Back to School: Planners & Stationery I’m Loving

With fall classes fast approaching I’m getting ready to go back to school shopping & my favorite part is always looking for a new planner. I am a very organized person who loves having every aspect of my life thought out & color coordinated in a cute notebook.

Target is probably my favorite store, especially when it comes to back to school shopping. I have gotten my planners & school supplies there since the beginning of high school. Every season they come out with a new design for their planners & stationary. This year’s design is from the Ashely G. Collection for Blue Sky & includes gold, white & pinks with various patterns. I opted for their largest planner with a ringed binder that has a gold, polk-dot design. Inside it has a space for notes & even a section for “Gratitude”. Each day I can write down one thing I’m grateful for, which is so important for staying sane! I got a smaller planner/address book for my blog scheduling. For my desk, I got a calendar that will allow me to quickly glance at that day’s schedule & events. It also gives me a space to jot down quick notes.

Not everyone loves planning & organization as much as I do. If the thought of scheduled days & thinking ahead is scary, these planners are a not-so-intimidating way to start. They offer different sized planners & calendars so they are perfect for every occasion. Just start by jotting down your plans for the week & soon you’ll have the next 3 months planned out! Life won’t always go as planned, but planners can definitely help!

How do you organize your life? Let me know in the comments or on social media! 

xo,

jazz

*not a sponsored post

College 101

Moving away from home & going to college is one of the most exciting, yet scary times in life. I know because I did it myself not too long ago.

My brother is going away for college soon & there are so many things I want to tell him! I feel like there is so much he needs to know, but I’ve realized you kinda have to learn as you go. But I’m going to do my best & share 23 Things I learned in college to help him & all other soon-to-be-freshman.

1.) Wear comfortable shoes for move-in day.

I made the rookie mistake of wearing Keds & trying to look cute. This is the only time I will tell you to put comfort before style… Try pairing a t-shirt dress with sneakers.

2.) Go to Welcome Week activities & get all the free t-shirts you can.

Anything for a free shirt! But really, getting involved is so important & can help you feel less homesick. And who knows, you just might meet your bff at a club meeting…

3.) Make your dorm room feel like home.

I was so tempted to throw all my bathroom stuff in a bag & act like I was living in a hotel for 9 months. But I didn’t, & my roommate & I were able to make our room look cute & be comfy.  Feeling at home is so important.

4.) Don’t buy your books before class.

Trust me, it’s more stressful to wait in line for a return & keep track of receipts than it is to wait for your professors to tell you what you really need.

5.) Meet with your counselor before every semester to plan out your schedule & make sure you’re on track.

Some schools require it; I recommend it. You don’t want to get to second semester senior year & be told you’re behind.

6.) Make at least one friend in every class & get their contact info.

It’ll be 10 p.m. 2 hours before something is due, & you’ll have no idea what you’re doing. That’s when you phone a friend.

7.) Study with your friends.

It makes it more enjoyable & you have built in tutors.

8.) Form study groups.

To go along with #7, it is so helpful to have people to study with & count on for study guide answers!

9.) Balance out hard & easy classes.

Don’t overestimate what you’re capable of. College school work is not like high school school work. Do not over commit!!

10.) Get to know your professors.

They are actually pretty cool people & it can’t hurt to be on their good side!

11.) Take advantage of the “free” gym & any classes that are offered.

Technically, the gym cost is included in tuition, but I took yoga classes & I’m basically an official yogi now so Namaste.

12.) Be positive.

A bad grade might seem like the end of the world, but it’s not. Trust me. Grades do not define you. Or your intelligence. You’re gonna be okay.

13.) Make time for dining hall dinners… or breakfasts… whatever you have time for (!!) with your friends. 

Because a good venting session can really help on stressful days.

14.) Don’t buy Starbucks every day with your dining dollars because you will run out.

Hahaha…um, I may or may not be speaking from experience here…

15.)  Download Lyft & Uber.

You’ll need both.

16.) Go out.

You won’t remember the nights spent alone in your room with Netflix. You’ll remember the nights you went to French Fry Heaven & the cashier yelled at you when you asked if the bbq fries were spicy & your friend puked in the bushes. (True story.)

17.) Go to football games & sit in the student section. 

