And that’s the way it is…

 

I’M A COLLEGE GRAD!!!

Today I was supposed to be graduating from Arizona State University. Today was the day that I was going to celebrate the past four years I have spent working toward a degree in a field that I absolutely LOVE. But the world came to a pause a couple of months ago, and with that took away the graduation ceremony, party and celebration that I worked hard for and have looked forward to since August 2016.

I feel a sort of guilt for being sad today. This pandemic has caused heartache, change, sadness and loss for so many people. I am grateful and fortunate for my health, my job and my safe and happy home that I have spent the last couple of months in. I know that I am not alone in feeling sad and discouraged about everything going on. I am feeling sad because my last semester of college was just a little bit different than I had imagined. Instead of going out with friends, spending time on campus, attending grad events, and enjoying my last semester of school, (possibly EVER) I spent it at home, finishing college online with nothing more than a PowerPoint slide of congratulations.

To the class of 2020, we did it. Despite the challenges, we earned a degree. We graduated. That is something to celebrate. But also. It’s ok to be sad. Just remind yourself that this won’t last forever. “If it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes worrying about it.”

Today, this week, this month, tell yourself this: I am allowed to be sad. I am allowed to mourn the senior year I didn’t get. I am allowed to want closure. Circumstances do not diminish my accomplishments. I am smart. I am capable. I am resilient.

Whatever life throws at me, I am determined to enjoy the journey. I am confident that the challenges I experience are only making my story better. Forks up babyyyy.

 

 

 

Girls Getaway to Chicago!


Hi guys! 

I’m back with another trip recap! My bestie & I recently visited Chicago for a fun girls getaway! I had been to Chicago before (& even have another recap on the blog here) but never during the wintertime, & let me tell you it’s COLD. I’m an AZ girl at heart & love, love, love the warm sunshine. I have to admit it was so pretty when it was snowing in the city. It felt very… urban & wintery lol.

Where we Stayed

Ok so storytime! We originally booked an Airbnb in Chinatown. Now we knew it was in Chinatown, but we didn’t really know what to expect, we just wanted something cheap & a place to crash at the end of the day. Welllll it was a little more crusty than we expected, so we quickly made other arrangements & ended up loving our hotel. We stayed at the Warwick Allerton Hotel in downtown Chicago. It was literally blocks from everywhere we wanted to visit downtown. And we had a lovely view of Tiffany’s…

Where we Ate

We both chose places with plant-based options because we both try to eat that way, so for my fellow vegan, plant lovers, here’s a little list of yummy places in downtown Chicago!

We arrived Saturday morning & headed right to Hampton Social. For my Phoenix friends, it reminded us both of The Montauk in Old Town Scottsdale. Very beachy, chic, nautical vibes. There was the cutest neon sign & palm tree wallpaper. If my house could look like anything, it would be that. The food was also amazing & nourishing. They also served drinks in mason jars! So cute! The Little Beet Table was another restaurant that we tried. The menu doesn’t have a ton of veggie options, but we got the hummus to share & I got the veggie tacos. They tasted amazing after surviving off Clif bars for breakfast, lunch & snacks lol. We went to Celeste on Saturday night for drinks, but they also serve food. I got a cucumber, mint drink & it was so refreshing. Also the bartender was very nice & helped us figure out a place to stay since our Airbnb was notsocute. 10/10 recommend. The last place we went was highly suggested by locals & people who have been before. Cindy’s is a rooftop restaurant/bar with amazing views of Millennium Park & Lake Michigan. The food was also amazing. You probably want to make a reservation here, as we went on a Monday during lunchtime & it was super crowded. We made a reservation for every place we went (because we are both Type A preparers) but reservations aren’t necessary because no place was ever super busy & we were there on a holiday weekend. 

Where we Caffeinated 

The amount of oat milk lattes I consumed on this trip is not ok & probably not healthy. But they were all so good & got me through long days of sightseeing. There is no shortage of cute coffee shops in Chicago! We went to Intelligentsia Coffee on Saturday & it had a very minimal, urban feel. Great place to charge your phone & warm up! Fairgrounds Coffee & Hero Coffee were also stops we made. Hero Coffee is the “famous” one that is hidden away in an alley & has major Harry Potter vibes. The last coffee shop we went to was my favorite – Goddess & the Baker. So cute! They also have a full display of desserts & cafe food. We were sitting in that coffeeshop when it started snowing & it was the most wintery scene I’d ever experienced. It was so cute & romantic I wanted to move to someplace cold for a quick second. But then we stepped outside & I remembered who I really am. Not a snowy gal. 

