A little bit MORE about me…

 

 

IMG_2586.JPG

Hey friends!  If you’ve been reading this blog since way back in ’14, you know a few things about me, but I always think it is fun to give a quick update to new readers! & because who am I kidding? I have for SURE changed since my junior year in high school (thank GOD.) Although some things never change: such as my love for a good hazelnut latte and Harry Potter forever and always being my guilty reading pleasure (anyone else lose count of how many times they’ve read the series or…?) but throw a girl in college 3 hours away from home and she’ll learn a few new things about herself to share with y’all (oh, and she’ll start saying ‘ya’ll’…even thought KS is like, one…state…more…south…) ANYWAYS! It’s Friday-Eve on the 4th week of classes and I need a breather just as much as the next gal. Figured this post would be fun and easy to read and fun for me to whip up as well! Let’s get onto the good stuff:

1.  I can’t function without a daily to-do list. Super typical type-A of me I know, but seriously, I have to write EVERYTHING down. Not even necessarily because I will forget, but because of the satisfaction of writing down things I need to or have accomplished. I think this is mainly stemmed from my small stationary / desk supplies obsession but we’re just gonna roll with it because

2. I’m such an introvert. Sure, I’m comfortable typing out my life happenings on the internet, but I am super shy when it comes to daily interactions. I like to think I am more extroverted around people I am comfortable with, but it definitely still takes that boundary breaking for me to open up to them. I can answer questions in class and think I am hilarious around my friends, but ask me to walk up to a stranger and strike up a conversation…heck to the no.

3. I can’t sleep without socks on. The unpopular opinion, I’m aware. Don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it and had the best night of sleep of your life.

4. My food taste preferences are never ending, I truly am not picky when it comes to my appetite. However, I think if I had to pick one “food group” to eat for the rest of my life “tailgating food” would hands down win. Chili, burgers, cheese dip, all that good stuff.

5. Literally nobody makes a better grilled PB&J than I do. Don’t believe me? Try it. You’ll be convinced.

6. If I could only wear my hair one way for the rest of my life, a french braid would win hands down. I was cursed blessed with what my family loves calling “Hermione hair” due to my overly thick/wavy hair. The rest of my 3 siblings have stick straight blonde or dirty blonde hair from my mom, and my dad just decided to hand down 100% of his dark and wavy genes to me. I know we always want what we don’t have, so at times I try to embrace the “mane”, but most days braids tame it as much as they can.

7. I have an unhealthy obsession with grey shirts. I have no clue what it is but I impulse buy them whenever they’re in my hand. I counted while packing for college and my current count is 13. I know. Problem. The first step is admitting it I suppose??

8. Navy is my favorite color. It’s honestly just endlessly classic and never fails to look good. I feel like I’m not the kind of girl that can feel overly confident in black, just not my personality, but navy? All day every day.

9. I. Love. Zodiac. Signs. And. Meyers. Briggs. Types. I check my horoscope every day. (I’m a true Cancer through and through.) I also am fascinated with MBT. I’m an INFJ and find everyone’s viewpoints on them so interesting and accurate!

10. I could quote Sex & The City word for word. I’ve also scored a Charlotte on every “which character are you” quiz.

 

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

 

 

scary but good. growth + stuff.

IMG_5829

Last night I kept thinking about one of my favorite nights of this entire summer. I got to catch up with two of my really close friends, (hi Sara + Rach) over late night (decaf) lattes. After about a week-long heat wave, the lower 80s weather at 9pm felt almost chilly, and sitting out on a patio with two gals I hold close to my heart was just what I’ve been needing. We sat and chatted about typical 19 year old girl topics: the best new stores with the best new sales, the boys we shouldn’t have kissed but did anyways, and would it even be a girly late night chat if talks us all getting married one day didn’t occur? It was during my last sip of my hazelnut latte and listening to one of my friends go on to the other while giggling about setting her up with some guy, that I realized how amazing life’s seasons of growth truly are and how thankful I was to be in that exact place in that exact time.

That night was about a month ago. Rachel goes to KU with me as I’m sure you’ve read on here before, we still tackle each other when seen in campus, and figuring out life while sipping on coffee and convincing each other we “totally need the shoes” honestly doesn’t get better. Sara is just a ways away down in KC, and don’t worry, Rachel and I are making our way down quicker than ya know. We are all in different sororities, different majors, different places in our lives, but we’re all able to help each other grow.

