Monday, December 31, 2012

What I've Learned this Year

2012 has been a phenomenal, life-changing year. I started off the year determined to make my last semester at a school I intended to transfer from a positive experience. I was ready to get out of there, but I left with a few new friends and a couple of good times. I spent the summer doing my dream job- teaching sailing at camp and wouldn't have spent it any other way. I survived my first semester at UGA with a not-too-shabby GPA. But the absolute highlight of my 2012 occurred just a few days ago when I found out the best news...

I will be returning to my camp this summer in a new role as a leadership counselor! This has been my dream since the first time I went to camp in the fifth grade. I'm excited to impact the campers in a new way and help my counselors through the summer. Also, there are a lot of traditions reserved for leadership that I'm really excited to do!

I've learned a lot this year, and some of it I learned the hard way. But I wouldn't change a moment for anything.

I've learned...

  • I've definitely grown up a considerable amount in the past year, but I have A LOT left to do. I'm not nearly ready to be a real, live "adult" yet.
  • I don't know how everything is going to turn out. I can't know that, but it's ok.
  • Maybe my childhood dream of becoming a writer isn't so silly after all.
  • The cost of eating out really does add up.
  • Sometimes you make a bad decision. Do what you can to recover from it, and move on. Try again if you can.
  • There's no point of making a to-do list if you're not going to follow through with it.
  • I'm still not sure how one handles being sick as an "adult." I still text my mom with in-depth descriptions of my symptoms and ask what to do. 
  • How to study. Seriously. I was NOT academically challenged in high school and my first year of college. This year has been the first time that I've ever had to seriously hit the books.
  • Trust God. He has a plan, and sometimes that plan involves your dreams coming true. No matter what, it is what's best.
What have you learned this year?

Love and hugs, and Happy New Year!
Blake

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I ended up where I needed to be." -Douglas Adams

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Finals Survival Guide: My Study Tips

My last day of classes is today. Where did the time go? Unfortunately though, that means finals are in full swing. I stayed in the student center studying until 2:30 last night (well, this morning). It's open all night during finals, which I am so thankful for because I am so much more productive outside my apartment. I'm going to live there for the next week because all four of my finals at least have a cumulative portion. All. Four. So naturally, I'm not being productive; I'm writing this blog post to help y'all out since I'm such a nice person! Edit: At the time I finally returned to this post, I'm done with finals and somehow survived them. I managed to survive by neglecting my blog though :)



FIRST, preparing to study.
To-do lists are your friend. A week or two before your finals start, begin making a list of everything you need to do to prepare. Making flashcards, reviewing notes, doing problems, what ever you think you'll need to do, put it on there! I have my list organized by class and date of the final to help me prioritize. Also, sticky notes are your friend here too! Use them to mark places in your book or notes that you know you need to review, such as summary pages or important charts.

Then, figure out what to study.
This might be the hardest part. If provided a study guide, fill it out! Writing down the information will help to cement it in your brain. If not, create one! What has your teacher emphasized on previous tests? Have they mentioned anything in class that might help? What are the main ideas? Put it all on your study guide.

Actually study.
Find yourself a nice, quiet place free of distraction. I prefer to get a table outside Starbucks downtown during the day and a study room in the student center at night. If I absolutely have to study at home, I work at my kitchen table with little distractions. I also always have some study snacks and plenty of water and Diet Coke on hand!
How do you learn best? Do you review your notes by talking them out with someone? Reviewing flashcards? Rewriting and reorganizing the information? You know what's best for you and how you will best retain the information. Exhaust all your resources. Do review questions in the book from required readings. Go over anything your professor has handed out in class. Go over old tests if you have them and your final is cumulative.
Focus! That's probably the hardest part. Download the Self Control app and block any distracting websites for a set amount of time. If you don't absolutely need your computer, then don't use it. If you know that you won't get anything done studying with certain friends (you know who they are), study alone or with other people. They'll understand; you can see them when you're done!

Rock your exam!
Wake up on the morning of your test with a good breakfast. Dress for success- whether you prefer yoga pants or a cute outfit. Breathe. You're prepared. Don't psych yourself out.

Celebrate!
When finals are over, reward your hard work with a night out with friends, a big meal with too many calories, or just relaxing and watching too much Netflix. I might be guilty of doing all three of those when I finished my exams. Oops.

How do you study best?

Love and hugs,
Blake
"She turned her can'ts into cans and her dreams into plans"

Friday, November 30, 2012

Finals Survival Guide: Essentials

This semester has flown by. I'm currently in my last week of classes and gearing up for finals- eek! I know most of you in college are too, so I'm going to be starting a series called my "Finals Survival Guide." First off- the essentials!


Finals Essentials




1. Comfortable clothes | I could care less about looking fashionable during finals. It's all about the comfort when you're spending long hours in the library or at your kitchen table like me! Hoodies are perfect for this.

2. Coffee (or tea) | I'm absolutely guilty of overdoing it on the caffeine when I'm studying. At least I hate cute mugs! Lately, I've been making my own vanilla chai- it's super easy and tastes just like Starbucks!

3. Your favorite pens | If I don't have my favorite pen, it's really easy to make more excuses to not start making notes, so I always have several on hand.

4. Study Blue | Y'all know how much I love Study Blue. I'm going to be glued to it for my Anthropology and Weather and Climate flashcards.

