Thursday, April 27, 2017

Facts About Me

Hi y'all! Over the past year I have gained 7x the followers that I had in 2016 which is huge! *girl scream* My roomies gave me that statistic/fact the other day and it was so exciting! If I can double my growth or even triple it in the next year I think that would be incredible and I know with hard work, dedication and determination I can do that. Your love and support throughout this entire journey has meant the world. I'm so grateful the Lord has given me a platform to speak on and to reach the lives of so many. With my growth, I know I've gained a lot of followers that don't know me on a personal level. One thing I love about blogs is its like a virtual best friend. I hope my blog is that for you, but in order to feel that way I need to tell you about myself on a deeper fun girlfriend kind of way. I thought it would be fun to do a "random facts about me" post. I have my weird moments for sure, but that's what makes me, Abi. So with that being said, lets get to the facts! 

1. I was born in Okinawa.
My dad was in the Marine Corps for 24 years and my parents second duty station was on the island of Okinawa, Japan. I was actually born during a typhoon. We headed back to the United States not to long after I was born. I've been back once since then in 2003-2004 time frame. 

2. I was homeschooled.
This usually is one that shocks people but yes. Most of my school years I was homeschooled. Of all my siblings I was the one that was homeschooled the longest and the reason that was the case is because I was the kid that could work on her own and manage my time well even when I was like 10.  #typeA
The years I was in school were Pre-K, K, 2nd, 11th, and 12th. I took community college classes during my time in high school which is the reason I am able to graduate a semester early. 

3. I didn't kiss my boyfriend for an entire year. 
Yes, this was a rule. Being the first born girl my parents cracked down on the rules (cant say I blame them). It was definitely hard but truly the reason I believe Zach and I have such an incredible foundation. It was friendship first and then romance. (side note: we made it 11 months before we kissed, whoops 😉 )

4. I have a random obsession with pineapples.
I don't know why but they are bright fun and just bring happiness. I love their shape, their color and the quotes that people have associated with them. 

5. I am graduating a semester early from college.
This is due to my determination to take college classes in high school. If you can do it, I recommend it. I'm so excited for adult hood to officially begin! I know a lot comes with that but I've always been an old soul. lol

6. I drink spark every morning. 
If you don't know what Advocare is, it's a vitamin and supplement line that my parents' started selling when I was young. Spark is a vitamin packed energy drink that I partake in every morning. It's like my cup of coffee to start the day. 

7. I take two showers a day but only wash my hair every 5-7 days.
This is something funny I have done for awhile. My mom actually takes two showers a day. One in the morning to wake her up and the other at night to relax her. I use to think it was the weirdest thing but what do you know? Now I do it. I don't wash my hair. It's usually just a 30 second rinse. So if you happen to be with me in a 24 hour period I will shower twice regardless of where we are. 😂  
On the hair, I have brown hair so it covers grease well and I am a pretty dry person. I am somehow able to go for days without washing. I used to wash my hair every other day but I weaned myself off that habit and I don't produce hardly any oil on my head.

8. I know almost every OPI nail polish due to my fresh nail obsession.
I have ALWAYS loved getting my nails done. It's been something that has always made me happy. As I've gotten into it more and more I've learned the OPI colors I love and those that I don't, and now I don't use any other brand.

9. I prefer movies over TV shows
I've always been a movie person. I am not sure why but if we have time I'll choose a movie over a tv show any day. 

10. Father of the Bride is my favorite movie.
I just love Steve Martin and this story. It's sweet, heartfelt, romantic and just gives me all the feels. Can you tell I love weddings or what? lol

11. I'm the last girl in my friend group to turn 21.
This statement is unfortunately true.. I am so ready to turn 21 but I won't be till July 30th of this year. Not too much longer! 🙌 

12. I love to find a good deal. #bargainshopper
Some of you may know this some of you may not but finding a good deal is almost like a high for me. It gives me a rush and makes me so excited! TJmaxx and Marshalls are my go-to bargain stores.

13. I'm 5'8.
This is taller than the average woman but short in my family. Crazy right?! Most people don't realize how tall I am till they meet me. 

14. I joined a sorority my junior year of college.
A lot of people don't know that I joined a sorority. I went Tri Delta. It's been a great experience and something I think everyone should at least try. I posted a video on going through recruitment, you can watch that here.

15. I danced for 15 years
This is a huge part of who I am and something I love so very dearly. Ballet was the primary style that I studied along with Jazz and Modern. 

I have more but saved them for my next post down the road!! I hope these were fun for you to read! 

Shop my full look here: 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Striped Dress

I'm all about easy, breezy, and beautiful during the summer, kinda like Covergirl. hehe Get my joke? 😉   It's far too hot here to not have this motto. When I do find a dress that embodies all those qualities I snatch it up and wear it tons! I'm super excited to share this dress with y'all because not only is it great for summer but such a cute look for the 4th of July! 