While going through recruitment last week, I found it to be the most draining and emotional thing I’ve literally ever endured, like, ever. I’m not one for small talk usually, so that wasn’t always the easiest. However, there came a point during the second to last day when I realized what I really wanted to tell these girls. I was sitting one of the potential new members down in my roommate’s desk chair and about to ask her what she was looking for in a sisterhood when I realized going through the same process a year ago, that’s not what was on my mind. Sure I wanted to get into a chapter that wanted me, that was filled with people that loved and appreciated me, and all that stuff. But at the same time, I was an 18 year old gal just wanting to know how the heck I was supposed to figure out college on my own. So I did a lil improv (luckily it worked, the girl went alpha chi and is my little house tour prodigy may I admit.) I took a deep breath and got out of my mode where I was worried if my hair looked good, my posture perfect, and if I was saying all the right things. As I relaxed, I watched her do the same and I broke out the “you’re nervous aren’t you?” question. She immediately laughed and said something along the lines of thank goodness you asked I’ve been holding it in all day. After that, I left the convincing axo side of me (don’t tell my recruitment chair…) and focused on her. She went to an all-girls school like I did and was worried about figuring out friends, boys, her major, money, all of it. I’m gonna tell you all what I told her, and what I believe to be the most important lesson I learned my freshman year, and quite honestly am still learning:

Nothing is gonna change unless you do.

Freshman year is going to be hard. You’re going to have moments where you’re on top of the world, and moments where you think there are actually no chances you could ever get lower. You’re gonna doubt yourself a billion and one times, and you’re gonna tell your parents you’re positive you know what you’re doing. You’re gonna stay out too late when you shouldn’t, you’re gonna learn to stay in when you should. You’re gonna make friends you probably shouldn’t, and you’re gonna make friends you feel like you don’t deserve. You’re gonna get hurt, and you’re gonna learn that healing takes its own pace and that you’re allowed to take your time. You’re gonna miss home, and when you finally go home, you’re going to realize you miss school. You’re gonna spend too much money on food, and you’re gonna learn that the best of friends share closets because they spent all their money on food. You’re gonna fail a quiz or two, and you’re gonna laugh one day because of it. You’re going to grow. You’re gonna grow so much that next year when you’re sitting in my chair talking to a girl in your position, you’re not even gonna realize how much you grew until right then.

I am so stinkin’ thankful I got to share those things with that girl, but I’ve been wanting to write them out here for you as well. My cousin that I love to bits is a freshman as well, and I’m writing them for her. I have so many freshmen friends that I want to take every bit of it to heart. & on top of all of it, I want them to know they’re allowed to be terrified of the growth, but that at the end of this year, they’re going to not even remember how they were scared in the first place.

Finding your people in college is SO important. I probably have that written in every single blog post on here. Finding and loving yourself, also so important and also on every single blog post on this website. But finding your people that encourage and support you finding and loving yourself, those are the ones you need to keep. I learned the hard way that the process of finding those friends doesn’t always come easy. Sometimes they’re constantly putting themselves out there for you and you’re too focused on a friend that isn’t good for you to notice. Sometimes you’re too scared of it going wrong to try. Trying is the scary part. Finding the people that won’t ever make you doubt that again, that’s the good stuff. I’m not promising sunshine and rainbows forever once you find these people. There are some things in life you’re never gonna get over, some people you’re always gonna miss, and some pains that you’re gonna deal with forever. But, there’s also the people that will remind you that those spots in your life aren’t your whole life. They’ll take you under their wing and be by you forever.

My group of friends in alpha chi is just one big group of STEM majors. I’m not kidding, there’s talk of biology all the time, and then there’s my elementary education and english loving self. I love them to death for it, and make fun of my friend Katie for how much she literally LOVES mitochondria, but I think I knew I had found my people through this. We were all at KU’s bible study and a leader was asking our majors. They all replied their fancy science stuff, and myself, feeling a little less smart and whole lot out of place, stayed quiet. Literally three of them at the same time proceeded to introduce myself for me and brag about how good of a teacher I was one day going to be. That’s when I knew, these people. That’s when it clicked: college is gonna bring you people that choose you, choose them too.

