Friday, April 29, 2016

Bucket List: Oregon Coast

I have successfully completed one of my nine Oregon bucket list items! I was able to go to Florence, Oregon this past weekend with my sorority sisters on an overnight retreat. My sorority spent Friday and Saturday in Florence and explored the beach, the lake areas, and the town of Florence itself. Here are some of the pictures I took from the weekend.
View from the conference center
On the cold cold beach
Bonfires on the beach are surprisingly legal in Oregon
The view from our dinner spot
At the conference center
At the lake with friends
I'm so happy I got to check this one off my bucket list because I love the beach rain or shine. The beach we visited was super different from California beaches, even the more secluded ones. It was much colder than what I am used to but bonfires were allowed in the sand so I guess it's a trade off. I'm still hoping to head back to the coast once more before I leave because I've been getting a lot of suggestions for coastal towns that I still need to see. Until then though, one down eight to go!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Surviving as a Night Owl in a Morning Person's World

I have met extremely few people who actually identify themselves with being morning people. Despite this, the world runs on a morning person's clock. Yes, okay, there are late night parties and midnight movie sessions and really the only acceptable time to eat Taco Bell are during the hours thereafter midnight. But classes start at 8am and work starts at 9am and if you want to fit in getting ready, working out, eating breakfast, and transporting yourself to your responsibilities you have to wake up at least an hour before those times. So yes, this is a morning person's world. Why? If so many of us are night owls or simply hate waking up before 10am, why have we decided to do things earlier? We aren't farmers anymore and studies say that schools who start later have higher achieving students.

Think for a minute, though, about the morning people that you know. Those who are morning people seem to be this mystical species consisting only of people who have their lives completely together and actually like drinking kale for every meal. It's like you can't be a dysfunctional morning person. You can't like the destructive lifestyle if you like waking up early. It just doesn't happen. Productivity occurs in the morning. You're supposed to work out in the morning and waking up when the sun rise's is supposed to somehow be healthier. No one is commended for staying up until 6am but many are commended (if not looked at as crazy) for consistently liking waking up at 6am. Whatever the reason, I'm here to help you out if you, like me, are not a person who liked getting out of bed.

1. Get eight hours of sleep.
No. Seriously. I used to go to sleep whenever I wanted. In high school my sleep schedule consisted of me going to bed anywhere from 12am-3am and having to wake up and get ready before my 7:25am choir class. I was also a raging mess in high school. Not that I'm not still a huge hot mess, but at least I'm not tired all the dang time. I used to take naps so much and sleep away my day after school. Naps are good, don't get me wrong, but I was taking like three hours naps twice a day. It was bad. I know everyone has different times that they need to sleep to feel refreshed so maybe you don't need eight, but get what you need. I get at least eight hours, ideally nine each night. Even with the 9am I had last term.

2. Drink water when you wake up.
I used to read this on those health blogs and always roll my eyes because it just seemed unnecessary, but it's actually one of the easiest things you can do. Lately, I've been super bad with this one and I can definitely feel it taking a toll. Depending on your weight, height, and fat to muscle percentage you're supposed to drink around two liters of water each day. You really don't realize how much water this is until you're only half a liter in and it's already dinner time. Drinking a full glass of water right when you wake up boosts your metabolism after a restful night and gets you a head start on that two liter a day thing. To make it even easier, leave some water next to your bed each night so it's there when you wake up!

3. Set your alarm a bit earlier than you actually need to.
Maybe this isn't the best/healthiest tip but it's definitely a realistic lazy person tip. I have an app that sets my alarm with a half hour window and wakes me up when I'm most awake during those times based on my movement. It's called Sleep Cycle, if you're curious. Point being is I typically wake up a half hour to ten minutes before I actually need to get out of bed, giving me time to continue laying down in light sleep or allowing me to check my phone and not having to just jump out of bed. By the time I actually have to get out of bed, I'm ready to go.

4. Plan out your day the night before.
I make sure to check my planner and my iPhone's calendar (which I keep everything in) the night before so I know what I'm doing. This gets me excited for whatever I have planned or makes sure I'm prepared for any exams or other responsibilities I have. I'm never caught off guard and it helps me feel super prepared for the day!