Football games are the best!! And you will feel so much school pride being squished with 1,000 other sweaty, screaming individuals who also love *insert school name here.

18.) Do. Not. Procrastinate. 

But balance out all that going out with studying. You do not have as much time as you think you have.

19.) Your mom is still only a phone call away.

She wants you to call her.

20.) Make time for yourself.

It’s so easy to get caught up with clubs, deadlines, dates, friends, football games & so much more that you’ll forget to take time for yourself. But alone time is so crucial for staying happy & successful.

21.) It’s okay to miss your past.

It’s okay to miss your hometown, your family & friends. It’s okay to admit that. But know that you’ll get to make new memories in college too.

22.) Do it all for you.

Have your end goal in mind with everything you do & every decision you make. Now is the time to do that one thing you were gonna do that one time before you got afraid & didn’t. Go do it. And don’t let others opinions or agendas get in the way. Do it for you honey.

23.) Have fun.

Through it all, remember that college is only 4 short years of your life. If you are fortunate enough to go to school & study something you love, explore a new place & meet new people, do it. Do it all & don’t be afraid to fail, because sometimes you learn the most when you make mistakes. Soon you’ll be a full-on adult wishing you hadn’t worried about your chem test  & missed that pool party.

All throughout my freshman year, I made a list of “things I wish someone had told me before I came to college” in the notes section of my phone, so I could share it with y’all. I tried really hard to come up with real advice, & write about experiences that I came across when I was wishing I had someone to help me. My college friends helped me create this list too, & we’ve all been though the same things. So take this advice or don’t take this advice, but let me just tell you, you are in for one helluva ride…

Good luck!

xo,

jazz

P.S. Special thanks to all the people who contributed to this post. You just helped a freshman in need.

Social Media: It’s Not a Competition

This is a topic that’s been on my mind for awhile now. I know it’s a little different than what I normally talk about, but I think it’s important to share. So I hope you really understand it & form your own opinion as well. I’d love to know what you think & how you feel. That’s part of the reason I started blogging in the first place! To share my thoughts with others & surround myself with like-minded people. And maybe make an impact in someone’s life.

Before I get too far into this though, I just want to say, I love social media. I spend an embarrassing amount of time scrolling through Instagram & curating the perfect theme; going through the Explore page & drooling at the vacation pics & wondering how on earth someone can be so perfect & afford that bikini. (But for real college students, please tell me your secret to not being broke.) I also may or may not plan my activities based on how Insta-worthy they will be. And I love looking at photo albums on Facebook & retweeting relatable stuff. So yes, I love social media & I spend a lot of time scrolling, liking, & feeling less than perfect.

And that is the problem.

I feel like summer is the hardest time to be on social media. Because everyone is showing off their trips, concerts, cuddle seshes with their SO’s, their hot bods, their cool cars, their sweet internships… the list goes on. And it’s all understandable. I am guilty myself.

But it becomes too much. Those perfect couple in Cabo vacation pics; study abroad snapchats; I start to compare myself to others & it becomes a downward spiral of “My life isn’t good enough.” 

My life is plenty good enough though. I have a family who wants to spend time with me, a good paying job, a car that gets me where I need to go, a supportive boyfriend who also happens to be my best friend, too many clothes & too much stuff… but somehow it never seems like enough when I go on Instagram & see my friends in Europe with their sports car, $180 bikini & designer carry-on.

But then I remember, it’s not a competition.

Everyone is on their own journey & social media only shows the good side of life. Instagram doesn’t capture the fights, the money struggles, the hours spent working, just to afford that plane ticket. Twitter doesn’t show the tears that are behind those depressing tweets that everyone takes too lightly. Facebook doesn’t show the moments that tear a family apart.

So next time you (or I) feel less than enough because of a silly picture on Instagram, remember that it’s not a competition. It’s okay to not have thousands of followers & only get 3 retweets. It’s not about likes, comments or follows. Social media should be about sharing what makes you happy, & encouraging others to do the same.

So go congratulate your classmate on that new job & tell your best friend just how good they look in their new outfit. Tweet your favorite bible verse because it means a lot to you even though it won’t get hundreds of likes. Take lots of selfies with your dog & don’t be afraid to post them, because remember, it’s not a competition. 

xo,

jazz

Goodbye Boredom

Your sunburn has turned to a tan. The pool floats are popped. The thought of ice cream makes you sick. Now what?

