May 6, 2016

Making Your Wallet Smile // Shopping on a Budget

It's no secret that I'm broke. Being a high school sophomore, if I was loaded... it'd be pretty weird, actually. Brand new clothes from J.Crew, Old Navy or even Target are not always options due to travel time and cost. My local Target is about 30 minutes away when you take into account all of the traffic. My wardrobe is a pretty good basic foundation. I'm always keeping an eye out for little additions I can make here and there. The other weekend, I was out and about with my momma (all the tulip pictures on Instagram were from my local flower shop) and we finished our Saturday adventures with a not so adventurous trip to Walmart. We started out in the garden section, where I saw a few friendly faces from school, as well as snapped this photo. We ventured into the clothing section just to see the new stuff for Spring. For Walmart, I was definitely impressed. 

I know the quality of these photos aren't that great... but this post is more to prove a point. It takes someone who truly knows their personal style and is confident enough to follow that even if it means not shopping at the best stores... Am I making sense? I saw these shorts on the rack at Walmart and I knew I had to scoop them up. They were in a variety of colors, but this navy was definitely a good choice. They fit so well, so comfortable, and so cheap too! I swear when I went to checkout my chocolate covered blueberry acai things, these shorts and the white t-shirt featured in the picture above, and my AP review book... My wallet was smiling from ear to ear.... if it had ears....

Next time you're at your local Walmart, take a look in the clothing section. If you're in need of a solid colored t-shirt to complete an outfit, a pair of fun lace shorts, basic chambray shirt, leggings, bikini, or even a casual dress... Walmart might have just the option you need. 

Side note: Don't get worked up about the sizing. These shorts are a junior's extra large when I usually wear a medium. My mom had the same issue when picking out a tunic in the women's section. 

Another good thing to keep in mind about building up your wardrobe with cheaper alternative pieces is that Walmart delivers straight to your house... for FREE! Yes that's right, FREE SHIPPING is available for almost all products! And even if the individual product is not available for free shipping, you can always get it shipped to your local Walmart store for free! Also, more pieces are available online and you never know when they're having a sale! You could end up getting a $28 dress for even cheaper... I mean, how can you say no to that? 

Another good thing these prices are for is trying out trends. I don't know about you, but I'll see other bloggers wearing something that I would love to wear myself, but would never splurge on a piece as expensive as one from J.Crew or wherever else. I'ts so much better just to purchase an affordable version that looks similar to one I've seen, but getting to try out trends for more than half the cost, is  SUCH  A WONDERFUL THING! 

Here's some of my favorites: 

  this Woven Belted Shirt Dress $12.94

Apr 29, 2016


Well Howdy, 

It's been QUITE A WHILE , huh? Now, I did have a post up earlier this week, but I have been major slacking. I'm not that blogger that's gonna apologize or whatever about my lack of content... because I'm not sorry! I've been spending quality time with friends, brainstorming my career and college future, and studying... I'm still recovering from the plague, and my older brother's non profit organization is up and running! In other news, one of my photographs was chosen third place in my congressional district, which is pretty exciting...

I've had tests out the wazoo and I honestly just need sleep. I haven't written a post in a while and I needed to relax and destress before falling asleep. Enjoy this week's links and sorry in advance for all the open tabs you're going to have on your phone/computer/electronic device after reading this post. 

Happy Weekend, y'all! Make it a good one! XO

Apr 26, 2016

Unique Gifts For Mom // Uncommon Goods

I've always looked up to my mom. Many of my more long term readers know about some of the things that make my family unique such as my older brother's autism, and I definitely admire my mom's positive outlook, big smile, and loving attitude.  Because I love and admire my mother so, I will of course be celebrating Mother's Day... I mean if I didn't, I'm pretty sure I would never hear the end of it. Around this time of year, us bloggers and those that read blogs will stumble across countless blog posts advising you as to what to get your Mom for Mother's Day. Ideas like bath salts, lotion, jewelry, bags, and chocolate (well, maybe not chocolate) can get a little old as annual Mother's Day gifts. It can definitely be a struggle to find the perfect present for anyone, although you'd think it be easier since I'm buying for the woman that raised me from birth... Anyways, whenever I can't find the perfect present in actual stores, I turn to the internet for help!