5. Meal planning!
I'll talk more about why you should do this in step six, and admittedly I'm still working on this step myself, but it seriously helps. I don't mean you need to be like those health bloggers and meal plan for the next three months in advance, but something that really helps me is making sure I know what's for breakfast. Having a frying pan and eggs ready with some chopped up veggies always gets me excited to wake up because I know my food will be ready within minutes. Even leaving out my favorite cereal and making sure I have milk in the fridge for the morning is better than nothing.

6. Don't leave things to the morning.
Sometimes I skip this step too and it always throws me off. I think I'll have time in the morning to do things and while yes, I might, it just leaves me in a rush. Pack your backpack or work bag the night before. Figure out a basic sense of what you want to wear and check the weather to make sure that outfit works. Back to the meal planning thing, if you don't figure out what you want to eat or have something ready to go in the morning and you're in a rush, you might just skip breakfast altogether, which is obviously a big no no. Basically, make sure the only things you have to do when you wake up in the morning are getting ready, eating, and walking out the door. No finishing homework an hour before class, no leaving your school supplies laying around all night. Be prepared in the morning and you'll thank your past self.

There you have it! If you're a night owl like me, I wish you luck and I hope these steps help you survive out there.

Monday, April 25, 2016

My Drugstore Makeup Loves

As promised, here are my favorite products and tools from any drugstore (for my specifically, Target). All of these products are going to be much cheaper than what you find in a Sephora or a department store and are still going to provide results that work. Be sure to always read reviews before you purchase anything though! Just the same as with some high end brands, some drugstore brands are going to do you wrong. To help start you off though, here are my go tos!

Maybelline Volum' Express The Rocket Mascara: $5.99
I have been using this mascara probably since before any other makeup product. I saw the intense Maybelline mascara commercials and had to get one, especially since everyone tells you that mascara is where you should start with makeup. Maybelline has a whole line of these "Volum' Express" mascaras, and honestly, everyone's opinion differs from style to style. I personally have no problem with any of them, but find your type and you're golden! I personally think this one works better or equal to Benefit's cult classic "They're Real" mascara (which retails at upwards up twenty bucks. No thanks) I also have to throw in a recommendation for Maybelline's Great Lash Mascara which is $4.49. My mom has been using this mascara her whole life and I love it too, but I gotta stay loyal to my Rocket mascara.

Neutrogena Shine Control Powder: $12.19
I have to admit that this powder is very much so on the pricier side of compact drugstore powders, but I swear by it. I used to have super oily skin and this powder is amazing for mattifying for long days and the results appear immediately. I still use it today for setting and mattifying.

L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Smoldering Line: $7.99
Some people say that they can't leave the house without mascara, for me though, my must wear product is eyeliner. I'm a huge liquid eyeliner fan but when I'm in the mood for a smokey eye or just a more subtle, messy, pencil eyeliner look, I grab this one. I'm pretty sure these each come with their own pencil sharpeners which is is super helpful. These eyeliners stay on all day and won't smudge once you've decided where you want it for the day. They're easy to apply and look great on anyone!

L'Oréal Paris Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner: $7.99
I basically refuse to use any other kind of liquid eyeliner. I've tried markers and other felt tips, brushes, paint pots, everything. I keep coming back to my drugstore favorite. It going on so easily and is so easy to touch up if you need to but then stays on throughout the day (unless you're guilty of rubbing your eyes all day like I do). I genuinely cannot express how much I love this product. I wear it every single day.

Maybelline FIT ME! Matte + Poreless Foundation: $5.99
My only gripe about this product is that the top doesn't have a pump so I waste a lot of product. But again, I never use any foundation besides this one. I should probably invest in some higher quality foundation for nicer events, but until then FIT ME! will do. Maybelline used to only have one formula for their FIT ME! Foundation and I always felt like I looked a bit shiny, but then they came out with a Dewy and Smooth formula and a Matte and Poreless formula. I honestly want to go back and try Dewy and Smooth after all these months of using Matte and Poreless, but I just love this formula so much. It's a medium to lower coverage foundation, so don't expect miracles out of it. But for $5 a pop, it's great! Pro tip: If you think you're my shade (pale as hell) you're number 110. It's the lightest shade. You're welcome.