Below, I’ve created a list of the Top 10 Things I like to do when I find myself with too much free time. And they are all reasonable (meaning they don’t require a million dollars or last minute passport).

1.) Redecorate 

If you ask my friends & family, this is all I ever do. But when I get bored, I start to sit & think about what I could change up in my room & before you know it, everything is out of it’s place & my room is a different color. (JK, it’s not that bad.)

2.) DIY

Pinterest is where to start with this one. I have an entire board on Pinterest dedicated to crafts & ideas I want to try when I have the time. I’m also thinking about making a DIY section on this blog so… let me know if that’s something y’all would like!

3.) Bake

But seriously, there are a lot of good recipes on Pinterest that may require special ingredients or time that you can’t make on a regular day when you’re just craving something sweet. Now is the time to try that homemade red, white & blue layer cake topped with sparklers.

4.) Spa Day

Who doesn’t love a massage or pedicure? If you can’t afford a professional spa day, treat yourself at home. Get some ideas here.

5.) Thrift Store Shopping

I recently found a pair of old Levi’s at a thrift store & I was able to turn them into denim shorts. You never know what you’ll find…

6.) Dollar Store Shopping

Along the same lines, I love going to go to the dollar store & finding knick knack beauty products or holiday decorations for cheap.

7.) Photoshoot

You don’t even need a fancy camera or designer clothes either. Plan a photoshoot with some friends & explore your town for candid spots. Late evening is a great time to take photos anyway, so it’s a perfect hot weather activity!

8.) Attend a Matinee

Afternoon showings of movies are generally cheaper than night, so stay inside & catch a show!

9.) Color

And then have a snack & take a nap! Kidding, but there are a lot of coloring books made for adults that are actually pretty cool. And they make great artwork to add to your newly remodeled room 😉

10.) Organize

Okay so not everyone is as OCD as I am when it comes to having a clean space, but it can feel really good to get rid of stuff, as well as get organized for the next school year & figure out what you need. Save yourself the last minute stress & do it now.

Let me know what kinds of things you like to do when you’re bored in the comments or on social media! I hope this helps kill your summer blues…

xo,

jazz

Top 5 Favorite Netflix Shows

I admit it: I watch more Netflix than, well, most things. I just get hooked on a show & before I realize, it’s dark out &, oops, time to sleep & watch more Netflix. I’m currently watching How I Met Your Mother & Barney is definitely me in another life. So for those of you who also wish to procrastinate, here are my Top 5 Favorite Netflix shows of all time. 

1.) New Girl

This is one of the first shows I ever watched when I discovered the world of Netflix & it remains a favorite. I relate to Jess so much because I am a very awkward person & I also cry & eat ice cream when any minor inconvenience occurs. 10/10 would recommend.

2.) The Office

OMG I can’t get enough of Pam & Jim. Or Dwight. Or Angela. Or Micheal for that matter. It’s one of those shows I go back to when I can’t think of anything else to watch. If you love to laugh, this one’s for you.

3.) Gossip Girl

I want to be Blair Waldorf so bad. She is so fabulous. For those of us that can’t actually afford to live in Manhattan’s Upper East Side with handsome men & preppy clothes, this is the best it gets. XOXO, Gossip Girl

4.) Shameless

This show has everything you could ever want: comedy, drama & romance. If you’ve ever grown up in a big family, you get the Gallaghers…

5.) How I Met Your Mother

I just want a relationship like Lily & Marshall. But I want to live a life like Robin. But instead I’m lying in bed watching Netflix & thinking up this blog post.

Let me know what shows you love on Netflix in the comments or on social media. I’m always looking for new reasons to take a break from adulting!

xo,

jazz

“Dear High School Seniors,”

Dear High School Seniors,

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for since you stepped foot on campus freshman year & saw the “grown up seniors”. You’re now one of them. Those “grown-ups”. And if you’re anything like me you’re probably kind of clueless as to how to adult. I’m not going to tell you how, because I’m still learning myself. But I am going to tell you that you need to enjoy these last few weeks as a high schooler, because you will never get them back.