5. Sticky Notes | Perfect for marking readings that you need to review!

6. Pandora | I love music, and Pandora provides good background study music. I love studying to either my Alabama Shakes or Avett Brothers station. Or you could check out my playlists for suggestions!

7. Snacks | I'm an awful snacker when I'm studying. I concentrate better when I'm crunching on something like Chex Mix.

What are your finals essentials?

Love and hugs,
Blake
"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." -Vincent Van Gogh

Friday, November 23, 2012

Movie Season

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! I know mine was spectacular. I ate way too much, but that's what you're supposed to do! I must confess though, I never participate in Black Friday. Crowds are certainly not my thing. Also, my sinuses have been very mean to me lately and I was not feeling leaving my bed! I did look for some deals on Amazon and a few online boutiques, but then realized how soon rent is due...

I also saw Lincoln with my family yesterday! I love seeing movies. My roommate works at a movie theater, so she can get in free and get in another person, so we see a lot of movies together. Another reason I love Thanksgiving because it marks the beginning of prime movie season.


I thought Lincoln was amazing. For a history nerd like me it was so fascinating to see this point in history come alive. Daniel Day Lewis was an amazing Lincoln. He captured everything I imagined him to be: witty and kind but fierce and determined. I also loved how the plot kept you on the edge of your seat even though you knew what was going to happen.


I want to see this movie so badly it's not even funny. It looks ridiculously good, plus I just love Jennifer Lawrence. Look up the trailer if you haven't seen it already and try to tell me you don't want to see it. The bad part? It's a limited release and the closest theater to me playing it is almost an hour away. 


My inner musical nerd is about too pee her pants waiting on this movie to come out. I'm so excited. The trailer I saw in theaters really gives me hope that this will be an excellent adaption. I also really appreciate the choice to have all of the actors sing on set instead of dubbing over like most musical movies. Only 32 more days...

I also still haven't gotten to see Argo or Wreck-It Ralph which I have been wanted to see. There are just so many movies and such little time!

What movies are you looking forward to?

Love and hugs,
Blake
"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." -Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve y'all! Though I know we all love stuffing our faces with mom's cooking (I know, my mom is a GREAT cook), I really think it is important to remember what it stands for. Everyone has something to be thankful for, and I feel like I am abundantly blessed. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the little things going wrong in our lives that we miss the good.

The Big Stuff:
I am thankful for my faith. God is the one that has blessed me beyond belief. None of my accomplishments would have been possible without Him. My faith is incredibly important to me and I would be lost without God.

I am thankful for my family. My parents and brother are seriously the most supportive, wonderful people in my life. I'm also thankful that I only live fifteen minutes away from where I grew up and can go home anytime I want!

I am thankful for my wonderful friends. I have the best friends anyone could ask for. They are so much fun and always have my back.

I am thankful for my job. I absolutely love my job at the barbecue place, mostly because of my wonderful coworkers. I'm also thankful that I have a way to pay rent!

I am thankful for my health. I feel as though this is something we all take for granted a lot of the time. I'm thankful that I wake up everyday happy and healthy.

I am thankful for my education at the amazing University of Georgia. I'm so lucky to have this opportunity and to not have to pay any money out of pocket (thanks, scholarships).

The Small Stuff:
I am thankful I spent today painting, watching Sherlock, and spending time with my family.

I am thankful that my mom picked up a pecan pie from work and I get to eat it tomorrow!

I am thankful that I came home to my roommate making cookies tonight.

I am thankful that everyone is gone this week so I can always park right next to my building.

I am thankful for my Dawgs being number three in the nation and SEC East Champions!

What are you thankful for?

Love and hugs, 
Blake
"Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you." Elise de Wolfe

Monday, November 19, 2012

You're making me blush!



Oh my gosh! Thanks so much to SHF over at The S Chronicles and Belle at The Life and Times of Belle for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award! It really means a lot to know that people are reading my blog and at least kind of appreciate what I'm doing. Having two people nominate me? Well I'm just terribly flattered. 

Rules

If you are nominated, you've been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.
Thank the person who gave you this award and include a link to their blog.
Answer the 15 questions the nominator left for you.
Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you've recently discovered or follow regularly.
Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award with a link to their blog.
Ask those bloggers 15 questions.


SHF's questions:
1. What are your beauty must-haves?

Moroccan Oil for my hair. Seriously this stuff works miracles. It smooths out hair so well and you only need a little to make dry hair look healthy!

2. If you could go anywhere  for a holiday, where would you go?
I can't pick just one country, so how about a continent?  I would tour around Europe! There are so many historical sites that I want to visit and I want to experience the different cultures! 

3. What's on the top of your Christmas wish list?
This Fossil Watch!

4. Why did you choose to start your blog?

I had been reading blogs for about six months and pseudo-blogging on tumblr for years, but I wanted to start something where I could actually write to share my thoughts and ideas.

5. Name one class you wish you would have had taken or want to take in college/university.
Call me a nerd, but I'm super excited for my multicultural women's studies class next semester! :)

6. What's your favourite way to relax after a busy day?
Catching up on my TV shows while drinking a cold Diet Coke. 

7. Which part of the holiday season are you most looking forward to?
Getting to spend Christmas with my family! Granted, I see them all the time (the perks of living fifteen minutes from my parents) but I'm still excited! 

