Change of Address!

20 September 2015

Hello readers!

I've moved to my very own domain name - fancy, I know!

From now on, I will be posting over at, so be sure to check in there for my latest posts.

Thanks for following me on my blogging adventures!


Fashion Friday: Alexa Chung Inspired Fall Look

18 September 2015

Alexa Chung Inspired Fall Look

It-girl Alexa Chung is an icon of current British style. Whether dressed in a menswear inspired suit, a feminine vintage party dress, or sporty basics, Alexa can make any piece of clothing look cool and modern.

For this Alexa-inspired fall outfit, I decided to go with one of her signature looks: black skinny jeans, a white button-down, black chelsea boots, and a plaid coat. The look is very neutral, maintaining a chic palette, but the different textures add visual interest. I also added a cool black backpack for a playful touch.

To really embrace the Alexa Chung look, try parting messy curls straight down the middle, and add a black kohl liner for drama. Her hair & makeup style adds a bit of rock-and-roll to an otherwise polished look.

Do you love Alexa's style as much as I do?! Which celebs or fashion-it-girls are inspiring your fall style?


How to Make Smart and Efficient Flashcards

16 September 2015

This one's for all the students out there! Throughout my academic career, I went through package after package of notecards. From the normal sized notecards, to the large and half-sized notecards, it seemed I always had a stack in my backpack for studying. I think flashcards are a great way to study any subject - if you're going to be tested on something, chances are there's a way to use flashcards to study for it!

Before you start making flashcards, here's what you need to figure out:
  • What am I being asked to do on this test? What information will be presented, and what information will I need to know in order to respond? For example, if you know you are going to be asked about the key themes in literary works, chances are you will provided the title, and you will have to respond with the themes.
  • The information that is being provided should be written on one side of the flashcard (I usually put in on the blank side), and what you will be expected to know should be written on the other side (the back). 
Below I've included pictures & explanations of the way I used flashcards for a few different subjects: Art History, French, Literature, and Sociology.

 For Art History flashcards, it's important to have an actual image on your card. Chances are, you will be provided an image, and you will be expected to provide a lot of information from just that image. That is why I have only the image on the front of the card, and everything I needed to know on the back: the artist, art movement/time period, date, and key themes and details. For the front of the card, you can use sketches or printed images, whichever is better for you. This format would also work well for any history course - just use an image or a name/event/concept on the front and details on the back.

 Flashcards are a great way to learn a language. For vocabulary, I recommend using the half-size notecards with your native language on one side and the language you're learning on the other. I would usually start studying by looking at the French term and try to guess the English term. Then, once I was more familiar with the terms, I would look at the English and try to quickly translate to French. I would often put 3-6 words on one card depending on the length/importance of each term.

I also used regular & large-sized notecards for conjugations, grammar rules, and basic concepts. I would use different colored pens to make certain words pop out and to differentiate between definitions & examples. These cards are not used so much for memorization, but for quick & organized access to important information.

In a literature class, you might be expected to write a short (or long) essay about a specific work, with only the title and a short excerpt provided. I used these cards to make sure I could identify the author, literary movement, and important themes when I was only provided the title. You also might be asked to write about a specific literary movement or theme in a literature class. I used these notecards when I knew I would be asked to compare/contrast two works in the same literary movement, and to be able to identify how each work was representative of that movement. Like the larger french flashcards, these are not so much for memorization as they are a summary of important information. 

For a sociology class (or other social studies courses), your knowledge of terminology is essential to sounding like you know what you're talking about. Often times, a teacher will look for a certain term in your answer, so vocabulary is very important. On these cards, I wrote the term/idea on one side and the details, definitions, and connected ideas on the other. You can use the cards in two ways: look at the definition and figure out the term, or look at the term and try to recall as much as you can about it.

 I know this post is quite wordy and has a lot of pictures, but hopefully it helps you in some way. When I was a student, I was always looking for ways to improve my study habits and find more efficient ways of studying!

Do you use flashcards to study? If so, share your tips & tricks in the comments!