I will admit that the transition from high school friends to college friends is weird. As bad as it sounds and as weird as it is to admit, in high school, sometimes we are friends with people because its convenient. We see them every day, we have class with them, etc. In college, chances are you aren’t gonna be best friends with someone just because you’re in the same class. It’s a crazy big maturity jump as well, and I remember the moment that my friends wanted to sit down and genuinely ask how I was doing and what my dreams and aspirations were is when I realized this. It’s the best thing that one gets to experience, finding these friends, I’m so sure of it. I think it’s why I want all the freshmen I know to find them too. It’s why I want them to have a few rough patches (only a few) solely to see who they’ve found that picks them up again. You’re gonna grow kids, I promise ya, it’s gonna scare ya, but I’m so excited for you.

Lengthy and rambling yet again, but wouldn’t be a post from Ally if it wasn’t now would it? Thanks once again for reading my witty words and hopefully gaining a piece of insight or two. Until next time, love big, show up for people, be unselfish, offer what you can, be a healer, be kind, and be brave.

xoxo, Ally

 

 

Links I’m Lovin’ 7/21/17

DSC_0484

1.. I leave for vacation in ONE WEEK! Then straight from vacay onto KU!! CRAZY!

2.. If you read absolutely any blogs whatsoever, you’re probably fully aware that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is happening right now. SO many good deals, including this monogrammed tote that I may have to snag!

3.. Whether it’s paired with some running shorts while running around the playground while babysitting, or with some ripped jeans and sunnies for Free Beer Fridays at KU, graphic tees are my comfort zone. Some people say they’d never be able to pull them off, but I just think they’ve never tried! This J.Crew post is perfect if you’re lost as to how to pull off this staple fun piece!

4..I went in for what I like to call my “semi-annual chop” the other day and the lady I go to uses this stuff and I seriously can’t get enough of it. It makes your hair feel amazingly soft and I’ve gotta get my hands on some asap!

5..How I feel about today finally being Friday

6..Is it just me or is everything on this Tuckernuck page absolutely dreamy!

7..Speaking of Tuckernuck, these gold sandals are to die for.

8..I used to be the biggest book nerd when I was younger, but once I got older and school took over reading, I sort of stopped reading for fun. This article totally opened my eyes as to why I need to get back at it.

9..My sorority’s recruitment video is up…and I’m in love.

10. T! G! I! F!

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

akn

guac + sunshine [a collab]

This post is about to be super duper incredibly fun. & you honestly may die from how cute some of these pictures are. (no shameless bragging for myself, I brought a friend along and you’re gonna LOVE her.) 

I love blogging with all my stinkin’ heart, however, sometimes getting fun things up like outfit posts can be kinda difficult when your main photographers back home are your younger siblings on your iPhone. I have zero clue why it took me so long to hit up Catherine to do a quick shoot, because I am so in love with all the pictures! She is going to be a senior at one of the high schools in Omaha, and we have been mutual social media followers for years. After I saw too many incidents where we were following the same blogger Instagrams (@carly, @belleoftheball45, @juliahengel to name a few…) I decided to hit her up and see if she wanted to snap some pics! Lucky for me she said yes, because her style is TO DIE FOR! Seriously girl, shop for me please. It was also so nice to have someone take some pictures that actually knew blog style pictures of what I wanted! (you can imagine how big of a mess that is asking my 11 year old brother to get pics of “just the shoes”!)

We headed out for some tacos and table-side guac and it was seriously the perfect day to shoot some outfit snaps. We got to the location and she matched practically every flower in sight, so I knew these were gonna be great. Enough rambling, on with the snaps!

