1.26.2017

COFFEE TALK | WHY DO WE ROMANTICIZE BEING BUSY?


GO, GO, GO!

"Stressed" and "being busy" seems to be the status symbol everybody desires. These two concepts naturally have a negative ring to them, yet today we praise such a thing. Our society humbly brags about being too busy, or constantly stressed about everything. 


Naturally I have been guilty of this, I think every one has been at least once! It's the answer we conclude to when trying to avoid an invitation, when we are asked how our day is going, or simply to gain attention. I get it. I'm a full time student, work one-two days a week, and write part-time for the blog (see, humble-bragging). Busy, I am all the time. Stressed should be my middle name. I mean, we go way back in high school! It's hard to avoid, and I know I'm not alone.

It's easy to get caught up in the loads of homework, Friday afternoon errands, city traffic, overtime hours at work, hair and nail appointments, chores to complete at home, social gatherings, and spending quality family time. I tend to be a huge procrastinator, and in high school the littlest things would set me off, and before I knew it I had my usual stress headache. Even with our busy lives, here is what I've learned...

Hearing that pathetic excuse of being too busy doesn't make it easier for me to understand, or have sympathy for your day, but rather it makes me feel like my life isn't important at all. I'm told constantly, "oh I wish I had time for blogging," or "it must be nice not having to work this semester." I have time for blogging, not because I don't have a life, but because it's a passion of mine and therefore make time for it. It is nice not having to work part time with 20+ hours a week like before, but I know your not envious of my free time, especially in that condemning tone. 

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of hearing how everyone is suddenly-extremely-so-busy-all-the-time. I've noticed this past semester, during my small talk conversations to an from classes that it has suddenly become a competition on who has the busiest day ahead of them. When I reply I have an english essay to begin, it's followed by "me too, plus a math test." I shouldn't have to compete with anyone, or prove to anyone that I live a successful, busy, or sociable life. 

Our society values the input more than the output. Us working gals are the first to clock in, and last to clock out, because we are so desperately seeking that new promotion, or sense of recognition. Us college students are drinking more coffee than a Gilmore girl because we are adding more college credits than we can handle in one semester. We think that the more we do leads to greater success. But in fact, our sense of identity, reputation, or worried with leaving first impressions shouldn't be on the amount of tasks we achieve each day. There is plenty of value in hard work, but with a healthy balance of knowing when to pull back. 

If we stopped romanticizing our busy lives, imagine the meaningful conversations we would have with each other. Speaking from experience, I have wasted so much of my day just thinking about all that my day entails.  What if we stopped celebrating how busy we are based off a measurement of importance, but rather spending more time enjoying quality time with loved ones. So the next time someone asks you how your time is going, I hope you'll think twice about bragging about your busy to-do list! 

1.22.2017

GET TO KNOW LILY ROSE


ily Rose is my six year old puppy and partner in crime! For my thirteenth birthday my parents surprised me with my dream dog. I still remember how tiny she was, and I fell in love with her cuteness and personality right from the start. This pup is the joy of my everyday, and it's embarrassing to admit I don't mention her often on the blog. So without a further ado, here is a quick introduction to my little cutie.


What breed is Lily? 
She is a white Maltese, and weighs about five pounds!

Her favorite food? 
By no doubt it's ice cream! She acts wild when it's around, and by the pop of the lid of the carton, she's flying off the couch and onto my leg! And, she adores french fries! lol.

Does she like water?
This gal is prissy when it comes to water! Rainy season is the worst because the luck of her stepping on wet soppy grass is a joke. She is no lab!

How old is she? 
Lily is now six years old...cry!

Any tips for sheltering a puppy like Lily? 
If you have any questions feel free to leave them below, or check out this post through the archives of ABH! 




                           Special memory with Lily?


Oh my, which one to chose from! I'd say my favorite time ever spent with Lily is when she was a pup and it was the very first night my mom surprised me with her. At night, I kept her in a basket next to my bed, and within minutes she's barking to jump in bed with me. Ever since then she's been my sleeping partner.
Any fave toys/balls? 