Stay involved. I know you have senioritis; it’s a real thing. But as much as you want to stay away from all the annoying people at school & just get out of this town, don’t rush it. You’ll be on to bigger & better things soon enough & I promise there will be times when you miss the familiarity of high school. So cling to that feeling, but don’t get used to it.

Spend time with your mom. She loves you so much & she’s going to miss you. She has been there for you from the very beginning so thank her for all that she’s done. Appreciate her smile & her home cooked meals while you have it. Also, respect your parents. They have done so much to help guide you to this point, so say thanks once in awhile.

Hang out with your friends. They are your people & you won’t see them every day when you move away. By the end of high school my group of friends was really tired of each other because we had been together practically every day for four years. You will get tired of them, but you will miss them. Make memories that you can talk about later & love them even on the days you can’t stand them.

Say thanks to your favorite teachers. They saw you at your worst (awkward freshman year. Tell me why I wore a skort with Ugg boots??) up to now. They don’t get respected like they should. So just be nice.

Get a job this summer. You will need money in college. Uber is expensive.

Don’t make dorm shopping a chore. Meaning, don’t go on Pinterest & find a, “What you really need in College” shopping list because chances are, you won’t really need that ironing board. But you will need a Keurig. Get a Keurig.

Enjoy your free time. And sleep. It is impossible (speaking from experience) to get 8 hours of sleep & also be social, do homework, eat, shower, work out & still get a 4.0 in college.

Don’t hate on high school. While it may not have been the “best 4 years of your life” it was also not the worst. It gave you some lifelong friends. It didn’t prepare you for college, but it was fun. Enjoy being an upperclassman because soon you’ll be the newbie again & it sucks.

Last, but not least, enjoy every moment as much as possible. Go to baccalaureate; go to the after graduation party. Hang out with your friends, but say thanks to your mom more. Work hard & save up money, but also stay in bed all day with your dog. Pack for college, but don’t spend too much time worrying about it because you have the next four years to do that. For now, enjoy the past four years & all that it gave you, because you can never go back.

With love,

a College Sophomore

A Letter to my Freshman Year Dorm Room

Going off to college comes with a lot of changes & excitement, one of which is choosing a dorm room & contacting your future roommate; both of which will become your life for the next 9 months. I remember staying up late one night looking at the dorm floor plan trying to figure out which room would give me the best view & have the quickest access to the laundry room. Little did I know that room would be more than a place to sleep; it would be my home & become a room full of memories. So in honor of 1270 & all that it went through, here is a letter to my freshman year dorm room:

I remember move-in day like it was yesterday; we pulled up in front of the dorms & upperclassmen began unloading our car full of all my belongings. Music was playing & people were running around everywhere holding doors & offering bottled water since it was August in Arizona. The movers placed my stuff in a cart & we wheeled inside & waited in line with all the other freshman waiting to meet their roommate & see their room for the first time. We made it to the 12th floor & I wandered the hall looking for you, until I found you; wide open & empty, just waiting for my inner interior designer to come in & brighten up your walls. My family spent all day organizing furniture & plastering your walls with bible verses, inspirational quotes & pictures.

Eventually the excitement of move-in day & the first week of classes subsided & you started to feel more like home. You became my favorite study spot; the cozy perch right by the window was my favorite, with a view of Phoenix. As I started making friends, I invited them over to study or watch Netflix.

You saw me at my worst & didn’t judge me for it. You saw me stress eat an entire pint of ice cream & cry myself to sleep after multiple failed math tests. You saw me come back after a night out looking like a hot mess & didn’t yell at me when I fell asleep without taking my makeup off. You were there for those all nighters when flash cards covered every inch of your space. You watched as my roommate & I struggled through statistics homework, & were there when we passed grammar & cried with excitement. You were the best place for a venting session with friends. You watched my boyfriend & I down an entire pizza & watch movies all night; you also saw every hard good-bye we had to say.

I laughed, I cried, I whined… you were there for it all. And you’ll be there for the people after me, & those after that. You’ll see many more tears, but you’ll also be there for the good times & a gathering place for study & social hour. You became home to me, & you’ll be a home to many others too. My hope is that they will come to love you & cherish time spent in your presence as much as I did.