getting sleep in college

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Eight is the magic number here friends. Eight hours of sleep is the recommended amount for the average, healthy college student. Let me tell you, boy is this accurate and I am the BIGGEST advocate of actually obeying this suggestion. As someone who woke up before a majority of the birds did back in high school due to dance team morning practices, I never imagined myself as someone who would be sleeping past 8am duding the weekday. Ever. I arrived to nanny this summer around 7:15 every day and sure I sleep in a tad on the weekends in the summer, but my internal body clock was set pretty darn early Monday-Friday. However, college is a whole lot of change (who would’ve guessed?!) and my summer self who attended orientation thought 8am classes sounded like a GREAT idea!!!! My Friday college self who didn’t have class until noon, begged to differ.

First semester is all about finding out who you are and as I said, a LOT of change, so finding out that I needed a little more sleep at this point in my life wasn’t too surprising. Now that second semester is here, I have a pretty good routine and schedule figured out that works best for me so I figured I would share a few of my own personal tips and secrets if you will!

make your space comfortable + cozy // I got my bedding for college over a year in advance (typical over-planner of myself) but when I saw it in a PBTeen magazine (my literal weakness, now that I think of it, I really need to get a subscription sent to my dorm..) I knew I absolutely had to have it for college. It is just a bright pink with matching pink pompoms adorning it and despite the unrealistic embellishments (can’t even count the amount of pompoms that have been lost due to my aggressive waking up/bed making) I still love it just as much as when it was purchased! I also have this weird thing for fleece tie blankets and have two on my bed as well but honestly use them more often wrapped around myself almost like a cape for utter comfort (I am 18, this is still comforting.) As far as pillows go, I have an assortment, but quite honestly never end up using any when I actually sleep. I always end up tucking my arm under my head and somehow can ONLY fall asleep this way. However for lounging purposes, I totally use plenty to prop myself up from my top bunk spot. Top bunk also means no one can really see my bed (which has made motivation for making it daily slim to none…), and so I don’t really use any decorative throw pillows (as fun as they are to shop for 😦 next year!) But, next year when I will be living at the sorority house, I have already verbally claimed a bottom bunk spot in my 4man room with my pals, so decorating AND actually making my bed will be slightly more essential next year!

aromatherapy// THIS STUFF. My grandma got me this pillow mist a few years back and I am finally running out of it (I don’t use it every single night, mostly because I am forgetful.) The Lavender and Chamomile Pillow Mist is everything when it comes to falling asleep quickly and comfortable. It’s seriously as easy as it sounds too! You just spray a few squirts onto your pillow (I also give my childhood teddy bear and blanket a good mist too…) They have a Lavender Vanilla scent too that seems just as appealing and I may have to try that one once my current bottle is fully out. It is beyond worth the $12.50 and works wonders. My friend and I jokingly call it “sleep sauce” because seriously guys, this stuff will put you to sleep when you think counting sheep is nearly impossible for the night.

stick to a schedule // I know things come up and plans change and some nights call for more studying than others, but try your best to stick to a within an hour schedule. The earliest I have class this semester is 9am and the latest is 10am so I usually wake up between 8:15 and 9:00 depending on the day! I am a pretty early bird when it comes to bedtime too (basically I am an old soul and am finding this out more and more as I get older…dinner at 4pm you say?) Usually getting to bed around 10:30/11 is my goal.

do something to wind down// I will admit that I am fully guilty of bringing my phone with me to bed. I like to claim it is just for my alarm, but I have also been guilty of the typical social media scrolling. Lately I have actually REALLY been into reading the free downloadable books on the books Apple app…which admittedly, still isn’t winding down. Try to avoid screentime before you sleep as much as possible. If you MUST use technology, the “night shift” feature Apple recently applied to the iPhone is EVERYTHING! I use it honestly during the non-night hours as well simply because it is better for your eyes than the harsh blue light. I also downloaded a feature on my laptop that kicks in at a certain hour of the night as well so my eyes aren’t kept awake longer than they need to be! As for non-techy winding down: read a book, journal (my favorite option), or even do some yoga or meditating before you hit the hay. Not only will this help you fall asleep better, but it is SO good for simply the overall health and fitness (yes, that’s a thing!) of your brain!

go to bed clean// take!! your!! makeup!! off!! before!! bed!! + wash your face. + exfoliate. +moisturize. + if my mom is reading this she is going to text me saying take your own advice Allison. But seriously mom college has taught me a lot and I am doing all of this without you asking me if I did every single night. (tough love, she means the absolute best, and moms are annoyingly always right about this kind of stuff.) But all mom lectures aside and the advice coming from the fairly lazy once 10pm hits college student: makeup wipes = essential. Costco size amount of them = essential. Buying them when your parents are in town because they’re actually hecka expensive = highly recommended. Now I went to an all girls high school as you may know if you’ve been reading here for awhile, so a large amount of makeup isn’t really in my daily routine, but even taking off the daily sweat and grime (because it is currently 80 degrees in February while I am typing this outside????) is so relaxing and makes going to bed feel even more accomplishing.