DSC_0476DSC_0478DSC_0479DSC_0480DSC_0482DSC_0508DSC_0515DSC_0549DSC_0526DSC_0559DSC_0596DSC_0602DSC_0580DSC_0519-1DSC_0624DSC_0614DSC_0620DSC_0618DSC_0634DSC_0675DSC_0630DSC_0658DSC_0669

Details:

Catherine: dress // jacket // accessories 

Ally: top // jeans // necklace (similar) // shoes 

Thanks for tuning in! Until next time, xoxo, Ally

akn

things I’ve learned + loved lately

Alright alright alright, so once again it’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted anything on the blog, but once again, I’m a teenage gal (for one more year!!!!!) and have been B-U-S-Y and then some! Normally, I feel super accomplished and like I am getting a lot of dreams chased when I am consistently posting on the blog, but I have been putting some final touches on some soul searching and growing from personal events earlier this year and *aggressively knocks on wood* I have to say I am feeling the happiest and most fulfilled with life that I have in a long long time. & I LOVE it.

Needless to say, blogging and writing is still a huge hobby and dream of mine, but I’ve been just so non-stop in between working, babysitting kiddos almost every day, meeting up with friends from home, leading my small group, and planning things for this upcoming year, that finding a time to sit down and type while still getting a decent amount of sleep most nights is nearly impossible. However, I finally found a quick minute of some quiet time and might be sacrificing a bit of sleep tonight, but I’ve learned quite a few tidbits, some important, some not, that I thought I’d share. along with some things I’ve simply been loving. ya know, the usual routine around here. &&&&& here we go:

LEARNED:  My siblings are like, cool? Weird and unheard of, I know. Being the oldest, my siblings always kinda seemed like the younger kids I was stuck babysitting when my parents went out or the ones who stole my clothes. (okay, ones who *present tense* steal my clothes) But I have absolutely adored spending time with them this summer. Now 15, 13, and 11. They all have quite the differing, but equally entertaining, personalities that make them each so fun. Emmy is your average 15 year old girl that I always seem to be driving somewhere. So, I don’t mind that our bonding time is spent to her teaching me the new and hip songs on her Spotify and her complaining about my old and not always functioning aux cord. Maddy is the precious 13 year old that cried on her birthday because she couldn’t stand the thought of being an “annoying teenager” and I LOVE watching her grow up and use her kind heart. Ricky is 11 and the baby boy of the family and we love him all to pieces, even though we snuggle him probably far more than he prefers. I love them all so stinkin’ much and am so glad to have this time at home with them. They’ll deny it but they’re totally gonna miss me again once I head back down to Kansas. But I’m also totally gonna deny I ever said they were cool online so I guess we’re even. IMG_0082.JPG

LOVED: “No one who bears a crown in heaven did not bear their cross on earth.” I saw this quote in one of my devotionals the other day and it has stuck with me all week. It’s just SUCH a good reminder to hold close to our hearts. Knowing that we are constantly working towards a reward in heaven is something to never let out of your mind while making big decisions, or small every day ones. Reading my devotionals in general has been a love of mine. Starting (if I really motivate myself to be an early bird) or ending the day with God’s word is the best soul refresher.

LOVED: Coneflower Ice Creamery!!!! I self-proclaim myself to have 0 ounce of a sweet tooth, but I will admit, I am a darn sucker for ice cream. After my mom falling in love with it and raving about it, I was intrigued. After I Yelped it and saw the cute interior and vibe, I knew I had to go. It! Is! Amazing! People! I have ventured and tried flavors like white chocolate basil and blueberry cheesecake, but my go-to classic order is a double scoop (one toasted coconut and one coffee) in a to-die-for homemade waffle cone! Can’t rage enough about this cute little farm-to-cone place. If you’re ever in the Omaha area, be sure to make a stop!IMG_9962.JPGIMG_9961.JPG

LEARNED: growth is so, stinkin’, essential. so is change. big time. Do not be afraid to let go of morals or beliefs you once had that no longer apply to who you are. You were not meant to stay the same forever. Allow yourself to grow and experience so many things.

LOVED: My birthday!!! June 25th I turned 19 years old (eek!) Let me tell ya, it was such a good day. I got brunch with my best friend Rachel (pictured eating ice cream with my at Coneflower above, can you tell we bond over food?) to start the day and snagged the BEST crab cakes (and a few bites of her avo toast.) We then hit up the farmer’s market for some popsicles and lemonade. Shopping was obviously in order (and because when you’re nineteen your parents sort of run out of ideas for gifts) and I picked up a new, and very needed, pair of sneaks! I didn’t realize how old and beat up my old ones were until I headed out on my first run wearing the new pair and noticed the difference!!! My mom made my FAVORITE caprese salad for dinner, along with kabobs and goat cheese stuffed mushrooms (drooling.) Lastly, a berry chantilly cake from Whole Foods was in order and all the little neighbor girlies that I love happened to stop by just in time for happy birthday! I’ll insert some too many pictures below from the big day!

