April 26, 2017

Improve Your Photography Challenge (pt 2)

I received the product mentioned in this post for free from CreativeLive. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Hey y'all!

As mentioned in my original Improve Your Photography Challenge post, I teamed up with CreativeLive to take an online photography class on "How to Take Amazing Photos with a DSLR". And boy, did I learn a lot!

A quick little recap! My boyfriend, Michael, and I challenged ourselves (and you!) to learn how to take better pictures using a DSLR camera. It's so simple to just put a camera in auto mode and take pictures, but at that point, you might as well just use your iPhone camera. We really felt like my blog photos could improve so we set out to take this class and actually learn how to use a camera in manual mode.

The class that we chose to take offered great insight on how to work with natural lighting, studio lighting, how to pose a man or a woman, how to style food for photography, and so many other things. I genuinely feel like I learned a lot by taking this class. Each section is thorough and very easy to follow along with. We watched a few sections each night, which was perfect for our busy schedules.

If this course sounds like something you'd be interested in, then sign up! And use the code ISHARE20 to receive 20% off. (expires 5/31/2017)

CreativeLive also has other courses like money + life, crafting, and even music verticals. Definitely check it out if you're someone who loves being creative!

Now onto the exciting part -- our picture reveals! (You didn't think I forgot, did you?) While the original car was moved, we did the same sort of idea for our second photoshoot!

 ↑ My picture! 

↑ Michael's picture!↑

As you can (hopefully) see, we definitely learned a lot more about focusing and working with better lighting. Let me know who you think won our little challenge in the comments below! It was such a fun experience getting to know more about photography and I can't wait to apply it to my blog. I hope my readers really notice a difference!

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April 21, 2017

11 of the Cutest Accessories to Spruce up your Work Desk


Hey y'all!

I'm a huge sucker for #aesthetic and who doesn't want a fun and creative work space? I think it's super important to love the space that you're in because if you like your space, you'll enjoy working. Plus it helps with inspiration! For this post, I went with a rose gold and acrylic theme because I feel like it's totally on trend.

How stinking cute is this? A stapler is always a must-have for me on my desk, and I think this is totally one I'd want to keep out for decoration too! Bonus points if you have rose gold staples!

Everyone needs a place to store their pens and pencils. This one is totally perfect because you can see all of the pens through the side of the cup which means no more having to search through an entire drawer for your favorite pencil.

I hate whenever a great thought or idea pops into my head and I have nowhere to write it down. This little notebook is perfect for random inspiration. It's a great size, but won't take up too much space in your drawers or even on top of your desk.
This may or may not be a little over the top, but hey, it's all about the decor sometimes. These pens are such a unique addition to a desk. Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?

I have had my eye on one of these for so long! I think they are such a cool gift idea that's super customizable. You can change it depending on your mood or whenever the seasons change. It's a cheap and fun way to decorate!

I know a lot of people don't even have a mouse anymore, but if you do, this is a great choice. It gets the job done and looks pretty while doing it. (now if only I could be that way too...🤔)

If you're a DIY type of girl, then this wall decor could easily be done at home. But if you're lazy or don't trust your crafting ability, this pendant is super affordable. I personally love the look of pendants because they are really easy + cheap to make, but take up a lot of space on the wall!

Staying ahead of deadlines and due dates is so important. I'm a huge organizer so a calendar is always on the top of my list. I actually usually have a couple of calendars just because I'm that crazy organized.

Do a lot of people have business cards? Is that a dumb question? I don't know honestly. But I thought this piece was too cute not to include in this list. It kind of looks like a little sofa for your cards!

Because this picture frame has two sides, you don't have to pick between a picture of your family or a picture of your dog. It's the best of both worlds.

Flowers help any area feel more comfortable. Opting for a fake option is much better because then you don't have to constantly replace them or have to clean up the mess from dead ones. 

I hope this inspired you to decorate your office space! 


April 12, 2017

How to Create the Perfect Class Schedule


Hey y'all!

I know before orientation, I was really worried about signing up for classes. Then when we actually had to choose our schedules, it went by so quickly and I didn't feel like I had the schedule I really wanted. I wish I had known this advice before I had signed up, but hey, hopefully my mistakes will help you!

1. Look up your professors before signing up.

Make use of ratemyprofessor.com !! You'll be thankful when you get a teacher that gives you study guides vs a teacher that gives you homework every night. And once the semester is over, be helpful to other students and rate yours! Karma is real, friends.