What we Did 

We did so much in the short time we were there! Of course we did the typical Chicago things, like Millennium Park & The Bean. We walked along Michigan Avenue & Magnificent Mile. There is lots of shopping to do! Our hotel was a short walk to the Starbucks Reserve, so we explored that & ordered fancy drinks. We went to the Chicago Cultural Center, which just has amazing architecture. The Field Museum was also highly recommended, so we checked that out. We’re both not big museum people, but it was huge & has lots to see. It would be a great place to go if you have a lot of time. Also, you get a student discount!! Of course we had to go to Willis Tower, which has an overlook over the whole city. It was the coolest experience!! We bought our tickets ahead of time, but waited 3 hours to get to the top & get pics… I still recommend it because it’s really pretty & gives an amazing perspective of the city. The other paid activity that we did was a Wendella Architecture Boat Tour. It was sooo cold, but really pretty & we learned a lot about the city. About 15 minutes outside of downtown is the Garfield Observatory. There are different plant exhibits & it was pretty much the only time I was warm the whole trip lol. It is free, but they take donations. 

I think that’s it!! We did & saw so much, & it was a whirlwind of a trip, but so, so fun. 10/10 recommend taking a spontaneous trip with your best friend. We made memories that we’ll never forget!! 

22 Things I’ve Learned at 22

Hiiii. Helloooo. I’m back!! 

I took a very long, somewhat unexpected break from writing. It was the end of the semester & the holidays & all of the typical excuses that I have. BUT I’m back & I’m going to be more consistent! Because this is the year we hustle & do what we gotta do. Get it done. 

In case you didn’t know, I turned 22 last month!! On January 21st I turned 22 & I listened to Taylor Swift on repeat that day. Let me tell you, I might’ve blasted that song when I was 14, but it actually really relates to a now 22-year-old. I’m glad to know that even T-Swift herself feels the same way I do about being 22 – “Happy, free, confused & lonely.” 

With that being said, I decided to write up some things and life lessons I have learned at 22 years old.  I did a post like this last year when I turned 21, & it’s so much fun to look back on & reflect about all I have learned & how much I’ve changed. 

1.) Learn to say no

This is sooo hard for me because I am such a YES kinda person! I am enthusiastic & always super excited to try new things, see new places, all that stuff. But, I tend to overwhelm myself. This year, I’m challenging myself to say no, & forget about the FOMO or letting people down. I want to give 110% to whatever I do, whether that’s a work project or being able to give my full attention to someone on a coffee date, I don’t want to be too stressed with all the yes’s. 

2.) Get out of your comfort zone

I told myself that 2020 was the year I won’t let fear get in the way. Some things seem super scary, uncomfortable, awkward, hard, whatever, but it usually ends up being fun, enjoyable & if all else fails, a learning experience.

3.) Book the flight & figure it out later

I have booked 2 flights in the past 2 months just because. I never thought I’d be one to just book a flight to some random place because I want to, but here I am a couple weeks out from trip one, & I’m so excited!!

4.) Be reckless, but responsible

Book the flight, but make sure you have enough money first. Basically. 

5.) Do what you can to help the environment

It can seem so impossible to have an impact on something as big as the environment – the very thing we live in. But, making small changes like using metal straws, reusable grocery bags, walking places instead of driving, going vegan ( 😉 )… If everyone does what little they can, it will make a big difference. 

6.) A job you love is so important

They say you’ll never work a day in your life if you love what you do. Which isn’t true because there are definitely some days I don’t want to get out of bed & go to work even though I find it fun, rewarding & enjoyable. But if you’re going to spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week on something, you better make sure you freakin’ like it!!!

7.) I will never get tired of The Office

You know I had to say it. Because I’m obsessed.

8.) Learn your love language 

Things like love languages & personality tests intrigue me so much! Once you know what you do & don’t like in a relationship, you’ll be able to better communicate with your friends or partner or whoever. I also like knowing my friends & SOs love language so I can better serve them. Some people want gifts, some people just want to be heard. Learn which one you want. 

9.) Make a cry playlist 

It’s ok to cry over spilled wine! Sometimes you just need a good cry & a hot shower & you need the perfect playlist to go along with it. I’ll link mine here. I have almost 5 hours worth of tear music so *you’re welcome.*

10.) Keep a journal

I’ve been journaling since I was about 10 & it’s the best habit I could’ve gotten in. It’s a great way to end my day, just spilling everything. Talk about the good, the bad, the in between. I love to go back & read old entries & be reminded of everything I’ve experienced. 