That’s about all for my sleep talk today! Do you have any nightime rituals? Leave a comment below or shoot me an email @ xoxoallisonnicole@gmail.com if you’d love to chat!

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

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worried about worrying: my guide to staying calm

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We’ve all been there. Whether it be a test you feel like no matter how much you study you still aren’t ready for, a risky text you sent waiting for a reply, or simply just waiting for news from a family member or friend…we’ve all had those stages of worrying that we just can’t seem to escape. If you aren’t familiar with these feelings of anxiousness and restlessness, count your blessings for being the carefree individual you most likely are! Trust me, I am working every day on being more carefree in the best sense while still keeping up with daily responsibilities and maintaining stable relationships with my friends and family. & believe me! For someone who can let uncertainty get the best of her at times, it isn’t always easy to work through. Usually your worries are remotely small and things that a few weeks later don’t even cross your mind. Which is awesome, but at the same time can also make them hard for other people to relate to or help you out on!

I am slowly but surely deepening my relationship with God every single day. It isn’t a snap of my fingers and I am a changed person kind of deal, as nice and easy as that would be. However, one thing I have realized that stays constant in my journey with Him is that the more time during the day I spend talking to Him, the less time I have to worry. The more I trust in Him, the less concerned I am about simple problems that I face every day. It’s not easy. I can promise that. It’s actually really really hard to surrender all your struggles and things you think you can control to God and say “alright, take charge, I am following you” but in all honesty, that is the hardest step you have to take. The initial step of wanting that relationship and wanting God to have control of your worries and fears is the biggest step you are going to take.

That being said, it isn’t the ONLY step however. You’ve gotta maintain that trust every day. God has you in His hands and will forever take care of you as long as you trust in Him, but you’ve gotta put in some work yourself in order to stop worrying. For me, a big thing is journaling or taking walks. I love to walk to class and lately I have been listening to a Spotify playlist I made of some of my favorite songs that I journal to and just having that time to remember how great God is and how my entire day is already planned and protected by Him is a big step for setting my day off well. Journaling is another biggie for me. I journal every single day, and don’t leave out anything. I tell God my fears, all the bunches of them, and talk to Him as a friend. Looking over my journals and allowing myself to physically write out and lift up my worries to Him is something so beneficial to me and something I highly encourage you to try to do at least once a week if not every single night. It’s also crazy cool to look back at old journals and old problems that you thought would never be able to be solved and how you never even have them cross your mind anymore.

Throughout every worry that I have I always find myself thinking how I can’t wait for it to be resolved and I feel calm again. However, I will look back and remember that before that there was a different struggle, and before that there was another one. But, there were also joys in those times of struggle and there will be plenty more to come. My struggles and joys will change as will yours, but our God will remain the same and forever be our counsel. Nothin’ more cool than that.

I honestly can’t give you a step by step guide to staying calm and worry-free. Trust me, if there is one, I would have it memorized by now. I also can’t specifically instruct you on your relationship with God or force you to have one. But I can promise you that all your worries will end up okay. The things you are concerned about now will one day seem minuscule, your life will go on, and you’ll find yourself smiling. Best piece of advice I can give you? Don’t give up. Don’t let something you’re worried about mean you quit it all together. If you can’t go a day without thinking about someone or something, don’t give up on them or it. Be patient, be kind, be good to yourself, and be good to others. You may be worried about an outcome of something, but there is never a circumstance where you will regret being brave and kind. Don’t ever waste an ounce of your bravery and kindness.

Until next time, chins up and let’s do this!

xoxo, Ally
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FACTS I’m lovin 2/17/17

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It’s finally been a little while since I have done a post dedicated to some facts about myself. I figure since you’re reading all about my life and a lot of the time some inspiration or tips for you, it is only right you know a little bit about who is talking! You can read all the facts in my “All About Me” section, but I figured this could be a little more casual and fun! After yesterday’s semi “bleh” update post I thought links could be subbed out for your daily dose of fun facts so here are a few and a half of em!

I DON’T have a sweet tooth. Never have and who knows if my taste buds will one day change but I probably never will. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE ice cream and won’t ever turn down a Reese’s but I would much prefer pretzels to chocolate or chips to a brownie. Yes family, this is my formal admittance that I am in fact the one who eats all the cheese popcorn and leaves a bag of uneven proportions of caramel kernels for everyone else.