What I love most about it is I am getting the off the shoulder look but don't have to worry about struggling to move because the dress is actually strapless with little ruffles that you just slip your arms through. My struggle with off the shoulder is it can be difficult to move in, but not this dress!! It's very easy to move in and function in. I also love the subtleness of the stripes. They are there but not too overpowering. All around just a super cute fun summer dress! Wear it with sandals or tennys. Both are adorable. I am wearing an XS so it's true to size. Hopefully this brightens your Monday like it has mine! 

Photography: Sarah Winsted

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Work/Life Balance

The work life balance.. is there really such a thing in this day and age? I struggle to say no as I write this post because how do we find the perfect balance? It's a question I've been asking myself for quite some time now. Being the type A go-getter individual that I am, I feel as though my brain never shuts off and I can definitely say I get that from my dad. If I'm not studying or working on school, I'm brainstorming my next blog post idea and figuring out how to get everything done in 24 hours. I always need a few more, does anyone else agree? 😉

As I type this post, I want to offer some tips and advice for how to work on achieving this life balance but I would also love for it to be an open dialogue. I want you to comment below or leave your feedback on Instagram because the reality is, I don't think anyone has the perfect balance. We all fall short in one way or another because we aren't perfect BUT that being said, I think all the advice and encouragement we can give one another on achieving this topic hopefully motivates and inspires everyone that reads this post. 

Truthfully, I don't even feel qualified to write this post so please know me giving out tips and suggestions is not my way of saying I have it together but trying to encourage you. We're all in this together! Know that as I share these tips, I fall short in this area on a weekly if not daily basis but wanted to share them with you regardless. 

So I know you're probably asking, "Okay, Abi. Well how do you achieve this balance in your life?"
I think time management is HUGE. Lots of people ask how I go to school full time, work and write a blog three times a week and the reality is, I'm really good at managing my time. I'm not trying to toot my own horn by any means but being good at managing your time allows you to get a lot done in a short period which then means work gets done fast and you are able to take a break and tend to your life. Does that make sense? 

Another important thing with the balance is knowing when to turn your phone off (and by off you can take that literally or just not tending to any work related things) and say to yourself "work hours are over, I'll get to it tomorrow." I struggle with this on a daily. I get blog and school emails at night and I feel this pressure to instantly reply so that people think I am on top of my work rather than realizing that it's 10 o'clock at night and I can easily just reply in the morning when I get up. A good tip for this is setting strict work hours for yourself. Once those hours are up, No. More. Work. No exceptions. Make someone hold you accountable for this. Maybe a roommate, spouse, family member, whoever, but ask them to make sure you are resting and enjoying some quiet time and soaking in life and not tending to whatever is calling your name in your inbox. 😊

Force yourself to take a walk and break from work mid day as your brain hits a fog and you start to get grouchy because you've been cooped up. This happens naturally for me because I have to walk a lot on campus so when I am going from class to class I am forced to soak in the fresh air and exercise a bit. 

Don't beat yourself up if everything on your to-do list doesn't get done. This is a hard one for me but so true. When the hours are up and you can't work any more, just move any tasks you didn't get done to the next day. IT'S OKAY. I promise. The sun will rise tomorrow and you'll be able to get those tasks done. When you beat yourself up you are using emotional and mental energy that could be put towards another task the next day. Try to gain perspective and realize you did what you could. 

Remember, life's too short to let work steal your joy. Live each day to the fullest as much as you possibly can, getting done what you can, and knowing that tomorrow brings another day for a fresh start and more productivity. Don't measure your days by what got done but rather the memories and sweet moments that came in that day because you'll remember those things over the to-do list that you checked off. 

I hope you're encouraged and know that this balance is something that is so hard to come by. I struggle with it too! We are in this together, Friend! Do me a favor and if you have thoughts or dialogue, share it in the comments! 

You can shop my outfit details here: 

Photography: Sarah Winsted 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Off the Shoulder Summer Dress

Hi friends! Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone's Monday was bearable after the fun holiday weekend. I wanted to share a staple off the shoulder swing dress that is so airy, fresh and fun! Today's post will be short since this dress and choker do most of the talking and the past few posts I've shared have been longer. I'll give your mind a little bit of a break this morning as you sit at a desk or in class and more outfit inspiration. 😉  
(side note: if you've never subscribed to my blog but love reading it, have my posts delivered right to your inbox so when you wake up in the morning it's there) You can do that here

Now back to the outfit. I love how you can throw this dress on and it's a complete look. No accessories needed (only if you want them) and you're good to go. It comes in two other staple colors-- black and white. I'm wearing an XS. The beauty of this dress is its a pop of color OR if you get a more neutral tone you can wear it tons of different ways. I can't recommend it enough!! Oh and its under $50!! #closetsteal Another jewelry must have is this choker. I absolutely love how easy it is to throw on with something and it gives it a pop. Also, if you haven't noticed, I've worn these summer wedges about 50 times on the blog so I advise grabbing them now for the summer. 😉

Thanks so much for reading! 