Lily loves her toys, and pretends to be the most vicious dog alive. Her favorite tends to be small stuffed animals. Right now her's consist of an elephant, bunny, and ice cream cone. I love that she likes to play with her toys...it tires her out!

Does she like clothes? 

I've always wanted Lily to wear bows, or cute booties, but she actually hates it. She does love her sweaters though because of how cold she gets in the winter. Isn't she darling with them on?


1.18.2017

FIVE BLOGS TO NOTE + FOLLOW ALONG

SHARE THE LOVE 

Almost everyday when I wind down from my college classes and pile of homework, the first thing I reach for is my laptop to catch up on my favorite bloggers and their latest posts! The blogging community is so special to me, and for that I want to share with you my top five blogs I read on a daily basis, and have been following for years. Each photo collage below is linked to their site, so click on the image and it will take you there! 

Each blog represents something I wish I possessed in my personal life, or in my photography skills. I suppose that's the way it goes on the internet. We are glued to something we don't have, or simply desire. Perhaps at time my envy spreads, but it keeps me inspired, and motivates me to step out of my comfort zone to create special moments in my life. You must give these bloggers a follow. Trust me you won't be sorry. 



Elizabeth (a.k.a Liz) is an amazing blogger. She's been blogging for over six years now, and know's her stuff. I've been following this gal since I began my site, and I've gained so much inspiration from her. Her blog represents such creativity, and honesty, which is why I've been glued to her posts. She's not afraid of saying it like it is, and pouring out her heart with her readers. I believe she just recently changed her name, however there's no word of ditching "Delightfully Tacky," so excuse the confusion on my end!

In these photos she's pregnant, but she actually had her baby in late December! It's been so exciting to watch her progress in maternity outfits, baby shower decorations, and real feelings about becoming a mother. She's promised to never let her blog become a "mommy blog" however, her feelings towards motherhood is similar to mine, which has made me feel not so alone.

She also has a darling corgi pup named Dusty, who makes many appearances on the blog (score!). Currently she resides in Alaska (her home state) with her sweet baby and husband, but owns a cute little home in Tacoma, Washington. She is a wiz at photography, so every photo is gorgeous to look at. Yeah, did I mention she's my favorite blogger ever? Ha-ha. You must go give this blog a look, and follow along as long as she continues her blogging journey!


The Adored Life is another recent find in the blogosphere. The gal behind it all is named Alissa, and she's just darling. She's a born and raised Kansas girl, and graduated with a major in Journalism which explains her gift of telling stories on her blog. I love how personal she is with her readers, never leaving out any details of her week, and sharing her life happenings.

She has gorgeous curly hair, and shares many tips for gals with locks like hers. This blog is all fashion, and I love the way she styles her outfits. She provides a lot of posts dedicated to self image, and body appreciation, which is very inspiring, so you'll have to go have a read and follow her blog.


This blog is a recent find of mine, and I have loved learning about this gal. Her name is Elizabeth, and happens to be a Christian. Her site layout and design is beautiful, and it's why I kept clicking through her archive. I'd say this blog is geared towards lifestyle, which is my favorite type of blog to read.

What separates this blog form the rest? She showcases her U.S. state like no other. She is constantly taking about her love for Colorado and hiking. In her posts on Colorado she shares great places to eat, do, and see! Makes me want to visit.


Ahh, I can't say enough wonderful things about this blogger gal right here. Estee Lalonde is a YouTuber, blogger, author, and vlogger. She pretty much does it all! She lives in London, and shares many wonderful places to visit, especially on her YouTube channel. Plus she has the cutest greyhound named Reggie, (notice a theme here?).

Her blog is full of lifestyle, beauty, and fashion posts. Her fashion sense is so beautiful because it's simple, comfy, and full of neutral colors. Just from her photos above, isn't her photography incredible? So far my favorite post is her house tour, so you'll have to check it out and give her a follow.