11.) Go to therapy

I’ll admit it, I use to be the person who thought therapy was only for people with “problems,” but I’ve since learned that we all have problems, some big, some small. Your feelings are valid & deserve to be talked about. 

12.) Quality over quantity when it comes to friends

I can literally count on one hand the amount of close friends I have. I used to be bothered that I didn’t have a ton of friends, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the people I have in my life are amazing, supportive, kind, open-minded, motivated, smart, sweet… I could go on & on. Basically, I’m really blessed to have the best friends ever!!!

13.) Save money 

Finally set up a retirement account! Woohoo to adulthood! But seriously, I’ve heard it’s never too early to start saving for the time in life when dinner at 4pm is the most exciting part of the day. 

14.) Invest in skincare

If you’re going to spend money on one thing, I think it should be skincare. Maybe it’s because I struggled with my skin for so many years, but using the right products can actually make or break (out) your skin. 

15.) Dye your hair

Because it’s cool & if you hate it you can always grow it out! I can confirm that blondes have more fun 😉 

16.) Do yoga

My favorite form of exercise!! I always leave yoga class feeling strong, sweaty & on top of the world. 

17.) Be open to new opportunities

I’ve said yes to getting coffee with so many random people just because I never know what it’s going to lead to! Sometimes it’s nothing more than a free cup of coffee (hey, I’ll take it) but other times it can lead to a great connection, professional or personal!! 

18.) My mom is my best friend

My relationship with my mom is one that I cherish & love. I look up to her in so many ways & she’s my OG supporter. I know she’ll have my back no matter what & I’m so thankful for her!! 

19.) Have a hobby

You have to have something to look forward to after that 9 – 5. This little space is my hobby & whether or not it becomes something more, I enjoy it & actually want to spend time on it. It gives me a sense of purpose & I think everyone needs that to feel fulfilled! 

20.) Find a wine that you love

No one told me how many wine drinking opportunities there would be in adulthood & how often you’d be asked “red or white?” Find a wine that you love & you’re at least a half successful adult. Oh & to answer the question… white. 

21.) Peoples opinions of you often have more to do with themselves, than you

This is something I am still learning, but even more so as I get older. People will judge you, they’ll talk. Some nice, some not so nice. I used to let what people said about me have a huge affect on my mood, but I’ve learned that sometimes people are just having a bad day & decide to take it out on you. Don’t let it get to you. You do you boo!

22.) Just be a nice person & do your best

Let’s Talk about Likes

Hi guysss.

I know it’s been a HOT minute since I’ve written, but I’ve just let life get the best of me these past few weeks. I love this time of year, but it’s also really stressful because everything seems to happen at once.  A ton of deadlines, so many social functions, new opportunities and ~sickness~. Currently battling a cold as I write this, BUT I downed some NyQuil & I’m drinking a hot peppermint mocha coffee, so feeling productive af. Also a little jittery hahaha.

As you can tell from the title of this blog post, I want to talk about likes. This is a topic I’ve wanted to cover for a long time, but never felt like it was the right time. But, with Instagram’s latest announcement about taking away likes, I thought this was the perfect time to have a little chat. 

Let’s first talk about the thing everyone is worrying about: how will this affect people like me, who use Instagram for business purposes to get sponsorships & make money? I am honestly not that concerned about this. I am considered a micro influencer, meaning I have less than 10k followers. I get companies emailing me at least a few times a month about collaborating & I only have 2.5k followers & average around 400 likes a post. Lately, my engagement has been less than it was even a few months ago. With this being said, I don’t think the fact that my likes will be hidden will affect who I work with & how often I work with companies. If nothing else, this will encourage influencers (ew, don’t like that word) & companies to be picky about who they work with. I have a media kit put together & ready to go that I can easily reach out to a company if I’m interested in working with them. I think this will put more of the control in the hands of the influencers, hopefully creating a more authentic space.

The business aspect aside, I do think it’s a good idea. Instagram has said that they are doing this to help make the internet a safer space. The reason I’ve wanted to talk about likes for so long is because it is something that has a big affect on my life. I would be lying if I said I had never let the amount of likes of I got on a post affect my mood or determine what I post. Back in the day, I used to like to post flat lays, but those never do as well as a photo of me, or for goodness sake, a pic of me with a boy. 

I love Instagram because it’s such a creative space. By taking away likes, I think it will give people even more creative freedom because they won’t be worried about the amount of likes they might get if they post a flat lay with their coffee or a throwback photo. I think it will help people be even more creative & authentic. Our worth should not be measured by the amount of  likes we get on a photo. 

In conclusion… You are worth more than likes, percentages, impressions, clicks, swipe ups, & engagement rates. 😉 

with love,

jazz

Chic of the Week

Hi good morning! Happy Friday! 

