one, because I liked the pop of color it gives to otherwise plain outfits. The shop owner ended up sending me the flower one, and the pearl/chain one, which I love equally, and can’t wait to bring with me.

Finally, after browsing what felt like a hundred sites for swimsuits, giving up, and then finding the Outlet section of Asos, I ordered a bikini. I fell in love with this oxblood one last fall while I was just window shopping online, so when I found it on sale online for 15 dollars for the top and bottom with free shipping, I pounced. The top is so unlike anything I have and the color is a nice departure from my usual navy. I like how adult it looks, and I’m pretty sure it will look fab with a tan, too.

And now, we wait for break. I’m basically counting down the hours.