How to Make Smart and Efficient Flashcards - Whatever Bright Things

Thoughts on Writing & Being a Writer

14 September 2015

There's a significant difference between saying "I write", and "I'm a writer". One is a matter of action, the other is a matter of identity. It's not an easy thing to say, to own. Yes, I write. But am I a writer?

For a long time, I didn't consider myself a writer. A writer was someone who was published, someone who finished every piece they started. But my opinion has changed: a writer is someone who writes for the sake of writing. It doesn't matter if it gets published, a writer would write it anyway.

I recently started writing in a more professional atmosphere as an intern. Unlike writing for school and writing for personal enjoyment, this writing is actually being used somewhere, and it no longer only has my name on it. It's a lot of pressure, but it's also fulfilling to know that there's something about the way I use words that sets me apart from others.

Since I started this blog, and since I started my internship, I've noticed myself saying - with more confidence and frequency - that I'm a writer. It doesn't mean that I know exactly what I want that to look like in the future. I could be a novelist, a full-time blogger, or a fashion writer. Who knows?! Calling myself a writer just means that writing is something I do with intention and thoughtfulness. It's something I take seriously whether it's being published on a website or simply scribbled in a notebook.

One of my screenwriting professors in college said, "You know you're a writer when you feel bad about not writing. People who aren't writers don't feel bad about not writing."

That's how I know I'm a writer. Because when I don't write for a period of time, I feel like I've been neglecting a part of myself. Writing is a part of who I am, and I don't think that will ever change.


Fashion Friday: How to Style Flared Jeans - Four Ways!

11 September 2015

One of my favorite trends this season is the return of flared jeans! I'm glad to see them back in fashion favor and available in a variety of washes, styles, and degrees-of-flare-i-ness. 

Before I get into four different ways to style your flares, here are two basic shopping tips to help you find the perfect pair:

  • Look for a high waistline. An emphasized waist will balance out the volume toward the bottom of your legs.
  • Make sure they're long enough. When it comes to flared jeans, I think it's always better to buy long - if they shrink, you'll be able to wear them with flats or tennis shoes, and if they don't, you can rock them with a chunky heeled clog or boot. Too-short flares are unflattering and don't really look good with any shoe. 

Look #1: Boho-Glam

This look is all about embracing that 70s vibe. I've paired a lighter-wash flare with a fitted grey turtleneck, flowy burgundy coat, and chunky heels for a glamorous fall look.

How to Style Flared Jeans: Boho-Glam

Look #2: Parisian-Chic

This simple look is inspired by the classic glamorous look des femmes Parisiennes - each piece is timeless and will never go out of style. I paired a medium-wash flare with a red & white striped tee, khaki trench, and black loafers for this chic and comfy look.
How to Style Flared Jeans: Parisian - Chic

Look #3: Sporty

This look also channels a bit of the 70s vibe - with light-wash flares, a raglan baseball tee, letterman-style sweater, and Adidas, you've got a fresh athletic outfit.
How to Style Flared Jeans: Sporty

Look #4: Clean & Polished

For this final look, I wanted to show a more formal approach. By pairing a button down top and cropped sweater with a dark-wash flare, this look is more business-appropriate. For a little fun and even more height, I also included a chunky-heeled boot.
How to Style Flared Jeans: Clean & Polished

Will you be wearing flared jeans this season? If so, what's your favorite way to style them?


Rose Gold Drugstore Make-up Look

09 September 2015

One of the biggest colors in fashion and beauty right now is rose-gold. From watches, to earrings, to eyeshadow, rose-gold is the perfect in-between shade for days when you want a bit of metallic shine, but a bright gold shadow is a bit much. For this make-up look, I knew I wanted to use a gorgeous rose-gold shadow and keep the rest of my face fresh & simple. I only used one shadow to create this look - building the color up on my lids and subtly lining my lower lash-line as well.


mixed with
NYX HD Concealer in Porcelain




Because of its subtle warm-tone, a rose-gold shadow will look good on almost all skin tones. It's also a great color for transitioning from summer-to-fall, as it has a bit of summery shimmery and a bit of a reddish fall warmth. 

How will you be rocking the rose-gold trend this season?


