JUNE FAVORITES

This month has been absolutely crazy! I started in San Lorenzo de El Esorcial, Spain and ended all over Northern California with my cousins wedding, the start of an amazing internship, and a never ending list of amazing things to do. Here are some of my favorite things that got me through this month!

Flowers: I have been absolutely spoiled with flowers this month! Christopher bought me some and the ones pictured above are from my cousin’s wedding that I talked about in my last post.

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READ: The Delight Ministries summer series is in full swing and I have been loving every second of it. My Kindle Fire has been my best friend through this wholeeee summer; it’s so easy to pull up the bible or the PDF of Delight’s summer series. I’ve also read a few other great nonfiction books. Carrying my kindle around to work on my lunch break or to the boyfriend’s house for launching by the pool is so easy.  Stay tuned for my summer reading list coming out next week!

WEAR: The amazing, beautiful Rimmel London lipstick in Bordeaux (pictured above) is the perfect red. It’s serious enough to make me look a teensy bit older but is still pretty enough not to be overbearing in summer (also doesn’t look horrible with my fair skin tone). My other absolute favorite accessory has been this tote from Zara (aka the only place we shopped in Spain). It’s big, metallic, versatile, and reversible (!!!)

Others: My skin has been so dry lately. Maybe it actually got used to the Southern humidity, but I’ve needed some serious hydration. This Lush Cosmetics Facial Moisturizer does the trick. I’m also looking for a new face makeup. Any suggestions?

Thanks for stopping by! What were your favorites this month?

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Monday Inspiration

My cousin got married this weekend! It was so nice to see my family and to let loose for a while. But alas, here we are on Monday and I’m still exhausted and wishing that we could relive the weekend! I’m in some serious need of a little inspiration, and nothing makes me feel inspired like looking at nostalgic travel pictures.

I’m missing my travels and Spain more than ever, but I’m feeling more inspired and refreshed than I have in a long time. I’ve been reading, creating, and cleaning out my room: stacks of books, bags of makeup, and piles of clothes that hold old memories that need to be let go have gone without looking back.befunky-collage-2

Enjoy a little bit of Monday inspiration. Does traveling make you feel inspired? What helps you get through Mondays?

1st DAY INTERNSHIP TIPS

1st Day Internship Tips
The 1st day of internship season has officially come and gone. I started this week, most of my friends started earlier this month, some even more than a month ago! Most websites will give you tips filled with common knowledge and cliche for the first week of an internship: dress well, show up on time, proofread your emails. The list goes on with things that you should probably already know. I’ve asked some of my amazing friends to weigh in on the question: “What is the best tip for making your first day of an internship a success?”

1. Me! Sarah of delightthedetails.wordpress.com:

“Pay attention, make every moment count, and work hard. Every moment that you have on the job is a huge opportunity to learn, make connections, and gain experience. I wrote about this post that touches on the importance of taking notes during and internship, and I still believe in that. Bring your own notebook and planner and write everything down. Ask if you can sit in on conference calls or meetings to observe, ask questions when you need clarification, and work hard to go above and beyond.

2. Paige of districtofdreams.wordpress.com:

Don’t be afraid to jump right in. My first day on Doug Ducey’s campaign, I walked into their office and was supposed to only stay for a couple of hours but I ended up staying until like 7pm, phone banking and doing whatever I could to meet the staff. I think that day, even though it was just one day, set me apart from a lot of other interns because they immediately recognized that I would go out of my way to help out as much as I could. I always like to think that the first day for anything, whether it’s an internship or something else, it’s a chance to set the tone for your entire experience.”

Paige has interned with Doug Ducey’s Campaign for Governor along with holding various virtual and remote internships. She is currently an intern at the Republican National Committee (RNC) in Washington, D.C.. Go Paige!

3. Tessa of tessadevilbiss.wordpress.com:

“Drink coffee! Honestly energy and being awake and alert and excited is really important the first day. Sometimes the first day is really intimidating but just remember that they chose YOU and believe in YOU. Work hard, stay focused, and enjoy all that you’re learning!”

Tessa has interned with Canyon Creek Church, Nordstrom’s BP. Fashion Board, and is a current intern at The A21 Campaign. Check her modeling skills out too!

Thanks for stopping by! Definitely go check out Tessa and Paige’s blogs. They’re absolutely incredible and have amazing blogs too!

What 1st day internship experiences have you had?