I took this pic the other day after coming home from work because 1) I knew I would need an ootw & 2) I was excited to share these cute pieces! My mom came down a couple weekends ago & we did a little shopping at Nordstrom Rack! They were having their red tag sale so sale pieces were on extra clearance! I literally got a skirt for $6. But I also got this cutie top! The pants are so cute & comfy & perfect for business casual, but also a fun weekend! The sandals are from Target & definitely my most worn shoes. 

It’s been cool & rainy in Phoenix this week & I’m absolutely loving it!! Anytime it rains here I seriously get a case of fomo & want to move to Seattle immediately. I currently have my PNW forest candle lit & I’m wearing a cozy sweater feeling allll the winter vibes!

Zip Back Polka-Dot Peplum Top | Take Me Away Pants | Michaela Mid Block Heel Pump Sandals

Chic of the Week

Hi guys! Happy Friday!

This week’s outfit is from another photoshoot that I did a couple of weeks ago! These photos make me cold just looking at them haha we really captured the winter vibes.

Believe it or not though, the flannel is NOT mine. I had to scramble the night before the shoot, texting all my friends if they had a flannel I could borrow hahah I found one eventually & it turned out really cute! I just wouldn’t consider flannels my style & that’s why I don’t have one, but they are a staple so I should probably invest in a cute one. The pants are thrifted Levi’s, & the booties are some of my favorite this time of year. The beanie is also super old, but I’ll link something similar because it’s cozy & warm! 

I’m spending this weekend with my mommy & I couldn’t be more excited! We’re going to drink lots of wine, go to the farmers market &… decorate for Christmas!! I can’t wait any longer to put up my tree. I actually went to a bar last night that was all decorated so I decided it’s officially time!! 

Femme Cable Knit Beanie | Urban Renewal Recycled Oversized Flannel |Cotton T-ShirtCropped Stretch Women’s Jeans | Avalyn Laser Cut Bootie

*Photos by Tyler Rittenhouse, @tritt_visuals.

Chic of the Week

Hi guys! Happy Friday!

This week’s outfit of the week is so cute & comfy! It’s from one of my favorite online shops Luca & Grae. They mentioned me in their Instagram story with a link to shop sweaters & I’m kinda fangirling!! I bought this outfit because 1) I don’t have nearly enough sweaters & 2) I can wear it on vacay (like here) or to work! We love versatile pieces! They already sold out of the exact sweater I’m wearing, but I linked a really similar one that I’ve been eyeing!

Now that it’s November 1st, you know what that means… Merry Christmas!! I am so excited for this season. I truly feel like it’s the happiest time of the year! It’s finally cooling off in Phoenix, just in time for me to put up my tree lol I’ve been listening to Justin Bieber’s Christmas album all day & drinking HOT coffee. Next up: my Christmas wish list. Because so far all I have on it is a nice knife set 🙂 hahah am I doing this whole adult thing right?!

Take Me Away Pants | Cool & Calm Lavender Sweater | Remmy Backless Loafers

 

How I Manage Stress

This is a blog post that is near and dear to my heart. It’s honestly a topic that I take really seriously because it’s something that affects me & pretty much everyone that I know. That thing is stress.

I wouldn’t consider myself high-strung. People usually describe me as calm & laid back. My stress doesn’t necessarily come from external factors, but from the internal pressure that I put on myself. I have perfectionist tendencies, which in turn makes me work extra hard to make sure I’m going the extra mile. In high school I was considered the over-achiever & I felt like I had to live up to that, & still do to this day. It kinda all goes back to my consistent need to please people. But that’s a whole other blog post… What I want to talk about today, is how I handle the stress that I get from the pressure that I put on myself to accomplish everything with perfection. Hahaha that was a confusing sentence but you get the idea! 

Recognize that I’m stressed 

The first thing I do is recognize & admit that I’m stressed. Because I’m a perfectionist, I want my life to look perfect, which means I might be crumbling under this self-made pressure, but I’m going to act fine as I continue to push myself. It’s hard for me to admit that I can’t juggle it all sometimes, & that maybe I just need to sit down & watch Netflix & not worry about anything. I feel the constant need to be productive, so taking a step back & realizing that I’m being overworked is the first step to de-stressing.

Figure out why

Next I try to figure out why I’m stressed. Is it classes? Am I worried I won’t get all A’s like I told myself I would? Is it relationships? Am I not (in my opinion) being a good friend, sister, daughter, SO, like I promised myself I would be? This is the reflection step & a really important one.