IMG_0252.JPGIMG_0240.JPGIMG_0226.JPG

IMG_0257.JPGIMG_0292.JPGIMG_0293.JPGIMG_0298.JPG

IMG_0299.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEARNED (KNEW): leftover birthday cake for breakfast is ALWAYS a good idea.

 

Alrighty, that’s it for my little recap! Hope you enjoyed and catch ya on here again soon because I am shooting outfits and meeting up with such a little cutie tonight! Updates to come super duper quick!

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

cropped-akn5.png

Links I’m Lovin’ 6/16/2017

img_9871.jpg

Happy Friday friends! I’ve been slacking on links lately mainly because I haven’t spent much time online shopping or browsing articles as of late. It has just been far too nice outside in Omaha, and the pool or walking around at shops or in the neighborhood is where most of my free time is spent! However, I’ve found a few things to whip up + share will y’all!

{1} Okay so I’m not actually sure if I have ever shared how big of a Hamilton fan I am, but…I’m a huge one. I’m also huge fan of bookstore runs with my little brother (you BET I’m a Barnes + Noble VIP member.) I was on the hunt for an easy summer pool read and this fiction novel based off of Alexander Hamilton + Eliza Schuyler’s relationship is 100% the best book I have read in a LONG time. 10/10 recommend even if you’re not a huge Ham fan!

{2} My Lululemon tennis skort is basically my best friend for walking around campus. Just a little more comfy and breezy than shorts, and totally cuter. Now I REALLY want this Athleta skort! The chic zippers totally sold me.

{3} The picture above is from Orange Leaf froyo + I’d be lying if I said my sister and I didn’t drive over for the last 20 mins of buy one get one free on Memorial Day, but they’re having another one of those specials THIS SUNDAY for Fathers day! All Dad’s get free froyo!

{4} I am missing my sweet college pals more than ever lately, and my bestie and future roomie Brooke has a blog (seriously, talk about trouble roomies next year, a match made in heaven!) dedicated to her medical experience during her internship in SPAIN + also some lifestyle and fashion posts coming up! Check out my bestie + leave a comment saying I sent ya! Let’s show her some love!!!

{5} talk about the most perfect classic summer sandals! Now if someone could just leave a comment with the most perfect nude block heels…ya girl would be forever thankful!

{6} Now i’m not posting this solely for my mom to read because my birthday is the 25th…but hey mom, my birthday is the 25th…

{7} Also did you know you get 50% off in store for your birthday at Kendra Scott?! Really hoping my KC location has these beauties in stock!

{8} That’s all for today friends! I hope you have the best Father’s Day weekend filled with tons of smiles! Give your dad a HUGE hug + thank him for all those dad jokes and really yummy meals on the grill!

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

akn

Strappy Sandals + Stripes

Okay So I’ve been on the hunt for a PERFECT pair of those super trendy at the moment strappy tie them yourself sandals and I! FOUND! THEM! My sister and I were just browsing the mall yesterday and happened to walk into Abercrombie and Fitch when we saw there was a big sale going on. My mother sort of started us pretty young on A&F with the old school stuff like the floral mini skirts and laced camis, but lately I have been finding the CUTEST pieces there! (Even Carly scored the most gorgeous summer dress that even made her Paris wardrobe list!)  Naturally we flocked back to the sale section and I spotted THE sandals.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

LINK TO THE SHOES ONLINE HERE!

But like, cmon, are they not perfect?! They come in three other colors (kinda sorta wanna go back and get the red ones for the 4th…) and they’re all too darling. I had to go with the plain black ones just because I know they’ll go with everything! I’ve seen so many shoes like these, but they were all just a bit too casual. This pair has a slightly silkier ribbon and the straps along the top make them a little more elegant.

IMG_9765IMG_9777IMG_9785IMG_9810

Here’s a funny little post about all those stylin’ Abercrombie things I totally was guilty of sporting back in the day! How many did you own?