Speaking of popcorn…it’s my favorite food, like, ever. Not kidding I could eat freshly air-popped popcorn with a drizzle of oil and sea salt for the rest of my life and be content. simple. not awful for you. perfect to pair with movie nights. what more could you ask for from a food?!?! Also yeah, ironic and funny my favorite food is popcorn and I am from Nebraska home of the cornhuskers. Actually this is the first time I am putting this together and it is kinda wild.

I am weirdly good at keeping flowers alive which works in my favor because I absolutely adore them. (peonies and hydrangeas are my personal favorites but I don’t discriminate) Maybe it is my years of receiving them from dance recitals or maybe I have an odd case of a green thumb but I seriously know all the tips and tricks to keeping them around for as long as possible! Let me know if any of you would like to see a post dedicated to that!

I am honestly awful at art. Trust me, every bone in my body wants to be able to draw and paint and sculpt things well, but quite frankly I’m pretty bad. Which stinks because I am definitely creative and have an eye for design, but my drawing skills go as far as about doodles in my notebook during geography class…

However….I am freakishly good at Pictionary. There is no explaining this one besides the fact I honestly am convinced it is like a 6th sense thing where I can read people’s minds during this game and this game only. I seriously can guess what they’re drawing .5 seconds in and one dot on the paper (okay kinda exaggerating but I did do that one time and was a little spooked of my own talent.) I don’t know. It’s a gift.

When I job shadowed my old dance teacher (love her!!!!!) who now teaches kindergarten, a little boy tied his shoes together during story time and I had just clipped my nails and the knot was very tight and I honestly doubted my teaching ability at that moment when he was staring at me terrified that his shoes would forever be tied together. Less of a fun fact and more of a funny story and just another reason kindergarteners will forever crack me up.

I have the WORST gag reflex. Dentists hate me. I just learned how to swallow a pill less than a year ago. It’s awful. Very probably my biggest weakness and mortal flaw. End of story.

I drink water like it is my JOB!!! Which, isn’t a bad thing, stay hydrated friend. But seriously, I can’t leave for anywhere without my water bottle and must drink at least 8 cups a day or I cannot function or do absolutely anything to my full ability. Seriouly, I will go through abundances of bottled waters while they’re cold in my dorm fridge while studying. I always ALWAYS make sure to drink a huge sip right before bed and right when I wake up! It is SOOOOOO good for you people! Get yourself hooked on h20 too!!

I have never ever been to the mountains! Bucket list for sure but my family has just never been! We are lake people every summer but I for sure want to try to learn to ski here soon!

I did (and was in love with) speech in high school! If your town has a big speech and debate program or you are involved yourself, you’ll know what I am talking about and how easy it can be to fall in love with it! I did it all four years (oratory was my specialty for those of you who compete but I also dabbled in duo and one OID of Mean Girls that was seriously the most fun thing ever to perform) and I will forever and always deem it my most rewarding experience of high school. Seriously get involved in the activity in any way you can if you’re ever able to! Also if you ever need to know anything on the American Dream, Helicopter Parenting, The Misuse of the Word Hate, or the Gold Star Shaming Society…I’m your gal and can give ya a not rehearsed in a while 8-10 min speech on any.

There’s a few tidbits about my life! Feel free to hit up xoxoallisonnicole@gmail.com if you have any other fun facts you wanna know or if you just wanna chat!

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

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life update 2/17/16

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UGH has this post taken me forever to write or WHAT? (answer: yes. literally ages. or a few weeks. but I exaggerate a lot.) Basically I am still not ready to really write it all out, but I am forcing myself to because I really want to get on with some fun posts I have planned out but don’t feel like I can hop straight to “getting good sleep in college” or “books you NEED to read” (both real posts coming hehe stick around) after a couple weeks of zero posts and no explanation. So here we are, I’m back and trying my hardest to phrase all of this so you ca maybe somewhat understand where I am coming from or maybe even relate.

Coming back from Christmas break was great, I had a whole new semester ahead of me with some classes I thought I would absolutely love, I was ready to be back with my friends I rarely or not at all got to see over break, and I am one of those nerds who actually likes the learning aspect of school (nerdy is not a bad thing learning is so cool and fun) so I was ready to come back. And the first few weeks? Great! I loved being back just like I thought I would, okay the classes starting getting less exciting the more and more work I was assigned, but I knew I had signed up for that, I joined a food blog organization on campus (!!! more to come on that) and yet was feeling just, well for lack of a better and fancier term: not myself.