IPSY REVIEWS: May + June

Ipsy May + June

After coming home from Spain, one of the things I was looking forward to most (besides food and Netflix of course) was opening my Ipsy bags from May and June! It’s always amazing to come home to new beauty products, and after 6 weeks of living out of a backpack, I was in some serious need of me-time. All the prices are guesstimates and if the price is missing, it was a sample size and probably only valued at a few dollars!

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JUNE:
Dr. Brandt Skincare pores no more vacuum cleaner ($11.25): so excited to try this out! It got really good reviews on Sephora; I hope it makes a big difference on my skin!
J. Cat Beauty Liptitude Hydrating Lip Stain ($6): This color (Blow Your Mind) is pretty, and I’ve been really into the berry shades lately. It’s really pigmented and really bright when I put it on. It dried pretty quickly into a stain from a gloss. We’ll see how long it lasts but right now I’m loving it!
Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Foundation Primer: I’ve used this before and I’m stoked to have some to use for my cousin’s wedding this weekend. Stay tuned for a blog about it!
Keratherapy Daily Smoothing Cream: I don’t really blow-dry my hair very frequently, so this will probably go to my mom!
tre-StiQue Mini Shadow Crayon In Venetian Gold ($8): Super pretty when swatched on my hand! I will definitely be trying this out this week, more than likely with the Naked 3 palette.

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MAY:
Urban Decay 24/7 Ozone Glide on Lip Pencil + Revolution High-Color Lipgloss Samples ($8): I’ve been really into lipsticks lately so I’m really excited to have this! The lip glosses in the colors are Failbait and Bittersweet which are purple and a rosy mauve colors.
Balanced Guru Style Me Hair Oil ($9): I’ve used a lot of hair oils… This has big shoes to fill!
Chella Eyebrow Color Pencil ($18): used this the second I got it and loved it! Needed a little bit of blending with a brush but was happy to have this! Mine came in Tantalizing Taupe.
Nuxe Reve de Miel Facial Cleansing and Make-Up Removing Gel: pretty excited about this, but like the hair oil, it has big shoes to fill! I’m not expecting the gel to actually remove a ton of makeup but we’ll see!
Jesse’s Girl Pure Pigment Eye Dust in Brown Sugar: This is a super warm, almost terra-cotta brown color. I’m not a super big fan of loose pigment eyeshadows, or this particular color, so I probably won’t use it much.

Overall I’m very happy with both bags. (Especially the May bag itself, how cute is that!?)
Do you subscribe to Ipsy or Birchbox? Thanks for stopping by!

TRAVEL MAKEUP

Travel Makeup

When traveling with a carry-on-only backpacking schedule, makeup can be the hardest thing to pack. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to bring with me. This is what I decided on, and I was super happy with my choices! I recommend classic, versatile makeup. It always helps to bring products that are buildable so you can create different looks whether you’re going on a hike or out for a night on the town.

[Also keep in mind, this wasn’t a round the world, bare bones trip. I was in Madrid and Paris for most of the time, two very important fashion capitals of the world. If I were going to travel to less developed locations, it would’ve been different, but since I was in big cities, I felt more comfortable with a bit more product with me.]

Face: I’m a full face kind of girl. I brought liquid foundation, powder, blush, bronzer,  concealer, three face brushes, and a beauty blender knockoff (I wasn’t going to bring my nice one over here). My concealer ran out about a month in and so I bought a new one. For me, having a face of makeup is the most important thing. I could go with mascara only, but I need my blush and concealer! I also wore sunscreen almost everyday under my makeup, because that Spanish sun will get you if you let it!

Eyes: As I said before, I could do without anything but mascara on my eyes. I brought an eyeshadow quad, liquid eyeliner, another single eyeshadow, mascara, and two eyeshadow brushes. Ideally, you should make your own quad of the colors you want: highlight, light, medium, and dark, or whatever gives you the most versatility. This is what I had so it’s what I brought and it really did work for everything that I needed throughout the trip.

Lips: I’m not a big lip product girl. I brought Chapstick with SPF that I used everyday and a lipgloss that I never used. Oops!

Brows: I do love a strong brow, so my Benefit Brow Zings was the only thing I bought. Easy to use, compact, and packs a punch.

SELFIE w/my makeup bag

All in all, I felt like I could always customize my look to the occasion. The crease brush and the small eyeshadow brush allowed me to use the dark color as dramatic or as thinly as I liked and the buildability of the face products made them ideal for the hot Spanish sun and for creating different looks.