8. If you could go to any game, which sports team would you see & who would they be playing against?
If we're talking a completely hypothetical situation here, I would love to see my Dawgs in the BCS National Championship :) Start your prayers now folks, it's possible this year but we've got a while to go!


9. What is your favourite quote?
I have so many (obviously) but my absolute favorite is probably this one-

10. Which blog(s) do you make a point of reading every day?
College Prep! It's the first blog I started reading and my favorite.

11. Who would you have lunch with if you could choose absolutely anyone?
If we're going dead or alive, I would choose Oscar Wilde. I think we would be best friends.

12. What's your usual order at Starbucks?
Skinny Vanille Latte with a pump of caramel

13. If you've volunteered before, what was your favourite volunteer experience?
I lead a bunch of high school 4-Hers around UGA for Georgia 4-H's annual Weekend in the Classic City, and that was too much fun! That's probably tied with being a teen leader at Rock Eagle 4-H Camp for two years before I worked there as a counselor. I've actually really enjoyed any volunteering I've done with 4-H!


14. Where do you order stationery from? 
I don't actually own any currently...when I've had to write Thank You notes and such in the past I just got plain cards from Target...

15. iPhone, Android, or Blackberry?
LOVE my iPhone!

Belle's Questions

1. What's your favourite perfume/scent?
Right now I wear Gorgeous by Victoria's Secret. 

2. Christmas or birthdays?
Christmas!

3. What's your favourite fast food/take out to have?

Zaxby's. I could eat it every. single. day.

4. Do you want a tattoo? If so what would you have?

I don't really want one; the thought of something that permanent scares me!

5. What is your favourite band?

Such a hard choice, but I guess I would have to go with The Avett Brothers!

6. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?

See above :)

7. What's your fave Disney movie?

Hercules. Best movie, best soundtrack, best "princess."


8. If you were granted three wishes - what would you wish for?

For enough money to pay my bills every month, to have the ability to Pin something and it shows up in my life, and a way to travel the world!

9. What is the radio station you automatically switch on when you get in the car? 

It's usually a country one!

10. If you could only wear one nail varnish for an entire year what would it be?

Probably a nice nude color like "A Crewed Interest" from Essie!


11. What is your all time favourite book?

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, hands down.

12. What is your mantra or a quote you try to live by?



13. Are you an early bird or a night owl?

A Night Owl! Any time before 10 am is too early.

14. If you could live in any era what would it be? (I'd go back to the 80s :P)

I would love to be in college in the 80's or early 90's!

15. Do you re-read books or just read them once?

I love re-reading books!

Now, for the lovely blogs that I nominate-
Christine at A Midwest Collegiate
Kelsey at The Capital Barbie

My questions for these ladies-
1. Who is your biggest inspiration?
2. What is your favorite season and why?
3. How do you eat an oreo?
4. Do you have a Twitter? If so, what is your most recent favorited tweet?
5. If they were to make a movie of your life, who would you like to play yourself?
6. What is your most visited website?
7. What's your favorite class you've ever taken?
8. What is your favorite Lilly Pulitzer print?
9. How do you plan to spend Thanksgiving?
10. What is your can't-miss TV show?
11. What state would you live in if you had to move?
12. What is your most-played song on iTunes?
13. Is your room usually messy or clean?
14. What is your favorite meal?
15. What is the best concert you've ever been to?

Love and hugs,
Blake
"Happiness is only real, when shared." -Into the Wild

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Quick Complaint

Here's a little update just to tell y'all that I'm going to be up pretty late writing this paper and I'd just like to ask one question.

Why can I write blog posts quickly all the time and love it but it takes me so long to write for school?

...now back to work.

Love and hugs,
Blake
"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Thanksgiving To-Do List

Notice some changes? How do you like the new blog design? As I expressed in my last post, I'm anxiously looking forward to Thanksgiving break. My assignment list has now dwindled down to two essays and a quiz, and it's hard not to imagine all the wonderful things I plan to do over my week-long break, so I'm taking a quick break to give you this post.

Sleep | I cannot express how excited I am to sleep when I please for a whole week. Lately I've been going to bed before twelve and waking up before ten on my own (which is a MAJOR change for your girl that used to sleep until one or two with no problem), but it will be nice to have the option to just lie in bed.

Read The Casual Vacancy | I've had this book since it came out and I am dying to read it, but I haven't had a large chunk of time to devote to getting invested in it. I'm such a big Harry Potter fan and I'm really excited to see how J.K. Rowling writes a different story. She's so immensely talented.


Make Cornbread | Lately this has become my Thanksgiving meal responsibility and let me tell you, I can make some deliciously moist cornbread. I can't remember the last time I had any and this Southern girl is craving it! That also means I get to spend time with my wonderful family!

Clean my Room | Right now the only words to describe my room are "hot mess." It is ROUGH.

Think (a little) About Finals | I know this is a break, but I need to get my ducks in a row if I'm going to not kill myself during finals. After all, after break that's all I have to worry about this semester! Maybe I'll make a few flashcards and go over a couple readings, just to get a jump start.

Do a Craft Project | I have a Pinterest board full of great ideas and it's been a while since I've had a nice crafternoon. I absolutely love to craft but haven't had time to lately! Any ideas about what I should do?