Maybelline FIT ME! Concealer: $4.39
I have to admit that I have moved on to pricier concealers, but sometimes I wonder why! Though I now use a $30 Laura Mercier solid concealer and a $15 Sephora brand liquid concealer, I don't think I'd have a problem with chucking those and going back to my original FIT ME! Concealer (though I have to admit the Laura Mercier concealer is pretty amazing). Just like the foundation, this concealer is cheap and does the job well with a doe foot applicator.

Up and Up Latex Free Foam Cosmetic Wedges: $1.74
And now to apply that foundation, I use Target brand foam wedges. I invested in a $20 beauty blender once and hated it. It grew mold. I really don't want to talk about it. Anyways, those $20 beauty blenders will last you probably longer than a foam wedge will, but you get thirty two wedges for less than two dollars. A pack of these lasts me months and work totally fine. No beauty blender necessary!

Neutrogena Makeup Removing Wipes: $4.99
I think the commercials for these (you know the ones with Kerry Washington?) say that these makeup wipes remove 99% of your makeup with just one wipe, and although I do think that that is a blatant lie, I also do think that these are amazing. I buy them in bulk they're so great. I use these to take off my makeup every single night before washing my face and they are truly amazing at getting off waterproof and stubborn makeup. Highly recommend, and as I said before they come in packets of 21 but bulk packs of like 10 packets. Perfect.

There you have it! My drugstore favorites. Let me know if you like any of these products and what drugstore products you use in the comments!

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Jungle Book: In Review

The Jungle Book is a movie that I hold near and dear to my heart as it is a Disney classic. If you know anything about me, you know that I love Disney: Disneyland, Disney movies, Disney merchandise, and as of late, Disney remakes. With a plethora of sequels and live action movies popping up left and right from the Disney studios, I have been teeming with excitement for all of them. I have to admit that I wasn't the biggest fan of the latest Cinderella movie, but I chalk that up to simply loving the original and it's music and animation endlessly. The new film just didn't hold the same classic magic for me.

The Jungle Book didn't either, yet I loved it. The Jungle Book did something drastically differently than Cinderella did though. Instead of simply trying to recreate the animated 1967 movie of the same name, the 2016 version of The Jungle Book went back to where it began. It brought to life the vivacious man cub Mowgli, the sloth bear Baloo, the mysterious panther Bagheera, the villainous tiger Shere Khan, the once amusing orangutan King Louie, and the mesmerizing snake Kaa in ways that the 20th century film left out. Naturally, being live action and being a film in this decade, this century, this film had to have a little more action and a little less comedy. Disney did what was only natural: explore the roots of this story. The Jungle Book has been updated, yet still reaches back to the original novel to gather its tale in 2016.

New characters are introduced and songs are interwoven throughout the film without making it gimmicky or like an off-kilter musical. Without spoiling anything, I cried and laughed and "aww'd" throughout the entire film. What I was consistently amazed with was the CGI of the animals. It almost feels wrong to call this movie live action since it was filmed on a set in downtown Los Angeles and since the only real, breathing, moving thing being filmed in that studio was Neel Sethi, playing Mowgli. That being said, Sethi's acting was nothing short of someone who was literally surrounded by these animals. Cute wolf pups and terrifying scarred tigers were digitally imposed into this movie, yet to the unknowing watcher, one would think they trained these animals to talk and act.

Overall, this new adaptation of The Jungle Book was amazing. It kept me on edge the entire movie and surprised me in the end. The visuals were stunning, the acting from Sethi amazing, and the soundtrack subtle and nostalgic. Certainly more nail biting than the original, with a certain charm to it, I certainly recommend anyone who is even slightly interested to go check out Disney's 2016 version of The Jungle Book.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Looking Forward

Lately that I have been trying to rush through my life. I am one of the biggest advocates of stopping to smell the roses and taking life as it is day by day, but I just haven't been able to stop myself lately. Even though I am taking the fewest amount of credits this quarter since I started college, (and probably the fewest amount of classes my entire life) I feel busier than ever. Between general education classes, voice lessons, sorority obligations, a social life, preparing for my Summer study abroad in Italy, and preparing to transfer colleges in the Fall, I am simply overwhelmed.