Take actionable steps 

Once I realize where this stress is coming from, I can address that problem & break it down, giving me the actionable steps to solve it. (I’m also a fixer, so this fills my need to help, even if it is just myself). I will literally get a piece of paper and write down the steps I need to take to finish the school project, which will help me visualize that A. Or I’ll look at my calendar & decide what I can cancel so I can spend more time with my friends. Taking steps will help you feel in control & really start to actually manage the stress.

Remind myself that done is better than perfect

This is definitely the hardest step for me because I want everything to be perfect. But sometimes done is good enough & will just have to do!

Self Care

I pretty much just treat myself! I go back to the things that make me happy, even if that’s as simple as buying a coffee & going to Target for an hour. Stepping away from the thing that is making me stressed & distracting myself is my favorite tactic for stress management. I just have to make sure to not deny my stress, that’s why I do this last, after I’ve already identified the “problem.” 

I will also talk it out or journal. Writing has always been a great way for me to express myself & this is no different. I write about the stress & pressure that I’m feeling & it helps me figure it all out. This is the mental self care part & it’s just as important as the random trips to Target.

I hope this post gave you some tips for your own stress management! It’s not perfect, but it’s done 😉 & that’s what’s important!!

Also, yes I uploaded a photo of myself in a hotel bathrobe because it’s not a perfect photo, but it perfectly sums up me living my best life, stress free. *peace sign*

with love, 

jazz 

How To: Hot Girl Semester

Hey guys, happy Monday! 

Now that summer is over & school is back, I wanted to give you some tips for getting your life together!! My life is definitely a hot mess, but I like to pretend that I have it all under control lol. Going back to classes is actually kinda fun, because I get to pick out a new planner & plan out my life! So if you’re anything like me & you enjoy color coordinating every aspect of your life, this post is for you!! Don’t be a hot girl bummer 😉

1.) Get a planner 

I have always been a planner. Writing out my to-do lists every day & the top three things I need to accomplish every week help me to stay on track & have a purpose. I like to be productive, so seeing my week laid out in front of me is the first step to success!

2.) Write out all deadlines

During syllabus week, I make sure to write out the deadlines for all of my classes. This helps me plan out my weeks & see what I have coming up, what I need to focus on, etc. 

3.) Meal Prep/Plan

I like to spend time on the weekends cutting up vegetables & washing fruit so everything is just ready to throw together during the week! I always come home from a long day starving & the last thing I wanna do is put together a meal. Having healthy ingredients ready to go makes it easy to make a healthy choice for dinner or a snack. Not to mention time saving!!

4.) Clean your space

Cleaning is honestly therapeutic for me & a great way to de-stress & feel like I have my life together. I usually block out one day on the weekend to get my life in order. Having a clean space helps me stay focused & productive. 

5.) Workout 

No matter what, I try to fit in a workout every day during the week & once on the weekends. It’s true that working out releases endorphins & just helps you feel good. If I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, a workout gives me time to just think & focus on myself. Even just going for a walk will help you feel better & be disciplined. 

6.) Have a side hustle

This blog is my creative outlet & gives me a something to work for other than classes. Having a purpose other than just waking up, going to class/work, & doing homework is so important for overall health & happiness. 

7.) Take care of yourself!!

Do a face mask, cook a meal, try a new workout class, go shopping… whatever your version of self care is, do it!! When you feel your best, you’ll do your best. 

with love,

jazz

Chic of the Week

Hey guys! Happy Friday!

I was saving this outfit for the perfect occasion because I knew it would be cute & I was right! Hahah I got a lot of compliments on the skirt & so many questions about where I got it! Animal print is so in style now & I’m not mad about it! It’s so fun & can be dressed up or down. I wore this to work, but it would also be cute with a graphic tee & sneakers.

So for the outfit details: The top is originally from Zara, but thrifted from Buffalo Exchange. The skirt is from Forever21 for only $15!! Unfortunately they are already sold out of the exact one I have, but I linked a similar one. But check in-store too because that’s where I got mine! The shoes are from Target & the perfect size heel. They are a tall heel, but I can wear them all day without getting too uncomfortable. They can be worn to work, but I also wore them for my 21st birthday soooo. The sunnies are Ray Ban. 

In all honesty, this has been a WEEK. I wore this outfit yesterday because it made me happy & confident & I think that’s exactly what fashion is about!! I love sharing outfits every week & I hope it gives you guys style inspiration so you can be happy & confident too 🙂

Cuffed Sleeve T-ShirtSatin Cheetah Print SkirtEma High Block Heel Pumps| Ray-Ban Erika Classic