MY TIPS: Again, when packing makeup look for classic and versatile. The more uses and occasions a product can work for, the better. And eyeshadow quad is the way to go. Durability is also an important factor to take into consideration; nothing would be worse than having an easily breakable powder compact with you on a prolonged trip. I carry all of it in a fairly small makeup bag that fits wonderfully in the crevices of my backpack, or even in my purse if I need it to!

What makeup do you bring when you travel? Thanks for stopping by! XOXO

SERIES: LIVING YOUR DREAMS – PART THREE

living your dreams series

I believe in vision boards, meditation and prayer. I’m a Christian and the bible consistently talks about the power of prayer to change lives (Luke 6:12, Phillipians 4:6, and the list goes on). If you aren’t a Christian, this can still easily apply to you. I’ve seen first hand how the power of prayer and manfestation can change your life.

In this post from January of 2014, I said:

I do want to study abroad as well. Europe is the (common and obvious) dream and although I studied French for six years in high school, I also studied Spanish for three years. I’m thinking about minoring in Spanish and studying in Madrid or Barcelona would help my language skills so much.

So a year and half ago I talked about how I wanted to minor in Spanish and study in Spain, and here I am, studying outside of Madrid while working on my minor. I knew what my passion was (if you don’t, check out this post and this post), and I worked to make it a part of my life. I looked up the study abroad options well in advance, I worked to earn money and saved it to make sure I had enough, I prayed to see if this was where the Lord wanted to take me, and I meditated on it constantly, researching the area and continuing to learn the language.

I truly believe that a huge part of building a life that I love was made possible because I focused on and prayed for the things that I want in my life. I thought about, planned for, and prayed on this trip for a long time: that the money would work out, that the program would accept me, and the list goes on.

What it comes down to:
Are you taking time every day to make your goals happen? Are you taking time to envision and pray about your goals?

I truly believe that this time is the key to manifesting your goals and dreams in your life. Some of it takes planning, which you can see here, but a lot of it is putting your heart and soul into that end product. For some this includes a vision board similar to this, and for others this includes journaling, blogging, or intense prayer and meditation.

So if you find that you aren’t reaping what you sow or finding that your life isn’t moving towards your dreams, take a moment to think about how you’re realistically spending your time. If you want to travel but you spend all your time and money on shopping, how is that dream trip going to happen? If you want to find your soulmate but you aren’t praying to prepare your heart and seeking the Lord through it all, how is that going to play out realistically?

Focus on your goals and make them happen! Even Oprah agrees:

“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe”

Thanks for stopping by! Remember to check out the other posts from this series and comment below with any thoughts! XOXO

ESPAÑA: Update 2

Climbing the Basilica with Landry

Sadly, another week has come and gone and I’m seven days closer to going back to the states. The more time I spend here the more I fall in love with it and while I’m so excited to go home and start my internship, the thought of leaving San Lorenzo and all of my friends makes me so sad!

This week has been filled with plenty of  awesome things. We’ve been to Madrid a couple times, mainly to shop, walk around, and drink our favorite Spanish drink: tinto de verano, which is a mix of red wine and lemon soda. We’ve played volleyball on the sports courts at the school, eaten ice cream in the pueblo, and taken a nap almost everyday. When in Spain, am I right? Some of the more exciting parts were climbing to the top (and I mean outside, on the dome, climbing a sketchy ladder) of the Basilica of the monastery in San Lorenzo which can be see in the first picture, being thoroughly creepy out at the Valle de los Caídos (where Francisco Franco is buried), and seeing the cool and eclectic cathedral in Cuenca.

Cuenca CathedralThis picture is of the stained glass in the Cuenca cathedral; the original class was replaced with modern glass designed by Cuenca residents in the 20th century. The entire cathedral was a mix of gothic, baroque, and modern styles of architecture and art, which made for a very interesting site to visit. This gorgeous stained glass lit up the interior arches of the cathedral in the most beautiful way. Nothing compared to the Sagrada Familia of course, but this was designed by citizens instead of Gaudi, which was pretty awesome in itself.
Climbing the Basilica

Climbing the dome of the basilica was one of those things that in hindsight, I can’t believe I did. Here at RCU María Cristina, I take Art and Museums, a class taught by Javier who affectionately called Javi. He’s fairly notorious for getting lost, taking us into places that we’re not sure we should be in by pushing on random doors, and taking pictures everywhere, especially when they aren’t allowed. During class, we climbed up some stairs to access the pedestrian base and while Javi was on one side, we climbed the actual dome of the basilica on other. I am not entirely sure if you can tell how steep this was, but after this set of stairs there was a vertical ladder that took you to the very top. Looking at the little people along the round edge of the basilica is a good way to tell that it really was very steep!