And here's a short list of things on my TO DON'T list:
Lie in bed eating and aimlessly browsing the internet for hours | Enough said.

Though one thing I have found while aimlessly browsing the internet recently that really cracks me up. It's even funnier than Rebecca Black's "Friday." I present... "It's Thanksgiving."


What are looking forward to for your time off?

Love and hugs,
Blake
"Where you invest your love, you invest your life." -Mumford and Sons

Sunday, November 11, 2012

She Works Hard for the Money

Hey y'all! I realized today that we have less than two weeks until Thanksgiving, which means just one more week of class until Thanksgiving break! Unfortunately, that means this week I have two (and a half) papers, a project, and a lab due, plus a math quiz. BUT I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! The only thing I have to worry about after Thanksgiving is finals, then my first semester at UGA is over. It FLEW by.

I have had a pretty awesome weekend, and what made it so great is that, after months of searching, I finally found a job! I'm going to be working at a local BBQ place two days a week. I started Friday and, to my surprise, I love it. It's a small, family-owned place that serves great food. Seriously, I'm getting hungry right now just thinking about it. My co-workers are great, my bosses are great, and it's a great first "real" job.

Before this, I had only ever worked as a camp counselor the past two summers. While I loved that more than anything and hope to do it again, I basically got payed to act like a loon and play with kids. It had it's challenges and rough days, but it was way more play than work. Everyday this past summer, I got to teach kids how to sail and watch a few nervous faces turn into big smiles as they set out. I spent my days chilling in the lake listening to campers truly say the funniest things. "Are there sharks in the lake? What about alligators?" "Are you sure I can't take my shoes off? These are Nikes!" And my favorite, "Can I just stay here all day?" I loved spending time with the kids in my cabin too. Every night I would read them a quote as a devotion to hopefully give them a little inspiration. Some of the responses to these have honestly changed my outlook on life and I think instilled my love of quotes! (One that I used a lot and is one of my favorites is at the end of this post!) I also got to work with some of my best friends everyday. Nothing makes sure a friendship will last a lifetime like working long hours and living in close quarters together! There's no way any of us could get through the summer without leaning on each other. I love my camp friends with all my heart.

Words can't even describe how lucky I am to have had this job. The past two summers have held great memories and taught me so many valuable lessons. I would have never knew how much I was capable of without my camp counselor job. I'm sure I will have days when I'm up to my eyeballs in Brunswick stew where I wish I was swimming out to the island in the middle of the lake to rescue a rogue sailboat. But really, I am lucky to have my first jobs be so awesome.

What was your first job? How about your favorite?

Love and hugs,
Blake
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."-Roald Dahl

Friday, November 9, 2012

What I'm Listening To

I feel like I always define time periods in my life by the music I listen to during them. For example, early high school sounds like Boys Like Girls and other rather crappy "alternative" bands. I know, I'm shuddering too. Lil Wayne's Tha Carter 1V always makes me think of my first semester of college. Right now, my fall is sounding like a nice mix of country, old rock, and a little indie. I've put together this playlist to give you a sample of what I'm listening to!

What are you listening to? Is there any particular music that makes you think of a specific time?

Love and hugs,
Blake
"Funny how a melody sounds like a memory." -Eric Church, Springsteen

Monday, November 5, 2012

Things I Honestly Suck At

I feel like the blogging world is so often a platform for people to brag about how good at everything they are at how together they have everything. "Look at my perfect crafts, wardrobe, organization skills, recipes, blah, blah, blah. Here's how you can be as put together as me!" As you probably all know, (to put it quite bluntly), I don't BS around, and neither do those running my favorite blogs. You guys keep doing you; I appreciate it. So to combat this stereotype of bloggers only ever putting their best, perfectly natural-looking make-up face forward, I've compiled a real list of real things that I honestly suck at. Don't get me wrong, I'm also pretty good at a lot of things, but who wants to read about that?

1. Paying attention in class when I have my laptop out
...I was in class when I first started this post, y'all. I just like blogging and reading other blogs so much more than Weather and Climate!

2. Replying to texts/e-mails
I'm awful about reading a text message or email, deciding I need to think about what to say back, and forgetting to ever reply.

3. Being flirty and outgoing
I assume that, naturally, everyone hates me and doesn't want to talk to me. I recognize that this is completely stupid, but I do!

4. Eating vegetables
I've bought so few since I started buying my own groceries that it's embarrassing.

5. Procrastinating
As I've said before, I am a horrible procrastinator. I put off EVERYTHING until the last minute. I'm a lot better about it than I used to be, but I'm still struggling.

There you are. Five things I honestly suck at. I feel like writing that out was almost therapeutic. If you can't pinpoint your weaknesses, how will you overcome them?

So let's have a nice, quick honesty hour. What's something you're bad at?

Love and hugs,
Blake
"Find joy in your frustrations."

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sweater Weather

Now that it's finally feeling like fall, it's time to curl up in some cozy sweaters! Here are some of my favorites- I love a good big and obnoxious sweater!