During my first two quarters at Oregon, I didn't know if I was going to be able to transfer. I was applying to four highly competitive schools as a transfer student and as a theatre major. These factors combined, I had no idea what my chances in getting into another university was. Despite my anxiety about my unknown future, I was able to relax into the University of Oregon and live life here. I made what I could of it even though I knew that I desperately wanted out as soon as I could. Now that I know I'm going to be able to make that change, I simply want to get there. Since my time at Oregon is limited, I know that I can't do much with my time left. I can enjoy what I have left at this school but joining organizations, registering for classes, making new friends, and quite simply growing as a student and as a human being become difficult if not impossible.

I am so busy with making plans for my life six months in advance. I know what I want to do once I get to Chapman University and I am vying to do it all right now. I'm anxious to discover a new school, meet new people, declare my double major (And maybe minor! Am I crazy enough?), and further explore the Southern California area that I know so well. I want to be tanning under palm trees on a freshly cut lawn in the California heat as I work on a project or my homework. I see myself amongst Greek Life members, understanding and participating in their philanthropies and events. The beach awaits my return and Disneyland, only minutes away, will hopefully be a place I can find refuge in. I want to meet my roommate and decorate my new (and improved) dorm room instead of being cramped into a house with sixty other girls. My time at Oregon has been nice, but it is time for me to move on.

Because of my overactive imagination and anxiety for the future, I have been unable to slow down and simply enjoy the life that is around me. I know that this is important for my mental health and for the sanity of those around me. Having a friend go crazy would probably not be good for anyone around me. And then I know there are things that I will miss at Oregon. The familiarity of the campus that I have come to know in the past academic year and the teachers that I got to work with over the terms. The calmness and darkness of the nature in Oregon at night. The warm Spring days where everyone is out on the lawn and the flowers seem to bloom brighter than the rainy days. My adventures with Clarae and the laughs I have with her and Brandon. My heart will ache for the friends I have made and the beautiful campus.

I hope I will find these things in Orange at Chapman. I hope the route I am choosing to take will lead me to where I want to be. I hope that I will be able to visit Oregon and that I will be able to stay in touch with those that I love. In spite of my excitement for the future, I need to remember to enjoy what is currently around me. I can't make Chapman come any faster and I won't be able to turn back time if I miss anything once I get there. We all need to learn to appreciate our lives in the moment. I know I can take time out of my day to step back and reflect on what is going on instead of simply sprinting to get the day over with. Life presents us with so many gifts each day, and we should appreciate each one.