Aspyn is such a cutie. She's a YouTuber, blogger, wife, online fashion shop owner, and world traveler. Yes, I know she pretty much does it all! And she's only 20 years old. It's honestly why I love her so much. She's basically my age, and therefore gives me so much inspiration to keep following my dreams because anything can happen. Aspyn lives in Utah with her husband Parker, who also does YouTube! Oh and that adorable pup is her mom's, but is featured on her blog and videos quite often which is a plus if you're an animal lover like me!

The reason why I follow Aspyn is because of her exciting travels. I love traveling, and wish I could do it more. Her photography is beautiful, so she really captures great places to see, eat, and do in all places she visits. Some of the places she's been I had never had a desire to visit myself, but now after seeing her photos I now wish to explore Iceland, Copenhagen, India, Bora Bora, and Greece.

1.15.2017

12 THINGS: BEST FRIENDS EDITION


12 THINGS 

1. Both of us recently darkened up our hair game. Although, I think I need to go back to my staple color, blonde. Alex on the other hand is killin' it with the black color.

2. For this shoot we set up our tripod to get some shots of us together, that weren't selfies! Our camera lens are fixed zooms, so the tripod ended up all the way in the street, oops!

3. We've been best friends since freshman year of high school, yet classmates since forth grade.

4. It was difficult to chose under 25 photos to post, because we ended up a total of 650 pictures from this shoot. Poor Alex had a lot of editing to do!

5. We haven't seen each other in over 4 months, because we are 2,645 miles apart for the majority of the year. Problems of having your best friend living in Virginia.

6. We both spent five days in Maui during our spring break of junior year with my grandparents, and we both desperately want to go back and explore Hana Road.

7. I'm this gals bridesmaid in June 2017. Can't wait!

8. This coffee shop is honestly the cutest one in town! Bonus; they allow us bloggers to go photography crazy.

9. Lifestyle is the direction we are both headed with our blogs, and we love the simplicity/dear diary vibe it brings.

10. I love exploring coffee shops with Alex because she's such a bold photographer & will do anything for a good shot. Like, making me walk in & out of the cafe just to catch that lifestyle photo, that I absolutely adore. Oh and yes, I grabbed a coffee stick, and mug warmer (that we didn't need) just so it looked like I needed something, because I tend to be on the shy side.

11. When we were in fourth grade, her nickname for me was pot roast. I suppose it was because it was the only food I'd pretended to make while playing house together haha.

12. Before we headed over to the Press Espresso, we spent over two hours at Starbucks chatting. So Alex had two cups of coffee, and I had two cups of tea. Hyped up on caffeine is an understatement.

1.12.2017

BOOK CLUB 03 / LAUREN CONRAD BEAUTY


auren Conrad is just a doll. I love her beauty and fashion sense, so this book is the perfect glance into her tips! If you're not aware, she has a blog that's full of lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and tasty recipes, you must go and check it out. Through her blog I've been able to learn more about her, and her fashion lines! I'm so excited to be starting this book club back up again, I fell off the bandwagon like a year ago! So for this book club pick, I had to talk more about her book "Beauty." It's an easy read, and has a magazine layout style, which I love.

5 THINGS THAT I LOVED 

1. I adore the dedication page to her mom. "To my mother who taught me that being a beautiful person goes beyond hair and makeup but never failed to remind me to get my roots done." // In the intro chapter she describes her challenges of finding her path to beauty and style, and owes it all to her mom. I think that is just the sweetest. Here she is a celebrity with her own beauty team, and fashion designers, yet believes her mom is the most beautiful.

2. "Give yourself a compliment everyday." (Chp 1, page 9). I love this tip she addresses in the chapter all about beauty in general. It's such a powerful thing we as humans can all do, to focus on the features we work so hard for, or the touches we were born with that we should be so thankful for. Constantly picking out the wrinkles, blemishes, discoloring, or non-existing thigh gap, is only going to bring you down, so look in mirror, and tell yourself you are beautiful.

3. Her insight to hair styles was something I never knew, and learned exactly why I prefer myself with longer hair. Here is what she said "Round Face Shape: Your cheeks are full and wider than your jaw and forehead. Because your face already has width, you will want to wear your hair long as possible to narrow it out." (Chp 3, page 46). Makes total sense!