Sweater Weather


J.Crew fair isle sweater / H&M jumper sweater, $32 / Quiksilver top /  Diamond Printed shirt / Embroidered sweater

Love and hugs,
Blake
"Be so happy that when others look at you they become happy too"

Monday, October 29, 2012

Easy Halloween Costumes

Happy almost Halloween, y'all! I just got back from a fantastic Georgia/Florida weekend in St. Simons, and all I have to say is GO DAWGS! I was so proud of my team for pulling out that win and our formerly struggling defense for not allowing the Gators to score a single touch down! After a loss to South Carolina and a struggle against Kentucky last week, no one thought we could win, but my babies sure proved them all wrong!
Enough about football though, it's time to look forward to Halloween on Wednesday. I haven't picked out my costume yet, but I have a few ideas for those of you like me that are going to have to throw something together last minute.
Halloween costumes

1. Sandy (at the end of Grease) | Pair some black leggings with a black, off-the-shoulder top, hoop earrings, and show-stopping red high heels for this look. Curl your hair and rock this look with confidence, and you're "bad" Sandy! I might just love this because Grease is one of my favorite movies.
2. Tom Cruise in Risky Business | This is my favorite idea for a costume ever because it costs no money and would be so comfortable. Just raid your guy friend's or brother's closet for a white button-down and boxers to wear with tube socks and sunglasses. Boom. Comfortable and cute without being too revealing.
3. Karen from Mean Girls | Though Karen rocks some rather risque lingerie, you can make this funny costume with a classier black dress with a silver ribbon tied around it and, of course, the mouse ears. This is what my roommate is wearing and she intends to walk around all night tell everyone, "I'm a mouse, duh!'

What are y'all dressing up as for Halloween?

Love and hugs,
Blake
"When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead." -Hemingway

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I just can't contain my excitement!

Right now I'm sitting in class, anxiously awaiting this afternoon when I will be on my way to St. Simons Island for Georgia-Florida weekend! The only things standing in my way are two classes and and an Educational Psychology test (NOT looking forward to that). But then, at three, I'll be headed down south for a weekend on the beach! I am so excited. This will be my first time going, and for those of you not quite in this culture, it's a BIG deal. I take for granted that not everyone grew up in Athens where everything is planned around the Georgia-Florida game. After all, UGA's fall break is basically just for this game.
I'm currently in a class on 300, and I'd estimate that there's about half of that in here today. UGA students are making their way down to St. Simons Island for the pre-game celebrations: Frat Beach. While I've never been, I've seen pictures. The beach is absolutely packed and can get a little crazy. Then, on Saturday, everyone heads over to Jacksonville, Florida (the neutral playing territory) to tailgate and maybe go to the game- if you can find a ticket! This weekend though, I'm just staying in St. Simons and watching the game on TV :)
I'm so happy that I finally get to experience this Georgia tradition that I've heard about for so long. If any of my readers are headed that way as well- be safe and have fun! And GOOOO DAWGS! SIC EM!

Love and hugs,
Blake
"Live a little; love a lot" -Kenny Chesney 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Top Ten iPhone Apps

Last Friday I traded in my old clunker Android phone for a new iPhone 4s! I am absolutely in love with it. #TeamiPhone all the way. I've spent so much time playing around with it and finding out which apps I can't live without. Besides the basics (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc), I can already tell that these top 10 are ones I will be using religiously. Plus, they're all free! (I'm way to cheap to shell out even .99)

Background courtesy of Carly over at The College Prepster :)

1. Evernote
I've been using the Mac app to take notes in for my classes this semester and I absolutely love it. It has such a clean and simple organization that auto-saves and automatically backs up your files. If you download the iPhone app, they automatically sync there too so you always have them with you! Lately I've started using this app as place to keep track of all of my lists. I have a "notebook" for my blog, so when I think of a good post idea, I just jot it down in Evernote and I have it saved on my laptop and phone! The other night I had a great idea for a post as I was about to fall asleep, and I just typed it into my Evernote app on my phone instead of forgetting about it. I cannot sing the praises of this app enough!

2. Shazam
Am I the only one that gets really bothered when I hear a song playing somewhere and I just can't put my finger on what it is? Just me? Ok, Shazam solves that problem! Just pull up the app and have it listen to a sample of the song that's playing and it will tell you the title and artist. No more arguing whether it's Billy Currington or Dierks Bentley that sings that song because you get them mixed up. Once again, am I the only one that does that?

3. Bejewled Blitz
I am addicted to this game. It's perfect for those little bits of time when I'm just sitting at the bus stop because one game is so fast. It's simple to learn and easy to play! I play Bejewled Blitz so much that I swear I see an ongoing game when I close my eyes at night.

4. Gas Buddy
Whoever came up with this was simply a genius. It takes your location and gives you the gas prices at the nearest gas stations! It's great way to find the cheapest gas around you.

5. ESPN Score Center
All the quick info about any current game in one app!  The "My Teams" feature allows me to keep up with my Dawgs with real time updating when I have to miss a game. I can also flip over to the NCAA Football tab to check all the scores for the day! I'm sure someone that's more sports obsessed than me would find this even more useful, because I doubt I'll be using it once football season is over.

6. IMDb
What I love about Shazam, this app does for movies. I watch a lot of movies, and I always feel the need to know what I've seen someone in when they look familiar. I can just whip out my phone and look up the cast! Then I get back to my movie without constantly wondering "Where have I seen them before?"

7. StudyBlue
I have sung StudyBlue's praises repeatedly on this blog. The iPhone app allows me to always have access to flashcards and other study materials for all of my classes in my pocket!