Monday, April 18, 2016

I Am Thankful for My High School Friends

So here we are. Away from home. Managing our own lives. Living the college life. It's everything people told us it would be: the parties, the classes, the freedom, the dorms. After the initial shock of the first few weeks of being away from everything that is familiar, college ain't so bad. It's our first taste of the adult life without having to fully dive into the workforce. The next four plus years are "the best years of our lives" or so every graduate ever has ever said ever.
Something people don't talk as much about is how much you will miss high school. Okay, not the dress codes or the strict rules, not the drama or the pettiness, nor the all-nighters and the useless group projects and worrying about getting into colleges. They tell you that you'll miss home and to savor each moment of your senior year, but it's usually said as an afterthought to how much fun college is and often, we don't listen to the warnings to cherish what time we have left in high school. I can't say with full honesty that I miss high school, but I certainly miss the friends and memories that I made there.
I went to a small religious high school where word travelled quickly. There was always some sort of drama going on with someone, and everyone knew everything for the most part. Those were the cons of a sixty-person graduating class. The pros however, were how bonded we were. The school fed this fake script of how we were in this together and we were all supposed to love each other and support each other and we never bought it. Year after year, we trashed each other. I'm making my school sound terrible but hear me out. I think that's what made us special. We bonded because we didn't take each other's shit--pardon my French. Yes, there was drama, but when it came down to it we were there for each other no matter what. We went through a lot together in our four years, and no one will be able to experience that but us. It wasn't ideal or picturesque or what we were force fed: community! All are welcome! Nice sentiments, just not us.
This is what made my class special. We hated each other, but we loved each other. Every single person really made me who I am today. Yes, college may be the best four years of some people's lives, but high school is such a formative and important time in our lives. As you can see from the smiles pictures above, we clearly had some good times. The grainy group selfies document our time in secondary education. Selfies taken in bathrooms before choir concerts and during a particularly ridiculous class. 
I'm not going to act like we're all friends now that we've trickled to our areas of the continent (and in some cases world) to pursue a college education. Not everyone in the pictures in this article are people who I talk to on a daily or even monthly basis. That does not change the experiences we had in high school. I made a best friend backstage while we were both going through heartbreak--with the same guy. Another friend was made after she asked me for a pencil in choir--even though I was extremely afraid of her confident and assured personality. My other best friendship evolved over the four years, from my being absolutely jealous and spiteful of her my freshman year to being completely supportive and proud of all of her accomplishments.
From the late nights after shows and choir concerts driving around town and meeting up with a bunch of friends at The Dutch Goose to get post-show fried food to the grande iced chais in between classes (or worse! during chapel!) at the Sharon Heights Starbucks. The bus rides to and from sports tournaments and the excitement when one of our teams was doing well and the entire school showed up to rally for them. I have specific memories of debating in parking lots of where to go next or driving to the top of a hill to just relax and think about life. The sunsets during Caroline's birthday from the Palo Alto resident-only park or singing American Pie on the drive home in the dark. The quick drives off campus to get lunch that wasn't curry (for the third day in a row). The late nights at Chuck's 24/7 donuts and the dinner parties where we mostly just hid and watched movies after getting out food.
The parties when parents were out of town that got out of hand (in retrospect hilarious and still completely infuriating) and the faculty talent shows that were actually fun to go to. Year after year pops concerts that never turned out quite right and fall concerts that were the least looked forward to event of all year. The weird assemblies that were super pointless but absolutely the best part of the week like the hypnotist who managed to embarrass all of our friends. The joy of the annual dodgeball tournament and March Madness. Spirit Week and the relief of field day and Lulu's burritos. Running to Robert's after school to grab a sandwich (that always took too long to make) and hoarding candy from the sweets aisle.
The people I met in high school were some of the most mature and self aware people I have met in my entire life. On the surface--no, a lot of us were thoughtless, crazy, irresponsible high schoolers. I had the fortunate experience of being friends with most of the people in my graduating class, and getting close enough to some of them to see their most vulnerable states. Every person I saw who sat down for a moment and thought about the world around them were the smartest people I have ever seen. Smarter than most adults I see in the world. Smarter than those who might not be able to slow down for a moment in their lives.
I learned how to be a leader and I learned how to respect and stand up for myself. I learned about the world around me and to be thankful for what I was given. I learned that the things that seemed to be the biggest deal were probably absolutely not the biggest deal at all and that everything works out in the end. I learned to take the opportunities you are given and constantly search for new ones. I learned that there is not always a moral to the story, sometimes things just are, and sometimes things are not fair. Things will not always go how you want them to no matter how hard you try. I learned not to feel guilty for feeling sorry for yourself but to know where to draw the line.
I learned to realize that when most of the things that are hurting you are caused by yourself, change. I learned that you determine what effects you and how. You have a choice in how your life is lived. Whatever it is, it will pass. I learned to appreciate something in everyone, everyone has a life that they are living and there is something you can learn in everyone. There are two sides to every story and you should probably learn the other. Most importantly, I learned to feel and to feel without shame or fear. Feel the emotions that do not want to be felt and that you do not want to feel. Learn to understand these feelings, the mistakes you make and the success that you achieve, the people that hurt you have been hurt by others and the people that you hurt will hurt others. It is part of growing and living and learning. Question everything.
I learned these lessons in dark backstage corners and at loud parties with drunk teenagers. I realized these truths in cars and on road trips and on trampolines with burritos and ice cream. Not everything has to be a lesson or a cliché like I've listed above and that is somehow inherently part of the lessons. Not every heartbreak is going to help you with some lifelong meaning and not every shred of drama and gossip will make you a better person in the long run. But we can certainly try to learn from everything that happens to us. Life will frustrate us, it is meant to. We are on Earth to discover and to share and to live and to learn. I am so thankful for the moments in my life that taught me something and made me grow as a person and I am thankful for the moments that did not. I am thankful for all my frustrations and grievances and for all the things that make me happy and make me laugh.
Most importantly, I am so eternally grateful for my friends and those around me in my high school classes taught me and how they shaped me as a human being. I am proud of who I am and who I have become and what I have achieved just as must as I am proud of all of my high school classmates and what they have accomplished. I know we will go far. No one will ever be able to live the experiences that we lived, but to give insight into what my high school experience was like: Our senior song was Seasons of Love from Rent.