*sponsored by Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods is an online retailer specializing in all things unique, and well... Uncommon! Upon visiting a Smithsonian craft show, Uncommon Goods founder, Dave Bolotsky was inspired. He saw the interest people had in unique goods, and Uncommon Goods was born. They've grown since 1999 in that there are many designers and creators sigh products listed on Uncommon Goods as opposed to a few craft show finds. Not only does Uncommon Goods search the Internet to find the latest and most unique products, but they also design their own! 

I think you get the idea... I'm extremely intrigued by this website, and am currently sitting in geometry entertained by all the creative ideas for products! (shhh don't tell my teacher) I'm sure you're probably imagining some super random all over the place website right now and wondering why the heck I'm talking about Mother's Day gifts. Well guys, upon 5 minutes on the site I had a list going of 10 things that remind me of my momma! (click here to see what other people are buying for their moms this Mother's Day)

Here's the ten things that I know my mom would be interested in: 

A Year Of Gratitude // 52 thank you cards (that's one a week for an entire year)

Micro Green Kits // the perfect windowsill planter!

Flavor Infuser Water Bottle // Get your mix on...

Literary Scarf // Because some mom's are just nerds

Bedside Smartphone Vase // Now your phone can enjoy those bedside flowers too...

Elwood The Rainbow Unicorn Mug // Handmade, this rainbow mug will make your coffee or tea magical

Succulent Living Wall Planter // How cool is this? You could have your succulents in a pot on the windowsill... or hanging on the wall! 

Healing Stone Mugs // Not only are these mugs beautifully made, but they are crowned with a stone that "possesses" healing powers to give you a little boost in your morning tea/coffee

Solar Tealights // I've seen a lot of solar powered outdoor lights, but these are for sure my favorites from what I've seen!

Ooma Bowl // Here's to eating hummus on the floor!

What is your mom getting for Mother's Day? I'm curious! Head to the Uncommon Goods website, and let me know one unique item that you think your mom would love! Share in the comments, below! :)

Apr 12, 2016

10 Photography Apps You Need to Download

Photography is one of those passions that keeps me sane during the school week. For me, all stages of photography are extremely relaxing. The picture planning, picture taking, picture editing, and picture sharing. It used to be that camera phones could not take decent photos, my how things have changed since the first iPhones! An iPhone now, is access to the widely creative world around us. Apps allow for young aspirers, such as myself, to explore and publish their works. I usually get asked what my favorite editing apps are... and it's been a long time since I wrote on photography. I've definitely found more apps since last Spring, so here's an updated list on the apps that you need on your phone ASAP. 

one // Foodie - This is a new discovery I have made as far as apps go. This is a camera app, meaning that you have to take pictures straight on the app instead of uploading them and editing them as is the case in apps like VSCO. It includes filters customized for foodies across the world that can't let a beautiful meal pass them by without snapping a photo. My favorite part is how simple it is! I was able to pick it up pretty quickly. 

two // Over - If you enjoy adding text to photos, this app is definitely one of my favorite free options. I've had this app on my phone for as long as I can remember, but it's still one of my favorites. Back when I was first starting my blog, I used Over to create my blog images... I haven't since, but it's still fun to play around with. 

three // Afterlight - This used to be my favorite editing app before I completely understood VSCO. It has presets similar to VSCO, but they are not as vibrant and clean. There are also some light leaks and frames that are not on other apps. Afterlight is $ 0.99, and I've certainly gotten some good use out of it! 

four // A Color Story - DEFINITELY my second favorite editing app. So many fun and bright but still professional and clean editing filter options. You're also able to adjust the color levels in the photo which is extremely helpful as well. This app was a little difficult to use in the Winter time, but now that Spring is here and Summer is only around the corner, I know I'll be using this app more and more! 

five // VSCO - My go to, always and forever. The presets are inexpensive and professional. It is simple, easy to use, and above all professional. The layout is easy on the eyes and the app not only contains filters, but also includes tools to edit and adjust the way your photo looks before publishing it. VSCO also provides a new platform to publish and discover other photos and photographers on. Whenever I'm bored or lacking inspiration, VSCO always seems to do the trick. 

six // Google Drive - I couldn't turn photos in for my photography assignments, transfer photos from my camera to my phone, and distribute event photographs to individuals without Google Drive. It is such a handy tool! I definitely recommend this over Dropbox and other options similar to Google Drive. 