8. GroupMe
Though iPhone has a group messaging feature, this app is the best for communicating with those who don't have one. We used this at camp this summer to quickly give each other information without having to individually text a ton of people and relay it back. Even if someone doesn't have the app, it all shows up in one message thread.

9. Units Converter
Living in my apartment has been an adventure in cooking. Most of the time, the recipes I use serve a lot more than just the two I'm usually cooking for. This converter easily allows me to figure out just how much I need of a unit if I cut something in half and may not be able to exactly measure 3/8 of a tablespoon or forget for a minute how many cups are in a quart :)

10. The Weather Channel
I check this app every morning before I get dressed. It has the basic forecast for the day right on the first screen, and an hour-by-hour is only a swipe away. This is a necessity for unpredictable Georgia weather! No more getting caught in Norts when it's freezing or long-sleeves when it's hot.

What are the apps you can't live without?

Love and hugs,
Blake
"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." -Emerson

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Recent Realizations

Lately I've had a lot of time to think and I've come to a major realization:
I don't actually know what I'm doing in life, but it's ok, because I never have.

I've been looking back on what I was like a year and a half ago when I was transitioning from high school to college and it's crazy to think how different everything was. I had everything planned out. I was going to Lee University, majoring in Journalism, rushing a certain local sorority, leaving Athens and never looking back. I thought I had it figured out.

I was so wrong.

Lee was a nice place, but it wasn't for me. It was nothing like I imagined my college experience. I couldn't find somewhere to fit in. There's a very certain type that truly enjoys it there, and they just aren't anything like me. I started taking Intro to Communications, the first class for my major, and I absolutely hated it. I found it all incredibly boring and when we began talking about Journalism, I realized I couldn't see myself doing that for the rest of my life- at all. 

In short- I was miserable. Thanksgiving break rolled around, and I went out to eat with my parents in downtown Athens. The trees were decorated with lights like they are every holiday season and it suddenly hit me how much I loved Athens. It's such a wonderful, perfect town. I had no idea why I ever left and realized- I wanted to transfer to UGA. In that moment I made an amazing decision and I'm so glad I did. I'm now at UGA majoring in English Education and I'm so happy.

Lately I've been questioning the plans I'm making but I'm beginning to see that everything in my past has had a way of working out, so why shouldn't my my future? I just need to keep trusting in God and seeking His plan and it will all be ok.

Love and hugs,
Blake
"Call to Me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"We Won't Ever Look as Good as we do Now"

Finally, I'm done with all of my tests! I made it through and now it's time to celebrate. Tomorrow, I'm going to see Luke Bryan! The title of this post is from his song, "Love in a College Town," one of my favorites. I'm so excited. I'm just a little in love with him; I mean, look at him.
Yes, I will shake it for you.
PLUS, two friends from my old school are coming to visit! (Which means I actually cleaned my apartment) However, I've been so caught up with school that I realized this afternoon that I had no idea what to wear. It's on a farm out in the middle of nowhere, so I decided to go the simple route with a lightweight blouse, skinny jeans, and (of course) cowboy boots. I put together a similar for y'all here; unfortunately the boots are the only thing I own!
Fall country concert



H&M chiffon shirt /Seven for all Mankind Skinny leg jeans, / Steve Madden stacked heel / Bauble Bar Chain link necklace

Are y'all going to any fun concerts anytime soon? What are you wearing?

Love and hugs,
Blake
"I am just what I am, I'm just what you see. So I'll make it easy, I'll stay me."   -Luke Bryan

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Studying Sunday

Happy Sunday loves! After an absolutely HEARTBREAKING loss from my Dawgs last night (still love them and my school!) I'm spending today studying for my LAST MIDTERM! Wooooo! I'm curled up on my couch with my favorite coffee mug, big t-shirt, yoga pants, and notes with a Sex and the City marathon on TV. All in all, it's a pretty good day.
Studying Sunday




Love and hugs,
Blake
"Decide what to be and go be it" -The Avett Brothers

Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's Ok Thursday


For this post I'm linking up with Neely over at A Complete Waste of Makeup. I'm really needing an "It's Ok" day because I am struggling!

It's ok...

  • That I'm completely dragging this morning due to lack of sleep, and I'm not getting much more tonight
  • To want to kill the girls around me in class that feel like it's ok to have a full conversation during a lecture...but not to act on it ;)
  • To eat the ridiculous amount of calories I've been consuming over the past few days because I eat a lot when I study
  • To wish it was this time next week so I'm done with all my tests and getting ready for Luke Bryan!
  • To still be unsure of who I'm voting for in this election
  • That (speaking of the election) I generally hate most political opinions voiced in a facebook status or tweet
  • To be terrified of the future
  • To want a nice boy to date one minute and to be single for a long time the next
  • To be craving a Chick Fil A biscuit something fierce right now
Love and hugs,
Blake
"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself" -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happy Mean Girls Day!

"On October third, he asked me what day it is."


AND It's a Wednesday!


Mean Girls is a classic movie and if you don't think so, you're wrong. It's flawless, just like Regina George. 

Love and hugs,
Blake
"That is SO fetch."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Putting Things in Perspective

There are currently a lot of things stressing me out, but there are also a lot of things to be excited about. I've got to think about both to keep from going insane with anxiety.