Friday, April 15, 2016

My Sephora Loves

I am a huge fan of rewards programs. If a company has a rewards program, I probably am a part of it. I have earned my way from Beauty Inside to VIB status (AKA Very Important Beauty Insider) in the Sephora Rewards Program stratosphere which means I spend too much money on makeup (thank you gift cards!). Part of the reason is because I have so many products that I continue to repurchase once I run out. I'm a huge fan of Target makeup hauls, and will most definitely be doing one of those on here, but when I need something a little more high end than the dollar E.L.F. products at the drug store, I run to Sephora. One of the other perks of having a Sephora account is being able to see a list of your previous purchases and adding any product to your "loves" list. So without further ado, I share with you: My Loves List.

NARS Velvet and Satin Matte Lip Pencil: $26
Pictures is the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella. One of the perks of the Sephora rewards program is an annual gift on your birthday, and this past year it was the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella as well as the Satin Matte Lip Pencil in Rikugien. I honestly didn't know there was a difference between the Velvet and Satin products until I made this post and looked up exactly what I had gotten for my birthday. I still have the sample products that I received last year that I sharpen with a NARS sharpener (it sharpens the plastic!). The product is super pigmented and goes on the lips super smoothly. The vibrant red of Cruella and subdued pink of Rikugien are perfect staples to any lipstick lovers collection!

Sephora Collection Purifying Brush Shampoo: $7 or $15
I bought this on a whim when I was buying some new brushes. No one ever really talks about cleaning brushes but it's vital to good skin and keeping your brushes soft, nice, and new-looking. I bought the 6.75 ounce size which I now realize is going to last literally forever. Only a little amount is deposited each pump and you really only need a pump or two for each brush. You simply wet the brushes and swirly them around in the "shampoo" and then wash it off in warm water and see all the foundation that was stuck in the brush go down the drain. It's super satisfying and my brushes are always the softest.

AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peal: $60
This peal is definitely on the pricier side and I was super hesitant to buy it even though it had amazing reviews. Despite the fact that it's a chemical peal, it is great on sensitive skin and unlike some stronger products, it doesn't require SPF to be worn for the next week after using it (even though you should wear SPF every day!). I use this product about two times a week and can feel immediately how clean my skin is. It removes dead skin cells and toxins from the skin so other products work better! I really notice a difference every time I use this product.
Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer: $15 or $29

I've been wanting to purchase a contour or bronzing powder for years now but I never got into the hype. I was worried I'd buy a product that didn't work or didn't look good on me or I simply wouldn't know how to use it. This product was recommended to me by my friend Clarae and let me tell you, it is amazing! I must admit that it's been a steep learning curve, and it only comes in one color, but for my super fair skin it's the perfect product. I bought a cheap contour brush from target instead of using the white brush that comes with it (even though that brush works fine as well) and use it to make my cheekbones more prominent as well as giving some color to my super pale winter skin!

Peter Thomas Roth Acne Clear Invisible Dots: $12 or $30
I found these dots through a Teen Vogue post about acne dots, which are exactly what they sound like. They're clear plastic dots that you put on blemishes overnight to get rid of. They're no miracle worker, and I only use them every now and then, but I really do like them! They reduce inflammation and redness overnight and have really helped me when I need to get rid of a blemish quickly.

Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray: $14 or $30
I was hesitant to buy this product, because a lot of the time for me the "cult favorites" just do not work. However, I have to admit that this product is amazing. My friend said that she used this before a swim meet and left the meet with the same fact of makeup she put on in the morning. Urban Decay also has an oil-control and hydrating setting spray and even though I have combination oily skin, I always opt for the original, but the preference is really up to the individual. I typically put this on each morning before I head to school and return after a long day of classes with my makeup still in place.

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3: $14 or $23.50
I found this product while searching for an exfoliator, and don't be fooled by the name because this is actually a toner. No one has any idea why it's called a lotion, just that it's a miracle product. I use this every morning and night during my skin routine before I do anything else and it really is amazing. You can see any excess dirt, oil, or makeup come off with each swipe of this on a cotton ball and I love using it.

Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil: $16 or $48 or $96
I use this as a moisturizer each night before I go to bed. Even though I have oily skin, this really evens out my complexion and doesn't make things oilier. It absorbs into my skin within five minutes and keeps my skin hydrated. I love that it's completely natural and doesn't have added chemicals like other regular moisturizers do.

Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection: $36
I think this was the first eyeshadow palette (besides my glamorous Claire's palettes) that I ever bought. I still have the product with the original packaging, I've been using it for so long. Though some of these colors are slightly different than what I have, and have different names. The colors are super pigmented and look great on anyone!

Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer: $16 or $36 or $49
I also gave into this cult favorite a few months ago and absolutely love it. Though it says primer which at first thought means keeping makeup staying in place, I must say this doesn't do that. I use my Urban Decay Setting Spray for that. However, this primer helps my makeup go on super smoothly and rest on top of my face without it being absorbed into my pores. I use it almost every day!

There you have it! All pretty pricey, but don't worry, I'll be sure to do a Drug Store makeup "loves" list soon because 90% of my daily products are from Target. Hope you liked this post and if you want to see more be sure to comment and share it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

My Oregon Bucket List

For those of you who know me already, my time at my current school, University of Oregon will be ending this June and a new chapter at Chapman University will begin in the Fall. Because of the short amount of time I have left in Oregon and the lack of exploring I have done in the state, I have decided to create a state bucket list! I plan on completing this within the next nine weeks before I leave, so I better start planning. I thought I'd share the few items I have so far with all of you and hopefully get some more suggestions as I go on these adventures!

I have been living in Oregon for seven months now and have still not made the two hours trek from Eugene to Oregon's largest city. I could probably create an entire bucket list just based off of what I want to do in Portland. The biggest things on my list include many bakeries, coffee houses, and restaurants which I'm super excited for.

The Oregon Coast
I absolutely love the beach and my boyfriend, Brandon, keeps teasing me about how I haven't forced us out to the coast yet. I will seriously beach in any kind of weather so fog or sunshine, I am excited to explore the many coastal towns in Oregon. From Florence to Newport (Oregon...not Italy or Rhode Island), I want to see it all!

Wildlife Safari
A safari in Oregon! Located about an hour south of me in Winston, Oregon. I honestly hadn't heard of this place until recently, but it looks and sounds amazing! I love zoos, but I figure I can go to a zoo anywhere I am in America. Wildlife Safari takes visitors beyond the traditional "zoo" experience. An hour and a half, 600 acre, drive through zoo, Wildlife Safari hosts animals from lions to zebras to elephants and elk, I am definitely excited to go to this one!

The one time I went to Bend, Oregon was when I was super young on a family reunion. I remember it being really fun and I want to go again before I leave! There's a cool company called Wanderlust Tours that does night hikes and snow shoeing and canoeing in Bend that I have wanted to try out for months now! They're a bit pricey but I've been trying to save up so I can canoe on Cascade Lakes under the stars.

Ashland Theatre
If you know me, you know that I love theatre. Being a theatre major, I feel like it's obligatory to see a show in the hometown of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I drove through Ashland and had a quick lunch break with my family when I was at orientation for UO over the summer, but didn't have the chance to look around and I would still love to do that!

Crater Lake
I have never been to Crater Lake, though Brandon has and he loves it so much that he got a Crater Lake Oregon license plate. He's been wanting to go since he moved up here and I have too! Every single picture I see of it looks gorgeous and a sunset over the lake is just what I need to relax from my studies.