4. "The best life is a balanced life. So enjoy the good-for-you and the bad-for-you all in moderation." (Chp 5, page 68). Of course this is something I have heard my whole life, but it was comforting to know that even a celebrity like Lauren tends to splurge too, but in moderation. All throughout her fitness and health chapter, she was real, and admitted to popping out a chocolate bar once in a while.

5. Something that I loved, which I didn't expect, was an entire chapter based on the past decades. She describes and shows the fashion and beauty of the 20's, 30's, 50's, and 70's. I think a lot of our class in today's trends have disappeared, as fast (thanks to the 00's a.k.a. Brittany Spears). I adore Audrey Hepburn because she had grace, and simplicity in everything she wore. Lauren Conrad states it perfectly "The past decade was filled with trailblazing women who, instead of following the trends, set their own." (Chp 12, page 251).

1.09.2017

DANITY PIECES IN MY JEWELRY COLLECTION


MIRANDA FRYE 
As a Christmas gift, my grandma surprised me with six beautiful dainty pieces from my favorite jewelry designer! I had so much fun playing with my new camera lens, that I ended up using these photos for a blog post instead of a simple instagram photo like I originally planned on. I love it when that happens!

Every photo below is linked to the actual piece on her website, so you can check out more details. It's funny how the older I get, the more I fall in love with anything gold, and when I was younger I only chose silver. The reason why I love Miranda's jewelry is because her pieces have lasted for years, and they don't look a day older than when I bought them!




KINGSLEY NECKLACE & BRACELET




This matching set is my favorite! I love the way it looks with my other neckalces, it's great for layering. In MF's collection there is a similar necklace called the Chloe Chocker Necklace, and it's beautiful too, just obviously shorter! 

The bracelet is perfect for a gal who doesn't have tiny wrists, like yours truly, and I always have the hardest time finding bracelets while shopping because no one seems to keep in mind those like me. The size of this Kingsley bracelet is just perfect especially when paired with my watches. 



PAIGE CUFF BRACELET 



This is just a beautiful bracelet! Ahh, when paired with the Kingsley bracelet, and watches it simply shines. Because it's a cuff/bangle it only comes in one size that should fit all, except me! Haha. It still saddens me, but I passed it onto my sister and she adores it!
















JATE NECKLACE 


The Jate necklace is absolutely stunning! It's actually a thick, and heavy piece which is what I prefer, because I've noticed it doesn't slide all over. Even with that said though it's still comfortable to wear!

I never layer with this piece because it speaks too much for itself, but it just happens to be the necklace I receive the most compliments while wearing this one out!





















ALPHA NECKLACE


Isn't this one super cute? I love the idea of Initial necklaces, but haven't found one I liked until this one. What I love is that from afar it doesn't immediately look like a "j" hanging from my neck, which happens to remind me of third grade, but instead looks like an elegant piece that represents who I am!

























ASHLEIGH NECKLACE 


I think this is the most clever necklaces of them all. It's the ultimate layering piece because it's super long. If you click on the photo, and see the way it's styled on her website, you'll see how you can double the chain, or let it fall on your back in the perfect open back dress. I layer this necklace with the alpha necklace, and think it looks beautiful together! 

It's what so nice about MF's jewelry, you can enjoy several pieces all at one time! Plus pieces I've had from a few years back are still designed for the same purpose, like the Spike Necklace!

1.06.2017

I GOT ACCEPTED TO...


4 UNIVERSITIES!

I could not be more overjoyed and excited to share my news about the four universities I applied to. I got accepted to each one! Each college notified me at different times, and ways through mail packages, emails, and phone calls which made each result so special in it's own way. I've know for a little while about each one, but decided to keep it a secret on the blog until I received each acceptance letter + package in the mail to make everything more official when I took my photo to announce it on social media! 

I've honestly been waiting four years for this day to come to see where I could be accepted, and finally chose a University to further my education and earn my degree. I will most likely be double majoring in psychology, and either english or education, to pursue my dream of becoming a family and marriage therapist, while having a back up plan for teaching if I decide not to go that route, just to be on the safe side. Unless I work toward my Master's I can kiss a psych degree goodbye, because a simple BA degree really won't get me anywhere, which is why I think it's smart to have a second major.