Valle de Los CaidosThe Valle de los Caídos was interesting but definitely a little weird. The huge church is built into the side of a mountain and is built entirely out of cold stone. The materials on top of the fact that a dictator is buried there gives a completely creepy feeling to the whole place, even rounded out with statues of the angel of death and about 3,000 people buried within the walls and floor. From where Franco is buried you can see a (literal) light at the end of the tunnel, where a beautiful view of Madrid can be seen from outside. This is where the picture is from (can you tell that I spend a lot of time with Landry…?) It’s rumored that Franco wanted to be able to watch over Madrid forever… So creepy. The outside is complete with a giant cross that dominates the landscape and can be seen from way down in the valley. My program director described it as seeing the tomb of Dracula, and that’s kind of what it felt like. The thought that some people still get married there was incredibly bizarre to me.

This morning we went into Madrid to visit El Rastro market. What an experience that was! There are hundreds of stalls filled with everything you could ever imagine. It wasn’t my favorite thing in the world; we ended up ditching it to go shopping at some mainstream stores instead. Oops!

I’m loving Spain more than I can describe. Round 2 next year? Let´s makes it happen. Thanks for stopping by! XOXO

ESPAÑA: Update 1

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I have officially been in Europe (Spain mainly) for 20 days, meaning that my trip is over half over. Where does the time go? I feel like it’s been forever since I left but at the same time it feels as though I haven’t been here for that long. Time always passes so quickly when I’m traveling and sometimes I really don´t appreciate it because it means my trip is over before I know it. Even so, to travel is to live and I am loving my life right now!

IMG_5983After visiting friends in Barcelona and Paris, I finally settled down in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, a small town outside of Madrid and located in the center of Spain on May 24. I wish I could describe to you how beautiful it is here and how much I love it. These few pictures will have to suffice, but it’s even more beautiful in person. I’m studying at María Cristina, which is located right next to the monastery of San Lorenzo. All of our rooms, located on the second floor, face into a square in the middle, which holds a beautiful garden and fountain. This is a picture of the amazing, gorgeous, wonderful view from my room. Every morning while I get ready for class I open up the window and let the cool air rush in as I look out on the garden. It´s always one of those moments where I feel like I´m exactly where I´m supposed to be. I have my own room and bathroom, which is really nice as well because after a couple weeks of the floor, hostel beds, and a couch, some privacy is wonderful. In the actual building itself, our classes, el comedor (dining hall), and other amenities like laundry are located on the first floor.

IMG_6237Some days here are busier than others. Those busy days tend to be filled with buses, sightseeing in another town, and 13 mile days, full of lots of laughter (and more often than not, wine). Here’s a picture from an outing we took to Segovia, in front of the ancient Roman aqueduct. We’ve also visited Madrid multiple times, Toledo, and this weekend we’re going to Cuenca and back to Madrid (for more shopping, wining, and dining of course).

On the slower days when we don’t have a trip out of town planned, I wake up for breakfast at 8:30, then have class from 9-11 and 12-2, spending the break in the middle sitting in the garden, drawing, working on homework, walking into town, and talking with my friends as we sit in the sun (see some of mentioned friends in this picture and the first picture. PS Hi Landry).

IMG_6233I’m taking Art and Museums and Conversation here; both classes are taught entirely in Spanish by teachers who speak nearly no English. They’re incredibly interesting and I can already feel my Spanish improving the more that I speak. The teachers are great as well; they´re both so sweet, understanding, and helpful, especially when we make mistakes. We’re not supposed to speak any English while we’re talking to anyone here, but of course when you put 55 Alabama students together, that doesn’t always happen.

I really do love it here. It may be the people or the weather or the fact that I don’t have a care in the world for these couple weeks, but it’s amazing to be here in Spain, fully in the culture and the city and the life. I have found it so, so easy to love all the little details here. The slang that I´ve learned (some more appropriate than others), the way that the sun somehow feels different here, the meals and the way that the locals talk to me and I actually understand. God has blessed me so much! Although adapting to a 9pm dinner may be a little weird, everything about this country and this town makes up for it. Te amo, España!

Stay tuned for my next update. Xoxo

Traveling Solo & Dealing with Loneliness

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So this is the beginning of a new series! I’ve been traveling around Europe for a little while now and while I don’t consider myself to be any sort of solo travel expert, I do feel like I’ve picked up some knowledge about traveling alone. This specific post is going to talk about how to deal with loneliness while traveling solo.