IMG_9839IMG_9841IMG_9828IMG_9827IMG_9825IMG_9803IMG_9801IMG_9799IMG_9797IMG_9794

IMG_9856

So what are you waiting for?! Get out there (or open a new tab) and get you these sandals! TGIF, treat yourself.

Until next time,

xoxo, Ally

akn

a look into loneliness

IMG_9568.JPG

There came a point one boring weekday night when I was fed up with my online math homework and decided a 92.3% was close enough to an A on that week’s assignment (because there is always that ONE problem that refuses to be right no matter how right you are…) I was on the phone with my mom, like most college students are at one point in the day. (& if you aren’t….call your mom more.) I don’t remember having a particularly rough week or day, but I remember frustratedly admitting to my mom:

“Ya know I think I’ve got it figured out. I think when people say you get to be ‘independent’ in college, it really is just their nice and not scary way of saying “there are a hecka ton of times where you’re going to feel beyond lonely”

She probably laughed at me and gave some annoyingly true mom advice that calmed me at the time in response. Looking back, I realize how THANKFUL I am for the periods of loneliness, and how essential they truly are to self-development. I resonated with a quote from Lysa TerKeurst’s book “Uninvited” yesterday that had me really good. (the whole book in general will have you in awe. 10/10 recommend!)

There is something wonderfully sacred that happens when a girl chooses to realize that being set aside is actually God’s call for her to be set apart.”

One of my biggest heart issues is that I often let people into my life too quickly. I assume the best of everyone (yet again with my Cancer zodiac vibes) and also assume that everyone wants to know what’s on my heart. I learned pretty harshly a few times that not everyone is as mushy and feely as us Cancers are and a few single word replies to my paragraphs and I wanted to soften an area of myself that I am very proud of. My empathy and ability to be open with others about big topics is not something I would trade for the world. However, in a world that seems full of small talk and talk that makes people feel small, I felt that there was never a proper place to just sit down and pour my heart out. I too often tried and failed to breakthrough with friends by giving and giving and giving so much love and so much of my heart, only to be misunderstood. NOTHING feels lonelier than fully understanding someone, and them not understanding you.

It wasn’t until finding a few goooooood God girl friends that were willing to have casual conversations about God over ravioli day at the sorority house that I realized that loneliness is a matter of learning and growth. There are going to be times in your life where God INTENDS for you to be lonely. This is Him calling you to Him. Sometimes He removes noise of others from your life, in order for you to hear Him more clearly. Look back on times in your life where you felt lonely and try to find areas where there was growth. Maybe switch the picture and try to find areas of growth where you started out as feeling lonely. God never puts us through the sacrifice of pain if there is not such goodness to later come out of it.

I can more easily than I’d like to admit make a bulleted list of the times that I would use “lonely” to describe my situation. Being a natural extrovert, I probably was the cause of this in some scenarios, but there were others where it was because of dumb worldly thoughts of exclusion, not being important enough, not being good enough, or just not being enough in general. I would feel like there were all of these girls better than me or that everyone had already read this secret code book on how to act so I was totally just watching them and following along as if I totally knew what they were doing. (you know exactly the feeling I’m talking about, girls.) However, the enemy WANTS us to feel this way. The sin in us wants to win and wants to make us believe that we are uninvited, unacceptable, unknown, unnoticed. & here is where another good as gold quote comes into play:

“But as you pray through your feelings, see if maybe your situation has more to do with you being prepared than you being overlooked.”

WOWZA. Sometimes you weren’t invited to that hangout because God simply didn’t feel that your heart needed it at the moment. Maybe you were like me and felt like a tiny fish in a huge ocean coming into college, and God wanted you to feel that way in order to learn things about yourself. Life becomes so much more anxiety free and full of joy when we are able to put full TRUST into the fact that even the not so fun feeling of loneliness is from God and is for our own good.

I’ve still got a bunch of learning to do. I am sure my list of times I feel lonely will only grow as time goes on. But, from now on, strive to only see these times with the comfort of knowing what good and gracious things God is planning for you and truly watch yourself transform through learning from and about yourself. It really is magical.