2. Plan out your schedule ahead of time.

My school has a 'schedule builder' feature, so I make use of this every semester. But if your school doesn't offer this, it isn't hard to look at the classes offered and build your own! Then when you finally get to register, you aren't scrambling to sign up for any class that has an open seat.

3. Have backup plans.

Sometimes you won't get the schedule you wanted because they filled up too quickly (especially when they're core requirements). Make sure that you have an idea of other classes you want / need to take if you have an empty slot!

4. Don't sign up for 8 am's (or 9 am's).

If you weren't a morning person in high school, you won't be in college. I made the mistake my first semester by signing up for a 9 am. I woke up at 6:30 am in high school so I thought it wouldn't be that hard in college. Unless you are truly a morning person, you'll regret early morning classes as soon as you hear your first alarm.


5. Avoid Friday classes.

This is directed towards sorority girls in particular (at least 'Bama girls). Usually swaps and date parties are on Thursday nights and I promise you'll have major FOMO if you miss out on them. Either try to have later classes or if you're lucky, have no classes on Friday at all!

6. Don't skip class.

This is obvious, but it's a steep and slippery slope. Most teachers don't take attendance in college, so it's really easy to miss. Keep in mind that you're actually paying for each and every class that you're taking. You'll be a lot more eager to go once you realize it costs you about $260 each class you skip.

7. Wait until you start class to order a textbook.

Most of the time you won't need it. Also if you check out ratemyprofessor.com, students will usually write if they used the book in class or not! Don't waste money on a book you probably won't even use. (Unless it's an english class)

8. Rent textbooks from anywhere BUT your bookstore.

College campuses know you need your books. They're overcharging you for convenience. And while it's nice to not have to wait on shipping, ordering a book online always works out cheaper. I personally use Amazon to buy used textbooks. You have the option to rent or buy! So if you don't want to be stuck with a copy of some random history book, you can just ship it back at the end of the semester. Plus if you sign up for Prime Student, you get free two-day shipping!


Check out my other posts in this series!

                          

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April 6, 2017

High End Makeup Products Worth Buying


Hey y'all!

I love talking about makeup products that I use. It's one of my absolute favorite things to splurge on! I can't count the amount of times that I've specifically saved up money to purchase a high-end product. Today I've compiled a list of my favorite items that I definitely think are worth buying!

I apply this with my finger as a highlighter on the inner corner of my eyes, on my brow bone, and the tip of my nose! I'm not a super #glowgetter kind of girl so I like a subtle highlight. This product is great because you can use it for so many things and it's a super creamy formula.

I convinced my dad to buy this for me when I was home over winter break. Weirdly enough, I bought it at Kohl's! It's a great starter palette to take with you on vacations because it has basic neutral colors that are perfect for any eye color. I constantly find myself reaching for it whenever I'm packing up my suitcase.

Skincare counts as makeup, right? Taking care of your skin is honestly so important. Your makeup will never look flawless if you don't cleanse, tone, and moisturize. I'm a sucker for face masks and I had a Sephora gift card, so I didn't feel too guilty about spending big bucks on this product. I love the way it makes my skin feel super clean and tight. The jar is pretty big so you definitely get a lot of product for the price.

I recently purchased the travel size of this while in line at Sephora (dang you mini's!! they always get me!) I wouldn't say I have huge pores, but they're definitely noticeable. I really only use this around my t-zone whenever I'm putting on a full face of makeup, and I love the way it feels on my skin. I do notice a difference in the appearance of my pores whenever I apply it!

This is still on my wish list, but can we just appreciate how beautiful these colors are? There's tons of neutrals, but also pops of pinks / cranberries. I've never tried any ABH eyeshadow before, but I think it's the perfect palette for anyone with blue eyes!

Creamy, full coverage, and it DOES NOT CREASE!! You can just put this bad boy on your under eye circles and go on about your day with it without fear (but I'd still recommend using a setting powder 😉). It comes with a dough-foot applicator so it's super easy to use and you get tons of product.

I've had this blush forever and still haven't hit pan which is crazy because I use this every time I wear makeup! Mac blushes are super blendable and buildable aka perfect for people like me who tend to have a heavy hand when using powder products. The color 'margin' is great for summer time because it has a little bit of shimmer to it so it illuminates and highlights the cheeks beautifully.