Stressful things:
  • I have a Weather and Climate test on Friday and I just straight up don't get it. No eloquent way to put that.
  • I have so much to learn for my Anthropology midterm on Monday, but (bright side) I find it much more interesting than... weather.
  • I'm not doing so hot in my Educational Psych class, which is really discouraging because, you know, my major is in education.
  • I'm having kind of a mid-college crisis and realizing I'm not so sure I know what I want to do with the rest of my life right now. I just have so many interests and I want to pursue them all!
  • My apartment is a mess but I just don't feel like cleaning. 
Exciting things:
  • I LOVE OCTOBER! Soon, maybe, it will actually be cold enough to wear long pants!
  • There are so many things to look forward to after this hump of midterms: the Luke Bryan concert, Georgia-Florida game (aka a weekend in St. Simons!), and Halloween!
  • Math, my worst subject, is currently the least of my worries! Today we had a group quiz and for once I was the one people asked questions because I actually knew what was going on.
  • It's Tuesday, which means $5 large Papa Johns pizza. Judge me.
  • Saturday's UGA/USC game is going to be a good one and will be a much needed study break!
  • Supernatural and 30 Rock both come back on this week! Revenge is already back AND SNL is new on Saturday! Sorry... I like TV.
  • I'm about to take a lovely nap.
There are so many more things to look forward to than to dread! Sometimes all it takes is listing it out to make you realize that.

Love and hugs,
Blake
"Keep your face always towards the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you." -Walt Whitman

Thursday, September 27, 2012

MIDTERMS

It hardly seems like I've been in school long enough for the semester to be almost halfway over, but it's time for me to start gearing up for midterms and other exams over the next week and a half.
I'm freaking out a little.
BUT I CAN DO THIS. I probably won't be posting very regularly in the coming days, even though I do have some fun stories to share with y'all! If I do post, feel free to comment with something along the lines of, "I know you're procrastinating! DO YOUR WORK!"
Here are a few nuggets of wisdom that I'm going to be leaning on so I don't lose my mind.
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Love and hugs,
Blake
"HELP! I need somebody. HELP!" -The Beatles 


Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall Favorites


I spent have my day trying to come up with a cute pun on "fall." They all failed; they were lame. You get a touch of alliteration. Sorry.

But I am SO excited that it's fall! I WORE A LONG-SLEEVE SHIRT TODAY (with shorts, it's still about 70 degrees). I spent a decent portion of my day driving around with the windows down listening to country and classic rock and another portion sitting outside and enjoying the breeze with a book. Right now I'm reading Son of a Witch, the sequel to one of my favorite books that became one of my favorite musicals, Wicked, by Gregory Maguire. I only wish I had time to stop by Starbucks, but confession time: I've never had a Pumpkin Spice latte. If you haven't wanted to revoke my blogger status yet, you probably want to now. I do enjoy a nice pumpkin bread, though!

But there are so many other things to love about fall! Mainly the clothes! I love fall clothing the most, I think. I like being cozy but not having to bundle up too much. Here are some of my fall favorites for this crisp weather.


Fall Favorites



Lilly Pulitzer Dress / J.Crew knit cardigan / Patagonia Pullover  / Nine West boots / FOSSIL vintage handbag / Ann Taylor scarf

Love and hugs,
Blake
"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." -The Great Gatsby 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Study Essentials

Happy Sunday! Sundays are the days that I usually reserve for studying and doing homework. Right now I'm doing an excellent job of procrastinating and writing this blog post about study essentials!

Study Essentials


Study Blue: This website is my best friend when it's time to study for tests that include a lot of terms to memorize. You can create and share online flashcards organized by class and keep track of your progress. You can even find flashcards people in your same class already made. They also have an app for iPhone and Android so you can study on the go; I get to take advantage of time on the bus to study without worrying about carrying around a deck of flashcards!

G2 Breast Cancer Awareness Pens: I am absolutely obsessed with these pens. I can't imagine using any other kind. They write so smoothly, contribute to a great cause, and are such a cute shade of pink!

Vera Bradley Forget-Me-Nots: I (along with every other college blogger on the internet) love sticky notes. I just use boring old post-its right now, but I have my eye on these adorable Vera Bradley sticky notes. I love using them to make to-do lists, leave reminders to myself on my mirror, and mark important sections in my notes. To-lists are great when I'm studying because they keep me on track and make me feel less overwhelmed when I have everything listed out.


2012-2013 Lilly Pulitzer Large Agenda Gimme Some Leg: My agenda never leaves my side. I use it to organize all my assignment dates, club meetings, appointments, and daily to-do lists (on the sticky notes :) ). I love the Lilly Pulitzer large agendas because they have enough room to write down details but isn't so big that it's cumbersome. 

Pandora: I can't ever study without a little music in the background! Pandora is great because you don't have to focus on changing the songs or waste time making a playlist (like I tend to do). My favorite stations to study to are Alabama Shakes and The Avett Brothers.

 Five Star® Style Wirebound Notebook: Five Star notebooks are a great stand-by that I've used since high school, and now they come in fun patterns! 


