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.

Grad Party Cupcakes

It is officially graduation season! I love this time of year because everyone is so nervous & excited about the future. But the best part of it all (along with getting a degree!) is the parties. My brother graduates this month so I’ve been busy planning a party for family & friends.

My signature party dish is cupcakes, so of course I had to go with a graduation theme. These are super easy to make & look almost too good to eat!

To make this adorable yet edible dessert, start with your favorite cake mix & make cupcakes. Choose either vanilla or chocolate frosting & then you can add sprinkles that represent school colors. To make the graduation caps, I followed a stencil outline & then cut them out & colored them in. It is time consuming, but they turned out great! Once the caps are cut & colored, use Scotch tape to adhere a toothpick to the back of the hat. Stick it in the decorated cupcake & you’re set!

If you don’t have a grad hat stencil, you can make a different version here.

“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.