As someone who has hooded eyes, if I don't use a primer, my eyeshadow will come off within an hour and my eyeliner will transfer onto my lid. Definitely not the look I'm going for when I spend time doing my makeup! This is the only product that I've used that has actually worked at keeping my eyeshadow and liner stay put all day.

Not only does this product last forever, but it's perfect for practically any skin tone. It's completely matte, isn't too orangey or muddy, and is very buildable. If you haven't tried it, definitely pick it up. It's the only bronzer I use!


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March 31, 2017

What NOT To Do or Say During Recruitment as a PNM



Hey y'all!

I have received so much positive feedback from "My Recruitment Experience" at the University of Alabama. If you're coming here to read this, you're either about to go through recruitment, or you're just curious about greek life in general! Either way, I hope this post can help answer your questions and calm your nerves.

Since I've only got through recruitment at UA, these tips are directed towards bama girls! Although I'm sure most recruitments are similar. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I'll try to help you the best I can!

Don't hug the active when she picks you up at the door.
This is honestly something I've seen happen way too many times to count. When you go through each house, a girl will pick you up at the door. She'll put her hand behind your back, but won't touch you (you're sweaty, we get that, we don't want to touch you just as much as you don't to be touched). This is not an invitation for a side hug. You'll feel mortified once you realize she's just trying to help guide you through the house.

Don't shake anyone's hand, unless they clearly initiate it.
I honestly doubt anyone will try to shake your hand anyways, but please don't do it! If a new active comes up to speak to you, just introduce yourself like a normal person, sans the handshake. It's so awkward and uncomfortable for both you and the active. Recruitment is supposed to be fun, it's not a job interview so don't treat it like one!

Don't ask about philanthropy on the first day.
I totally get that this might be something SO important to you, and that's completely understandable. It's important to understand what each house is involved in so that you can find a place that fits what you're passionate about. But there's a philanthropy day for a reason! You'll find out so much more information then. IWT (ice, water, tea) Day is all about getting to know you. I promise that you will have all the time you need to find out about what each sorority is doing to better the community at a later date.

Don't talk about the 5 B's.
Boys, booze, bible, bank and barrack. Your active doesn't want to hear about how crazy your prom night was, how much money your family makes, if you voted for Trump or not, what your personal beliefs are, or if your freshman year bucket list includes shacking with one boy in every fraternity. These topics are not appropriate recruitment conversations. Unless you want to talk about how you went on an awesome mission trip with your church, or that your work as a youth group leader changed your life. Just be smart, duh.

Don't list off your accomplishments.
Unless you're asked, of course! But don't feel the need to tell your active every single thing you've ever been a part of since kindergarten. Focus on the things that make you unique. 

Don't bad mouth other houses.
I don't care if a girl spilled her drink all over you, please please don't talk negatively about other houses on the row. I know it can be hard to bite your lip when every other girl is talking mad smack, but just because you had a bad experience somewhere, doesn't mean everyone else did. For some girls, that might be their dream house, and you talking badly about it might make them rethink their decision, even though that's where they felt at home. It makes girls feel embarrassed and second-guess their choices. You could cause a girl to miss out on her perfect house because you were too busy talking about your own experience. 

Don't let the stereotypes affect your decision.
This kind of falls in the suggestion above. Just because one girl had a horrible experience at one house, or even if you had a bad conversation at the same house before, go in with a positive attitude. Act like this is the first time you've ever heard of "xyz" sorority, and you have no idea what to expect. Being in a sisterhood lasts a lifetime, and it's YOUR life, not Emily -- the random girl you befriended in your rho-chi group. You don't want to be stuck in a house that you have nothing in common with the girls, just because she told you the house you liked better sucked / had a bad reputation. 

March 26, 2017

Improve Your Photography Challenge

I received the product mentioned in this post for free from CreativeLive. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Hey y'all!

I am so beyond thrilled to announce that I'm teaming up with CreativeLive to take a photography class! The best part? It's completely online so it fits perfectly with my busy college schedule. I plan on using whatever free time I have to sit down with my boyfriend (he helps take pics for my blog!), and learn how to "Take Amazing Photos with a DSLR".

For those of you that don’t know, CreativeLive offers more than 1,500 e-courses taught by some amazing people. They offer courses not just in photography, but money + life, crafting, and even music verticals.