Love and hugs,
Blake
"You are too smart to be the only thing standing in your way." -Jennifer J. Freeman

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just Breathe

Anxiety plagues everyone at some point in their life. That nervous feeling in your stomach, your heart and mind racing, and a feeling of panic about whatever it is that's troubling you.
It sucks.
There's no delicate way to put it. It especially sucks if it develops into a full blown panic attack. I've been known to suffer from these (I get it from my mom) a little more than the average person, but I'm grateful that they're not at the scale where they impact my life significantly. I'm not medicated or even diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, but I've had to learn how to deal with these panic attacks. Here's just a few things that help me when my anxiety level gets too high.

  1. Breathe deeply and slowly | This is first step to calming yourself down. Focus on inhaling and exhaling and your mind starts to slowly focus less on your worries. This will also help slow your heart rate if it's getting up as well. For a little bit, only think about your breathing.
  2. Take a drive with the music turned up | This is what I do the most when I get stressed out. I even have a specific playlist. There's something about driving around with no place to be that allows me to calmly sort through my thoughts. I took a lot of drives my freshman year of college.
  3. Get lost in a good book or movie | This is a great, old stand-by. Immerse yourself for a while in something that has absolutely nothing to do with what you're worrying about. Once you've removed yourself from the situation for a little bit, you're less likely to panic about it.
  4. Vent (for a little bit) to your best friend | A quick venting session never hurt anyone, but there comes a point when you need to stop talking about it and take action.
  5. Indulge in your favorite Starbucks drink- no matter how many calories | Treat yourself! A small boost of caffeine and sugar might be exactly what you need to feel like you can conquer the world.
  6. Paint your nails | This is another quick break when you really need a distraction. Personally, I'm terrible at painting my nails so I really have to concentrate. There's no room in my mind for anything else!
  7. Write about it | For me, sometimes it takes organizing my thoughts into coherent sentences on paper to achieve sudden clarity. I don't really keep a journal, but I have a password-protected file on my computer that I use to spill everything that's going on in my mind if I feel like I'm bottling it up. It's so cathartic! 
  8. Remind yourself that no matter what happens- you are enough | This is the most important thing. You can do it. I promise. Don't let anything be bigger than your own determination and strength. Tap into every resource you have and you can do anything.
Love and hugs, 
Blake 
"So this is the part where I'm supposed to tell you it's not scary. Well, it is. But fear is natural, fear is good- it just means you're growing." -Unknown


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lazy Sunday

This weekend has for sure been one of the best of my life. One of the things that made it so amazing was that Maia came to visit me!
Aren't we cute?
I had a fantastic time cheering on my Dawgs to a 56-20 win over Florida Atlantic with a ton of my camp counselor friends that were in town. Seeing all of them brightened my weekend further (and gave me some energy because I got zero sleep on Friday). We always have a fantastic time together! Also, Maia and our other friend Tori decided officially that I should write a book on how to be a lady. I definitely appreciate that! What do you think? Should my next step be a book?

This weekend was wonderful, but I am glad that today I get to have a lazy Sunday. My wave of tests is over and I can use today to do nothing but curl up in bed and watch last night's Saturday Night Live premiere (I'm obsessed, by the way). I get to rest! I hope the rest of you had as great of a weekend as I did and can use today to be lazy!

Love and hugs,
Blake
"True friendship isn't about being inseparable. It's about being separated and nothing changes."

Friday, September 14, 2012

I'm in Love with Lilly

My collection of items from Lilly Pulitzer is ever-growing, and the Endless Summer Sale a while back helped with that. As most of you probably recall, that sale had a hot mess of technical errors. Fanatics like me crashed the website and getting back up was rather bumpy.
I had decided recently to stop spending so much money... and then I got an email apologizing for the experience and giving me a code for 20% off and free shipping. Now how can I pass that up?
Now the question is: what to buy?
Such a cute tank top that will be cute in the spring too.

I'm trying to convince myself that I don't need another tote bag... and failing. 
Adore this as a fall transition piece and the elephants are super cute.
This cute koozie might be an addition to whatever else I buy!
HELP! What should I buy? Convince me not to get it all!

Love and hugs,
Blake
"It's always summer somewhere." -Lilly Pulitzer

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dilemma of the Day: Clothes for Class

As it's still considered "back-to-school season" (even though I've been in class for about a month and am currently dealing with my first wave of tests), I've been seeing several posts on outfits to wear to class. There's an assortment of adorable outfits that honestly I would love to wear, but never to class. In high school, I usually made sure I looked cute for school most of the time. I even did so at my college last year. Now that I'm at UGA? Nike shorts and a t-shirt, everyday. Oops. I can feel the glaring judgement from other bloggers that like to give a million ideas of how to look cute and comfortable with little effort.

Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with dressing up for class. It's just that no one does it here. I know at other schools it's different. At my first college, everyone was always dressed up for class and maybe wore a t-shirt or a sweatshirt once a week. I don't think I ever even saw a girl in sweatpants. Today I wore a "real" shirt and jeans and it was the most I had dressed up for class all semester and it was only because I needed to drop off a job application while I was out and didn't want to look like a slob. Personally, I like dressing down for class so much more because it allows me to be comfortable and focus on the material. However, I've also heard that when you feel better about your appearance you're more focused and more likely to do well on tests.

So what do you wear to class? Do you save your cute clothes for other things (like me) or dress to the nines to learn? Am I bad blogger for generally wearing Nike shorts and a t-shirt for school?

Love and hugs,
Blake

"Live the dream and learn to chase it."