Fall Reads Written by Women

07 September 2015

One of the best ways to get in the mood for fall weather is to pick up a great book full of lush detail, sweeping romance, strong characters, and tender moments. Each of these books remind me of fall in one way or another, whether it's the setting, the characters, or the overall tone of the language. Additionally, each of these books is written by a female author! Girl power! 

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - There's a reason this book is a classic. From the passionate love story of Heathcliff and Catherine, to the tumultuous landscape of the moors, to the distinct and separation of social classes and the lives lived within them, this book is a masterpiece on many levels. Once you get into the story and get to know the characters, you'll find yourself invested in an emotional journey that crosses generations and social boundaries.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton - If you've never read this book, read it now! Although commonly assigned in middle school classes, I read this book for the first time while I was in college, and I absolutely loved it. The language is simple, but the characters have a complexity that you'll connect with immediately. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you won't be able to put this book down.

Sonnets from the Portuguese and Other Poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning - I'll admit that poetry and I have a love-hate relationship. It can be incredibly frustrating and confusing, or it can be enlightening, inspiring, and beautiful. Browning's sonnets are definitely of the beautiful variety, filled with wonderful language and emotion. I find that I enjoy poetry much more when I allow myself the time and freedom to read it sporadically, not for hours on end, cover to cover. Keep this collection on your nightstand for a quick, romantic bedtime poem.

A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman by Margaret Drabble - This collection of short stories brilliantly provides snapshots of everyday life and the lives of women. Drabble portrays women honestly and unashamed, giving each female character a complexity that allows room for contradiction and irony. Reading this collection is like flipping through a stranger's photo album - everything is bit distant, but the universal emotions and experiences provide a connection and understanding. 

What books make you think of fall? What's on your to-read or to-reread list this fall?


Fashion Friday: Fall 2015 Wish List

04 September 2015

Today's Fashion Friday post is my Fall 2015 Wish List. Each fall, there are a few trends that catch my eye, and this year is no different! While I don't believe in blindly following trends, I love how fashion is always changing and it's fun to try new styles (or old styles that have been reinvented). This fall, there are four particular pieces that I want to try to infuse into my wardrobe. Click through my polyvore slideshow to see what I chose!

What's on your Fall Fashion Wish List? Do you like to keep up with trends or stick to your own signature style?


DIY White Board Makeover

02 September 2015

I love simple DIY projects that you can make out of items you already have lying around. One Sunday morning, I couldn't stand to look at my bland, under-utilized white board any longer. So I did what any crafty person does: look up a DIY project on Pinterest! But I couldn't find anything quite right for me - I don't need to organize a whole family, and because my whiteboard isn't in the most visible place, it's not ideal for reminders or important notes. I decided that what I most needed was a month-at-a-glance calendar, a place where I could write down the big events and see the month as a whole. Below is a picture of my whiteboard "Before" - you can see that it was really just a place to store random photos, drawings, and magnets. Not exactly functional or beautiful.

What better way to quickly make something cuter than washi tape?! First, I cleaned the entire board with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, and I chose a tape that goes with the decor of my room - a gorgeous, 30mm (about 1.18inches), hot pink and blue washi tape made by Scotch. I then covered each of the silver edges with that tape, carefully lining everything up. Then, I started creating my calendar. I used a gold washi tape I found in the Target Dollar Spot, and I actually needed two rolls to get through the whole project! I used a ruler and a dry erase marker to place dots at 3.5inch increments (that will leave a 3inch square of space to write, the tape is about 1/2inch thick). I left a space at the top for the month and days, and I made five squares down and seven across! There's also a good 6inch space to the right of the calendar to put a magnetic notepad, a container for dry erase markers, and magnets.

As you can see, it looks much better! Not only is it more functional, but it looks a whole lot cuter too. I also discovered that with the 3inch squares, I could use sticky notes to mark the really important stuff!

Instead of a generic, old-looking white board, I now have a bright, unique white board calendar that I love to use! The solution was quick, simple, and inexpensive! 

Anybody else out there love a good DIY project? Be sure to follow me on Pinterest to see all the cute & crafty things that inspire me!