seven // Instagram - duh duh duh! But for aspiring photographers, gaining an audience and fan base is absolutely crucial. Gaining your following might be a slow process, but hey! Just remember this is what you're truly passionate about and that this is your chance to be creative and inspire others. Instagram is also my go to for little editing adjustments such as highlights and shadow lightening as well as adding a slight color tint. 

eight // Lens Distortions - This app is WAY too fun to play with! You can add fog and add the sun into your photos. This would be so much fun in the Summertime with certain angles at the beach or lake. I don't really think it's necessary to have it, but it's still fun to experiment with!

nine // 1967 - This app doesn't exactly cooperate with me, but it is still (so I've heard) good for adding a vintage touch on your photographs. Like I said, I haven't quite figured it out yet, but I'm still going to continue experimenting with it's features and filters. Honestly, I think it's the layout that confuses me, but definitely give it a try! From what I've heard from other photographers , it's a good app to have. 

ten // Flic - So the majority of the apps I've listed are to help you with various editing processes and cool filters and such. This app however is still extremely useful if you're anything like me. If you have a bajillion photos saved on your phone, download this app. Sometimes we truly don't realize all the crap we have saved in our camera rolls until it's actually laid out in front of us. This app shows you everything in your camera roll, Tinder style. Swipe left to trash or right to keep! This has definitely saved so much of my memory... I definitely recommend you download this now and give it a try!

Honorable Mentions // These are some apps that I've heard are good, but I haven't tried myself!

  • Touch Retouch - this app is good for removing unwanted details from photos and making it as though they were never there! I could definitely see this coming in handy...
  • Mextures - Add some snazzy textures in those photos of yours! This app offers a variety of lightleaks as well as textures. 
  • Snapseed
  • Darkroom
  • Face Tune
  • Slow Shutter Cam
  • ProCamera
  • Enlight
  • Faded

If you don't already, follow me on Instagram, to see some of these fun editing apps in action! Let me know if you have any other favorite apps that I haven't listed above... I'd love to check them out for myself. Most of these apps are free only because I hate investing in apps before I know for sure how they work... That being said, please tell me your favorite paid photography apps in a comment! 

Apr 6, 2016

Spring 2016 TREND REPORT

It's officially Springtime! Before I started blogging, I really didn't enjoy the Spring. Hello pollen, runny noses, headaches, congestion... ugh Spring Struggles. Starting my blog opened my eyes to a different side of Spring. The style side of it. In my opinion.. I don't know about you, but I love the Spring style WAAAAY more than the Spring pollen. Last Spring, we saw all kinds of trends such as shirt dresses, gingham, loads of yellow, culottes, all white, one shoulder tops, roomy denim, and that military green color. In 2014, we saw pastels, moto jackets, wide leg trousers, bomber jackets, tea length skirts (slightly longer than midi), collarless coats, mesh, luxe sweatshirts, and suits. But that was then and this is now... Yes, some of these trends stay with us year after year, but a few new trends come into play every year as well. Let's kick this off by spelling out what new and old trends are in this Spring. 

But first... Here's a super brief overview of everything that's currently trending: "I would have to say that I think the top trends for spring & summer are still the 70's with high waisted shorts, lots of denim: distressed shirts and pants, off the shoulder tops & dress. Crop tops are still a thing. Tassels on EVERYTHING! The usual florals, pastels & bright colors. I think platforms are big for a lot of people in sandals, I still haven't found the perfect pair I'm willing to splurge on but I do love the style! Gladiators in flats and sandals. I think straw hats both oversized floppy and the fedora wide brim like I have in a few of my most are big! The 90's is totally creeping it's way back in so I see a lot of girls rocking choker necklaces, I can't pull it off personally but a lot of girls can. Ha. Food & plants seems to be a huge trend. From watermelons to cactus, they're everywhere and on everything in our closets! I think if they're done right it's cute, but if you go overboard with a pair of overalls and giant plastic watermelon clutch you can look like a little kid...however I've seen it done right to where it's super cute! Style is key as always!" -Taylor of Style is Everything 

I know I'm not a pro when it comes to fashion... So I took to some of my favorite fashion bloggers and got their advice on the matter (like what you saw above)! The gals of Normally in Navy chatted with me about off the shoulder tops and dresses. "I think the biggest spring trend right now is off-the-shoulder tops and dresses! Flowy, loose, tops and dresses are perfect for spring and I've seen them styled in so many ways."I couldn't agree more, off the shoulder is not only totally sensible - think warmer weather - but super cute and can have a cool effect as you walk as well. Not to mention this trend is flirty and feminine and shows off those tan shoulders! Another thing that I think multiple style bloggers can agree with when it comes to flowy, loose, and off the shoulder is that this trend applies to more than one style. There are so many ways to implement the trend into your own looks so that you're most comfortable in what you're wearing.