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

cropped-akn5.png

links I’m lovin 5/26/17

51743304998__173abc0b-9202-491d-ac20-93fe63cee3a5.jpg

{1} Okay so I am missing Kansas a bunch already, and especially the foodie town that Lawrence AND KC both are! Unforked is one of my all-time favs and their “Hail the Kale” salad is to die for, and I am not usually one for fresh kale. I had been craving it so I googled the recipe and it is SO STINKIN’ easy, you’ve gotta try!!!

{2} I am all about anything “Girl Boss” associated, so this post is PERFECT

{3} I am SOO into the embroidery trend right now, & this under $20 top is no exception

{4} Did you read my latest life update post yet?! If not, what are you doing?! Hop to it!

{5} Ugh we are one zodiac season away from Cancer season (& my birthday!!!!!) and per Cancer usual, I am ALL in the emotional feels lately. However, I am for sure one to embrace my over-emotional self and this amazing piece for sure helped me do just that!

{6} Caroline absolutely rocks this denim jacket, which I have totally been meaning to get a new one….any good ones out there!?

{7} THIS STUFF PEOPLE. I’m serious. Gold.

{8} How PERFECT is this top for a Memorial Day BBQ?! Red, white, navy, and under $40 right now?! Sold!

{9} Tory Burch makes flip flops now?! I’ve been debating for too long on which style I like best, and I think I’ve decided on them all!!!

{10} Last but for sure not least, Happy 19th Birthday to my dear best friend Rachel!!!!! The little coffee bean that I adore to pieces and is forever going to be one of my best friends. I love you big time Rach! Everyone send lots of hugs and love her way today!

Until next time, TGIF!

xoxo, Ally

Where did xo go?!

18121228_1310540809001745_2775092362018005753_o copy.jpg

So hey, long time no type friends! Like, for me, who love love loves this blog: REALLY long time no type. I strive not to be one for lame excuses, so I promise, I limited mine to only one lame one for you all. I’ll start with the more important & meaningful stuff and leave the lame excuse for last so if you’re like me and can’t do without spoiler alerts, permission to scroll to the bottom of the page and read that lame excuse now granted.

My dad has been one of my biggest role models my entire life, and for good reason. People say we are the most alike in my family and I never fail to take that as a compliment because he is hands down one of the most hard-working, caring, and genuine people I know and those are all definitely things I strive to be.  I like to think I am a somewhat independent person. Being an oldest child and a pretty big introvert, it’s like in my blood or something to want to do most things alone. I’ve mentioned it in a previous post, but this trait of mine also kinda led me astray when it came to college at the beginning of the year. Anyways, a few months ago I FINALLY (applause please) got ahold of this whole “college” thing, and realized how independence in that year alone had given itself such a new meaning to me. I went through quite a lot this year, and in my book, I would even say that’s an understatement. Not to sound dramatic by any means, I feel that any human at any stage of their life undergoing ANY change whatsoever can sometimes feel like they are going through a whole bunch and it’s hard to think straight or figure out what exactly you’re changing into. However, after my last week of classes and the weekend before finals approached, I looked back as I was writing a reflection paper for one of my classes and realized how much independence I truly did gain, and how much I valued it for that matter. I also realized how much I changed, and in ways I never thought that I would, but ways I can be eternally grateful for. God brought on so many lessons this year that I never ever saw coming, and challenges that I am determined to see through to the end, and that’s just the beginning of the cool stuff that college brought on, so don’t worry, there will be a more learning type post on what I all learned coming soon. (Because I am TOTALLY back for good this time!!)

Back to my dad, he always told my siblings and I growing up that we could have anything we wanted if we worked hard enough for it. I have always taken this to heart and given 110% into anything I am passionate about. Sometimes, by accident, it’s more than that. I definitely am one to get carried away by pouring my heart into things (blame the Cancer zodiac in me I swear.) However, it’s a trait in which I wouldn’t trade for anything. I have always strived to put a bunch of effort into this blog because it is something I care SO deeply about. I have always struggled with the image of it, what I want the content to look like, Instagram themes, etc etc etc. I always wondered when that absurd myth of “writer’s block” or “artist un-inspiration period” I always heard about was going to kick in for me because when I first started this blog I was on fire and in love with every bit of it. I couldn’t imagine a day where I didn’t want to hit publish. I was getting compliments from my friends every day in the hall, I had this spark that wanted to keep posting on Instagram to gain followers every day, and had people in my life that really supported what I was doing on a daily basis. It rocked.