Michael isn't too skilled with a DSLR in manual mode, so I usually have to set up the camera before he takes my pictures. I'm no expert either, but I'd like to think I know a little! The main reason I want to take this course is because I want to improve the angles and lighting in my pictures. It's not an easy task to identify the perfect shot.

Plus, whenever I head back to Texas in the summer, I plan on taking some engagement photos for my sister and her fiancé. This class seems like it will be helpful because it covers how to pose everything from people to food!

Michael and I are pretty competitive, so we've decided to turn this course into a challenge! Below are two pictures that we each took before our photography class. Once we complete the course, we will each take another photo and let you guys decide the winner! Nothing like a little bit of friendly competition to help get you motivated.

Want to participate? Sign up for the course and take it alongside Michael and I!

Need a bigger incentive? Use the code 'ISHARE20' to receive 20% off! (expires 5/31/2017)


↑ My Picture! 

↑ Michael's picture! 

I hope y'all decide to join in on the fun, but if you want to take a different course, the discount code still applies to other classes. Don't miss this great opportunity to save money and improve your photography!



 
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March 16, 2017

Vegan Grocery List Staples + Free Printable


Hey y'all!

I think a lot of people have the mindset that vegans only eat kale. That couldn't be further from the truth. I still get to enjoy things like cookies, popcorn and most importantly, ice cream. It's all about looking at ingredients! Once you learn how to read a label, it's easy.

This is a simple list of things that I always like to have in my kitchen. This list has everything a vegan could need to snack on! Some healthy and some not-so-healthy!! I linked the particular brands that are vegan, but like I said, always be sure to check the label. 

{ PRODUCE }
  • apples
  • avocado
  • bananas
  • carrots
  • celery
  • cucumber
  • pears
  • potatoes (I always have these on hand for a quick meal!)
  • spinach / mixed greens
  • strawberries

{ CANNED GOODS }


{ FRIDGE }


{ FROZEN }


{ PANTRY }

I hope this sparked some ideas! Being a college student and a vegan can be a little difficult when you get home from classes at 6 pm and don't really feel like cooking. Luckily there are so many vegan options on the market. Be sure to check out Peta's accidentally vegan list for more ideas!


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March 6, 2017

DIY Choker T-Shirt

Hey y'all!

How cute is this top?! I've had to the idea to DIY this choker-style shirt ever since football season. I saw this type of shirt all over etsy and I knew I could easily do it myself for waaay cheaper.

This only took me about 5 minutes to do, and cost about $6 (thanks to walmart!) All you need is a shirt, a ruler, a pencil and a pair of scissors!

STEP 1 : Start off by making a mark in the middle of your t-shirt. It helps if you put the shirt on so that you can make sure it won't be too low cut and it will also help you find the center!

STEP 2 : Flip the shirt inside out, then use the ruler to line up each side and make sure it's straight. Be mindful of how wide the triangle is, because that's how 'revealing' your shirt will be!

STEP 3 : Use your scissors to cut a small hole in the middle, then cut down each side. Make sure you're only cutting through one half, and be sure to not to cut the neckline so the shirt will have that 'choker' look!  By cutting it while it's inside out, it causes the fabric to roll in the way, so if you're lines aren't perfect, it looks like they are.

It's seriously that easy! I chose to pair mine with a black bralettedistressed denim shorts, but you could honestly dress it up too! I've seen girls on gameday wear these types of tees with faux leather skirtswedges, and it looks adorable.

I can't to wear this next football season, and also to make a few more of these style shirts!


 
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March 1, 2017

Alphabet Date Ideas



Hey y'all!

Date ideas can be hard. And although "Netflix and chill" is fun every now and then, it can get a little boring. That's why I sat down with Michael (the bf, duh) and we made a list of fun date ideas! They range from free to a little pricey, but that's what makes them all so different!

I know a few of these may sound a little confusing, for example, queso making! Hop onto amazon.com, purchase a fondue pot, look up some cheese (or anything else you want to make) recipes on pinterest, and let the fun begin.

Also be sure to check out Groupon for coupons for some of the activities above. Or even use it to find even more date idea inspiration.

Personally, I want to try out an escape room soon because they look super fun! Plus, Michael and I are both pretty competitive so it would be a great challenge to race against the clock!

Be sure to pin this for later, so  you can get inspired for your next fun date!


 
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