One thing that Ashley mentioned to me was STRIPES. When are stripes ever not in style? They're always workable into any season's style. For a more Winter to Spring transition look, I would suggest pairing stripes with brighter more pastely type jewelry and scarves. Or for a more bold look, pair a striped top with bright shorts, pants, or a skirt. Aside from the classic striped tees, there are more "set a statement" type of striped tops out there too that are classic, but still fun and trendy!

Let's take a quick step away from tops and dresses and such and talk shoes. Lace up sandals, sandals with cut outs, gladiator sandals - as always, block heel sandals, all the sandals everyday. Shoes definitely can set a statement in an outfit! Lately there have been "espadrilles, fun sneakers, and even color blocking sandals" -Sophia. I've been obsessed with this trend and so has Paulina, Sophia, Shelby, and the gals of Normally in Navy.

Textures are IN right now. In bathing suits, details - such as pom poms and lace. Hannah of Hannah With a Camera said "I'm thinking Parisian style is in! Lots of texture (think jacquard) especially in swimsuits". I couldn't agree more, the best way to really see what the latest trends and styles are is to look at bathing suits. The details designers include in their bathing suits never fail to make me *heart eyes emoji*.

Gingham is one of those classic preppy patterns that NEVER goes out of style. It's also one that people will forever be in love with. Lately though I've seen the gingham pattern expanding beyond strictly preppy bounds. It's become more of a trendy thing lately and I'm absolutely loving it! I have noticed that the gingham that is trending is more borderline buffalo check than the classic layering gingham that I'm more used to seeing.

Denim is also trending this Spring. Last Spring there were denim tops everywhere, and this past Fall there were button down denim skirts. Ripped denim is obviously still in this Spring, but there's also more skirts, shift dresses, and other denim pieces that have definitely been trending for this Spring.

Paper bag waists is a newer trend that I am 100% in love with. It's a trend that gives a smaller and more feminine waist - in my opinion. It adds these like subtle pleats that I think add an interesting detail to shorts, pants, or skirts. Paired with a tighter top, paper bag waists make for a most flattering outfit. Definitely my most favorite 2016 Spring Trend.

White Sneakers are one trend I never imagined myself saying I liked. I have big feet so white just makes my feet look even bigger, but it's impossible to avoid this trend. Whether it's converse or Adidas Stan Smith's I'm obsessed. They're so casual street style but oh so chic all at the same time. 

One of my absolute favorite trends as of let is the bralette/loose bra trend. Us girls can't help that in our genetic code we're supposed to have boobs y'know! The loose bra trend is something huge in Female history, but that's a separate conversation. Basically, traditionally girls are taught that a bra strap hanging out is sloppy and that we, as females, should take more pride in our image than to let our bras show. It's incredibly unfair so the latest trend of making a point to show your bra, whether it be a lace halter top, or a bralette peeking out from under your top. It's trendy, cute, and comfortable. I mean, what more could a gal ask for?

This Spring is for sure to be a great one as far as fashion goes... I mean look at everything that's already started trending.. skip ahead a few weeks and we'll see even more fun trends for the season. 

So you tell me... What are your favorite Spring 2016 trends?

blue & beige
Sunday denim & Blues

Summer please stay a little longer...

Summer Whites

Off shoulder gingham

Good things take time

Bralettes are the best

lipstick & coffee

slight peplum

blessed in black

LeCrew flats

Spring stripes

Stripes & Warby Parker

Casual in ripped jeans


Black, white, and overalls
Hope you enjoyed this outfit inspiration & trend report! Do me a favor and pin your favorite outfit from above, and let me know in a comment which one you liked the most!

Happy Wednesday!