Fast forward to around March of this year and I discovered that weird uninspired issue. I always had this vision of having SO much time to blog in college and SO many photo ops and SO much to blog about and when that didn’t turn out the way I wanted to I was honestly frustrated with myself for not performing up to par of this perfect vision of myself. (this was BEFORE I realized even the super woman I am cannot do it all, I was really beat up about that fact for awhile.) I was in a rut one day this year and feeling like nothing was going my way, when I sat down and had a DM from a random girl on my blog Instagram saying she loved my blog and went on about specific posts that really helped her gain insight into things. 1. Uh, wow. pinch me. 2. Every writers DREAM to hear their work helped someone personally and then to hear about it. 3. I hadn’t posted on Instagram in over a MONTH and this girl still managed to click the link in my bio. I don’t know you, but thanks for creeping gal, I owe you the world. 4. I remembered right then and there why I started this blog in the first place. I love to write, and I love to see the connections I can make with people by my writing, and seeing that working in action was absolutely everything I needed to get back on track.

By the time this re-inspiration hit it was late April. My last final was May 12. I realized that I was not going to half-ass my way through the rest of the school year blogging wise. I really wanted to focus on myself and really set up a game plan for what I wanted the blog to look like from here on out, what I wanted MYSELF to look like from here on out. Oh, haha, yeah, and school. I guess that also gets thrown in there when you attend college. I won’t lie, I have REALLY been working to improve myself, and I am beyond proud. I am proud of my GPA, I am proud of the time I commit to exercising every day, I am proud of the foods I am putting into my body, I am proud of the time I am spending with God every day, I am proud of the way I am handling situations, I am proud of the new connections and relationships I have made, and I am proud of my heart for always staying true to itself and not letting go of what it believes in. I am proud, and proud of that too.

I am finally also proud of the way I feel about my blog. For the longest time it was this battle of approval with myself and my readers and the people I actually speak with day to day in my life. I would be scared to post an Insta because I didn’t want to see my followers drop, I would be scared to hit post because of what people who get my posts emailed to their inbox may think of what I write, I compared myself to other bloggers, and a bunch of negative things that really did nothing but hurt the confidence I had. From now on, blogging is, and always will be, what I want it to be. My opinions on faith, my opinions on clothes ,my opinions on life and coffee and everything in between.

I have full faith that the people who care about me will stick around and support me for that exact reason: they care about me. I have spent too much time in my life waiting and worrying to impress people that don’t really care about the things that are important to me, and I have slowly realized, what a waste of time and energy! Care for everyone, duh. But, don’t waste your time changing to impress someone who doesn’t have your best interest at heart. This is SO important to becoming who you are. It has taken me many attempts of trial and error to remind myself this over and over. I will find myself psyching my brain out to the max when I don’t know a positive answer or outcome. The worst possible scenario always seems the most realistic at the moment and it can be so easy to fall into that trap of thinking of other’s opinions before your own. Too often I forget that God works through me every single day, like he does all of us, and if my actions are paved with God’s opinions, isn’t the only validation I truly should be seeking…His? Remind yourself that over and over and over AND OVER again when you find yourself hesitating to do something you believe in because you are scared of what other’s might think. If it pleases God, it should please you.

This post is beyond lengthy and I promise there are so many more fun and light-hearted ones coming, but this one had to be addressed first. And for those of you who stuck around for that lame excuse: YEET I dropped my laptop off my desk and that ended super not so well (RIGTHT in the midst of finals week ladies and gents!) So there was yet another reason I had to put off my typing and publishing unless I wanted to post solely from off the WordPress app on my phone. Which I DID do back in NYC. and I am typing to you from a brand spankin’ new one! It was due time I upgraded anyways but I almost miss my sweet 2012 MacBook. The newest version is very much up to speed though and doesn’t take two minutes to launch a website (talk about a 21st century complaint…) so we are getting along just fine!

Well that’s all for now, but expect to be hearing from me soon! & MAYBE even some video content coming soon!

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

akn