Again, if you know anything about me, you know that I hate hiking. Like seriously. I am so lazy. That being said, I can appreciate the beauty and do love getting out into the outdoors sometimes. I just have to be in the mood for it. There are tons of amazing hikes around my school as well as throughout the state that I'm aching to try!

Blue Pools
Speaking of hikes, I was informed of the Blue Pools earlier this week by my friend, Erika. Though she said it was about a four to five hour hike, seeing the beautiful pictures of these deep blue pools in the forest seem totally worth it. As long as I don't get lost!

Okay this one might sound weird, but I seriously used to go to Coldstone Creamery way too much when I was still in the Bay Area. Crazy enough though, Eugene doesn't have a Coldstone. The closest Coldstone is an hour away in Corvallis, Oregon (home to Oregon State University) and I am determined to make that trek for creamy ice cream goodness.

I am still relatively new to Oregon so if you're an experienced and cultured Oregonian, be sure to comment your favorite places to go in Oregon and anything else I should had to my before I leave bucket list! Don't worry though, I won't be gone forever. I'll be sure to visit the beautiful state and all the wonderful friends I have made this past year!

Monday, April 11, 2016

College Spotlight: Vanderbilt University

Back at it again with Katie at Vanderbilt University!

M: What is your name?
K: Katie

M: What school do you go to?
K: Vandy

M: Where is located?
K: Nashville, Tennessee
M: What is your major(s)/minor(s)?
K: Mechanical engineering with either an engineering management or corporate strategy minor. I haven't decided.

M: Why did you choose to go to Vanderbilt University?
I chose Vandy because of the location and the academics - it has a beautiful campus but is in a busy part of the city, so there's plenty to do but you still get the homey feel of a campus (vs being a city campus). There's also lots of hiking and other things to do outdoors. I've also heard a lot of good things about Vandy alums, so I hoped it would help me get a good job.

What is your mascot?
K: Commodore
M: Does your school care about sports?
K: We're in the SEC so we care about sports, but definitely not as much as state schools. You can definitely find people who are super into it, whereas others don't care at all.

M: What else does your school care about?
K: We care a lot about academics.

M: What isn't the best thing about your school or what would you change?
K: The administration is cracking down on Greek life, which sucks a lot. I would definitely change that. Frats are getting kicked off and they're being stricter so it's not as fun as it apparently used to be. They're trying to get rid of it completely.
M: What would you definitely not change?
K: I wouldn't change our campus - it's beautiful. Additionally, I love that the teachers are so helpful/they're always willing to help one on one if you ask.

M: What is your favorite aspect of your school's campus?
K: Our campus is an arboretum, so it's all green with tons of trees and red brick buildings.

M: What is your favorite aspect of your program/major?
K: My favorite aspect of engineering is solving problems. Our senior year is mostly devoted to senior design, where we work with companies to solve real world problems.
M: What is the best thing to do in your college's city/town?
K: The best thing to do in Nashville is probably all the live music. Live on the Green is a free concert every Thursday in the fall.

M: What is the best place to eat on campus and what do you like to eat there?
K: I like Grins, a vegetarian cafe (even though I'm a carnivore). I like either the Mac n cheese or the caprese panini.

M: What is your favorite class that you have taken so far?
K: My favorite class has probably been computer science.
M: What is a class you really want to take?
K: I'm not really sure what I want to take. Our curriculum is pretty set as engineers. I'm looking forward to the more business-y classes for whichever minor I decide on, though.

M: Where is your "spot" either on or off campus?
K: My "spot" last semester was Provence cafe off campus, because they have awesome coffee and tomato soup. This semester I'm so busy I don't really have a "spot" since I'm always running around.

M: What is the party scene like?
K: The party scene is good! People go out Tuesday's and Thursday's, and then Friday and/or Saturday. And then of course there's tailgates in the fall and for St. Patrick's day and Rites of Spring.
M: What is your favorite memory at your school?
K: My favorite memory is probably the St. Patrick's day tailgates, or when we beat UK in basketball and stormed the court.

M: What makes Vanderbilt unique?
K: We're unique because we have such good academics, but also party and have fun. We're one of the few top universities left whose Greek life is intact.