Ideally, the answer to this problem is to… well… not travel alone. While that may be a nice idea, traveling alone can also be a great experience (not having to worry about someone else is great) and can teach you to be more independent. Even keeping the benefits in mind, it’s hard to not get lonely sometimes on the road. Here are my tips on combatting loneliness while traveling solo:

  1. It’s Always Worst at the Start
    The beginning of a trip is always the worst for me. I question why I decided to start traveling alone again, why I decided that this would be a good idea, and why I thought that I could do it. It’s hard to keep this in mind but jet lag and time differences can play a huge part in messing with your emotions. Don’t be too hard on yourself and follow these tips!
  2. Get Outside
    Look up a book store or go sit outside at a cafe or park. People watch, get some sun, and explore while letting yourself get lost and getting to know the city. I always write in my journal, put in my headphones, and enjoy something sweet. (Don’t say no to comfort eating! Calories don’t count on vacation). Walk around busy streets, go into shops and markets and you won’t feel so alone!
  3. Do Something You Love
    Whether this is shopping, running, drawing, cooking, drinking, listening to music,talking to your family from home, whatever, do what you love and it will always put you in a better mood.
  4. Take a Walking Tour
    I’ve met multiple people from walking tours that I met up with later or hung out with after. Be friendly, strike up a conversation between stops, and ask if they have plans for the rest of the day. I’ve met a lot of solo travelers (from all around) on these tours, many of whom are looking for someone to hang out with as well. Even if you only get a beer with your tour guide after, it’s some interaction and can help tremendously!
  5. Go to CouchSurfing or Meetup Events
    These can be hit or miss and really depend, but a girl that I spent a lot of time in Barcelona with (if you’re reading this, hi Aubrey!). Some are better than others; look for a consistent coordinator at weekly events and an event at a not so popular bar so people are easier to find and it’s more intimate.
  6. Talk to People Who Speak Your Language
    Americans are easy to spot and most don’t mind if you pull up a chair at a casual restaurant once you say that you’re traveling alone. Look friendly and safe and you may meet yourself a friend! Doing this with people around your age group or older usually works best.
  7. Take a Picture
    This is a basic way to start conversation and potentially meet people. Ask them to take a picture of you and then offer to do the same.
  8. Connect on Facebook
    Whenever I meet someone abroad, I ask for them to type in their name so I can add them on Facebook and potentially contact them to meet up later. It’s a great way to stay in contact and make sure that your connections don’t fall through the cracks.
  9. Make the Most of Transportation
    If you’re on a long flight from the states, chances are you’re going to be near some Americans that are going to the same place. If you’re on a train, talk to the people around you. It makes the journey pass more quickly and it’s a great distraction from sometimes very boring experiences.

All in all, none of this will work if you aren’t friendly. Introduce yourself, ask people where they’ve travelled, what they’re doing in the city, and you may meet yourself a couple friends to help deal with the loneliness.

What do you do to combat loneliness while traveling solo? Thanks for stopping by and happy travels! xoxo

April Favorites!

The last favorites post that I did was all the way back in February and now April has gone and slipped by too! Without further ado, here are my favorite products, music, and books for the month of April!

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WEAR: These bracelets are my go to arm candy. I don’t wear a watch (because let’s be honest, why would I use it when I have an iPhone?), but these bracelets make a beautiful, subtle statement on my wrist. The gold bangle is from Kate Spade and the other bangles are from Alex and Ani. I wear the Alpha Omicron Pi, Claddagh, and Tree of Life bangles from Alex and Ani. I love to mix and match silver and gold and these pieces together make it so easy!

IMG_4991BEAUTY: My beauty choice of April came from my April Ipsy bag, which you can read all about here. This Hikari Blush in Tango is the perfect bright, matte, coral shade. I’ve worn it over and over again and only love it more each time!

IMG_4990READ: This book, Radical by David Platt, absolutely blew. my. mind. David Platt talks about how Christianity has twisted biblical truth and turned it towards the American Dream and I’m not kidding it’s so good. If you’re at all interested, I highly encourage you to read it!

LISTEN: Finals means getting down to business. I usually listen to opera and classical, but this finals week I was drawn to the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. Nothing like some Daft Punk to keep you motivated!  It’s a great mix of techno and gets me motivated like you wouldn’t believe!

IMG_4992TECH: Who doesn’t love Lilly? When my mom texted me that she was at Target, I was so surprised and thrilled. This phone case is so cute and summery and has been on my phone ever since. Did you pick anything up at Lilly for Target?

What were your April favorites? Thanks for stopping by! XOXO