Shop my full look here: 

Photography by: Sarah Winsted

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Perfect Girlfriend Birthday Gift

So my bestie turned 22 on Friday and I was torn on what to get her. We are both the type of people that get what we want/need in that moment which makes buying gifts hard, but I wanted to make the box special and be full of things that I know she loves. I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to share it with my wonderful readers just in case anyone was in the same predicament. 😉

What do girls love? Girls love nail polish, lotion, candles, jewelry and anything frilly and cute. Sarah and I both have this thing for OPI nail polish so I decided that getting her a collection of colors to wear on her toes to match her fingers would be perfect! Another thing that is a fun summer accessory are tassel earrings. They are so in right now. I went with black because she is blonde and it makes them more statement. (Don't worry I'll link everything below if you're wanting to see exactly what I got her) Another great gift is volcano candles. If you have never heard of these, they will change your life! They smell absolutely amazing and will last you forever. We are talking a good quality candle, friends. Rather than getting her the candle though I decided to go with hand lotion so she could have the smell but use it in her purse whenever her hands are dry. Smart right? 😉  Another thing I added that isn't pictured is the book Twenty Two by Allison Trowbridge. It's a book of letters to a young woman searching for meaning. It worked perfectly since she was turning 22. I will be writing a blog post on it soon BUT if you need a peaceful, easy, encouraging read you need to get this book now! It's not just for women in their 20's. It's for women of all ages. I'm only twenty pages in and loving every minute of it. Lastly, I added a cute small notebook with a cute saying on the front and wrote my note to her on the inside. That way whenever she sees the notebook she'll always remember I gave that to her on her 22nd birthday. The box I put everything in was purchased at TJmaxx! 

Hopefully this inspires you if you're in need of a gift for a girlfriend or sweet lady in your life! 

Shop everything below: 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Splurging and Saving

Having a wardrobe that you love, has a variety of pieces and isn't worth thousands and thousands of dollars can be hard. What do you save on and what pieces do you splurge on? It's the million dollar question for fashion lovers! Today, I'm going to give you some practical tips on how to make your wardrobe exciting and full of variety by telling you what I think is important to save on and splurge on.

Lets start with what to splurge on! For me, there are pieces that are timeless and if you invest them, they'll will last you a very long time (I'm speaking as if these clothes are people but come on, if you treat your clothes right they'll last you forever 😉 ) Shoes are something this rings true for (at least for me). I am much more willing to spend good money on shoes, especially if they are something I'm wearing on the daily. Aside from shoes, classic pieces that you'll wear forever are in the category of "splurge." Let me give you an example, a few days ago I purchased a beautiful high waisted white midi skirt from a boutique here in College Station. I spent $50 on it and I did that because in my head could name at least three different events I would wear it for. It's a timeless white skirt that I can pair with tons of different things and make it look different. That's another point, splurge on simple pieces with not a lot of pattern so you can make it look different with lots of different outfits. Make that a rule of thumb when you are deciding if you should splurge or not. Ask yourself truly how many times you would wear the piece. If it's more than three or four, I say do it! 

Lets chat saving. Purchasing items that are currently trendy is probably not the best idea because most likely in a season this fashion fad piece will no longer be as cool and chic. This may not be the case for everything but how are we supposed to know when we are purchasing something if it will be a couple year trend or only for a season? If you're anything like me, it's so easy to get caught up in how precious and adorable something is when in reality you could go to TJmaxx, Target, or another (low) price point store and get a similar piece. I'm going to tie in a saving example with the skirt I just talked about above,  I knew when I purchased the skirt I would need a crop top to sit right above the waist line to really show it off. I could have gone to Anthropologie to look for a top that's short, beautiful, great material and unique that I will wear again and spend a minimum of $50 or go to TJmaxx and spend $16, which is what I did. 😉  I may not use the top for anything other than with the skirt but it was $16, so not a huge deal. The bottom line is when it comes to saving, decide on pieces that are trendy and save on those. Or basic pieces that you don't need super high quality material for, like tanks and v-necks. Tjmaxx and Target have plenty of cute ones whereas if you go to Madewell you could drop $45 on a simple v-neck. It's just not a necessary use of your money in my opinion.

Now this is where my outfit above comes in. I have pieces that I saved on and pieces I splurged on. This precious top from Shein is definitely a trendy piece. It's got lots of ruffles and has some bell sleeves. Lots of trends all in ONE top and I love that! Don't you?! Spending $60 would not be something I would recommend for a piece like this, but spending $15 for a quality piece that fits well sounds fabulous! Now the necklace I'm wearing is a more expensive piece of jewelry BUT this is one of my most favorite necklaces and I wear it with SO much. It spices up any neutral outfit and truly is just all around beautiful. I would purchase it again in a heart beat! White jeans are another "splurge." Everyone needs a pair of these in their closet! Lastly, I splurged a little on my shoes. These wedges I have worn at least 10 times and I know they'll be my go-to summer wedge.

I hope this helps you as we approach a new season on what pieces you should save your money on and other pieces you can splurge a little.

You can shop my entire outfit below:
(side note on the top: it's a One Size but it fits beautifully. It's a looser fit so it can really be worn by all sizes)

Photography: Century Tree Productions

This post is in collaboration with Shein but all thoughts and opinion are my own! 

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