I'm currently in the process and registering for each Universities preview spring days for transfer students, to experience the college before I make my decision, so February could not come soon enough! The plan is to live in the dorms/apartments, be apart of a choir, and finally have that University lifestyle I've so longed to have, however with college debt that all could very well change. Below are the four universities I got accepted to, and sharing with you how I feel about each one individually, to hopefully narrow down my choices with my never ending lists of pro's and con's to each one! 





          BIOLA UNIVERSITY           


My absolute dream college! I have visited this University in the past so I am a little biased, but nevertheless it has so many amazing features I'm looking for. Of course it has the be the most expensive of them all, but I also received the highest scholarship from Biola, but I'm hoping it evens out the cost, and that I'll be able to work it out. I cannot wait to re-visit this campus in April, because it has been four years since my original visit. At the moment this is the University I see myself at, and at times I immediately associate myself as a Biola student. Their professors, class structures, dorm rooms, location, cafeteria, and people is everything that drew me to this college. Did I mention this is my favorite?! #goeagles



GEORGE FOX UNIVERSITY 



This is the college I was able to visit in Oregon last February because my friend is currently a student. It's a great school, and the campus is absolutely beautiful. They have a few programs that are really neat, and something I'd love to be apart of. However, it is out of state and too far from my family. Even though it is a beautiful state, Oregon rains everyday, all day and to say I hate the rain is an understatement. For these reasons, I have already decided to rule out this college, because I just don't think it's the right lifestyle and fit for me.




CALIFORNIA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY  

CBU and Biola are definitely my top two choices. This college is the absolute closest one to my family. It's in Riverside which is an easy forty minute compute which is a plus if I ever would like to meet my mom for lunch during the week, or come home on the weekends. The campus of CBU is one of my favorites because it's lined with palm trees, and the building architecture is old California mission style. I really would love to be apart of a choir no matter which school I end up choosing, but CBU has one of the best choir around, next to Azusa University. There's a lot of great things about this college, but we'll see because Biola is still on the top of my list.  



THE MASTER'S COLLEGE


The Master's College is in Santa Clarita, an area I love. It's definitely the most conservative and legalistic out of the bunch, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but still a fact I keep in the back of the mind. The campus is so unique and the one I probably love the most because it's surrounded in an old neighborhood tucked away down a quiet street, it's just simply amazing. The only problem with this university is the fact that they don't offer a lot of majors and minors to chose from, which makes it difficult to fall back on anything if I ended up changing my major in the future. The real bummer is that when I applied I was considering biology as a major, and not psychology. Instead of a psych major, it's a biblical studies major which doesn't match the same credentials a license family and marriage therapist needs. So unfortunately this college isn't one I'll be applying to.  Just wanted to see my chances of being accepted because they hold a very high standard for their students which I admire a lot.

1.03.2017

THE FUTURE OF ABH + QUESTIONNAIRE FOR YOU!

ABH FOR 2017 

I am so excited for 2017 and all I have planned for this blog. This space means the world to me, and this year I really want to be more present, consistent, active, and personal. I know, I probably say that every year, but this time I mean it. I have already sketched out the blog calendar full of posts all the way up until March! 

Brainstorming is something that always keeps me on track, and yet the hardest thing for me to do at times because it takes a lot of new and creative ideas. If there is anything you wish to see please let me know, I'm up to suggestions. With that being said, below is a questionnaire, and I'd love your feedback. Your answers will give me a better guide to follow for the upcoming months. I really appreciate you gals who have left comments, supported me, emailed me with your questions, liked my photos on social media, or just keep following up on my latest posts - it all makes my day like no other!  

Here are a few goals for the blog I really hope to accomplish! 
1. More coffee talk posts
2. Include Lily a lot more
3. Bring back the book club
4. Blog consistently (no excuses)
5. Improve my photography skills 
6. Use my Instagram account on a regular basis 
7. Interact with fellow bloggers + find new one's to read