Although I am an introvert at heart, I thrive in social situations where I get to lead (aka group projects scare me but just let me do the whole thing and I’m fine with it) and take charge. I usually love alone time and am pretty (not always) good at time management and getting the things I need to done and then having time for an extra long shower or a few episodes of my current Netflix series (Glee, ALWAYS!). However, the past few weeks, I have simply been in a rut. A little funk if you will. I went home for a weekend and being with my family was the best way to cure it for a small period of time, and my mom made it down for a little mid-week adventure yesterday to spend some time with me (see above picture of my desk after she left. Trips to target and my parent’s spoiling me with even Valentine’s Day plates and napkins. Even a cute cookie from the sweetest neighbor girlies!) Things like that have made me realize how truly thankful and blessed I am to have the family that I do.

Honestly, nothing majorly bad happened in my life to make me feel off like I have. Sure I face everyday challenges like everyone else does. I don’t do as well on an assignment as I should have because I spent more time on pointless things, (may or may not have forgotten to do a few questions on my online math homework because of a OT KU game…but hey, it’s the game I’ll remember, not the .0001% off on my math grade.) (Not saying school doesn’t matter! school so matters! learning = so good!) I am not always the best friend in the world, I can be selfish, I have days where I am too absorbed in myself that I forget to talk to God, I have days where all I do is complain to God and ask for help and totally forget to THANK HIM for the simple things that I take for granted like being healthy and being able to live the wonderfully blessed life that I do!

Yeah, I still kinda feel funky, but yeah, I am realizing that there is no way anyone can go through life without a few funky periods. Because quite frankly, a life full of happiness would be pretty boring because all those happy moments would just blend together. The rough days make the good days ten times better. I’ve felt crazy guilty for not posting (trust me I had so many Valentine’s Day plans and ideas ready to go) but it just felt weird writing on love and life and happiness when that is something I am still figuring out myself as well and I would never ever wanna steer you in the wrong direction in terms of any of that good stuff. But here I am, telling you that mistakes happen, bad days happen, pity parties are allowed. But in the end, YOU are what changes that. YOU are gonna be with yourself your entire life, so fall the heck in love with yourself. Find what makes you happy. I am still on a search for the things in life that will forever make me happy (lattes and flowers are great, but temporary!) and ya know what? I am okay being picky with that. I have got a lot of people in my life that I love big time, and my big heart loves to love others and don’t get me wrong, I know that is a great quality and I will never ever stop loving others. But learning to take some of that energy to love myself is really crazy important. I emphasis finding your people a lot around here, but it is because in order to sustain health within yourself, you’ve gotta surround yourself with other people too. Sometimes not always literally, days to yourself are good too, but find those people who will be your “constants” even with all the “new” in your life. They’re real good. Even if they’re a facetime away or just a few floors up. Those people will get ya through the rough days, and you’ll get them through theirs. And then together you’ll celebrate the good days even more!

So there’s my little life update! My pal and I are headed out to a late Valentine’s Day night in KC tonight which I am super stoked about and will for sure have plenty of snaps to share so make sure @xoxoallisonnicole is followed on your Insta feed!

Until next time, stay happy, find your people, love big time,

xoxo, Ally

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Links I’m lovin’ 1/27/17

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Don’t even try to tell me that this is the last week of January because I won’t believe you for one half a second. Being back at school this semester has been (thankfully) so so much better than last semester already and between classes and my sorority and just hanging with my pals, time honestly flies during the day and here we are already at the tail-end of my first REAL week of classes! (Let’s be real, sylly week counts for absolutely nada….) This year has included so many new blessings for me that I am so so excited about and are making me truly super duper happy and I am finally feelin’ real at peace.

So onto the good stuff:

{one} I’ve been an Athleta junkie for awhile now (yet another habit of my mother’s I am slowly growing in to as I grow up….*cue you told me so mom eye roll*…) mainly because not only are their clothes so so SO cute, but they are so so SO soft!!!!!! I have a pair of leggings and one top that I adore from there, but THIS SHIRT is for sure next on my lust list.

{two} Valentine’s Day is gonna creep up faster than you can say that little four lettered “l” word, but Carly is ahead of the game per usual and has the CUTEST gift guide up and ready!

{three} aaaaannd another one.

{four} Okay I’m going a little happy hearts day crazy but I have recently become OBSESSED with the Sugarfina brand, which is ironic because I have the opposite of a sweet tooth…but I’m sorry add the word “boutique” onto “candy” and you’ve got me hooked. Everything is seriously SO darling and I am trying to find the nearest location to hit up literally as soon as I can. Talk about how cute and fun of a date this store would be! Check out their Valentine’s Day treats HERE!

{five} my hair is still chopped. I am still loving.

{six} Links is wrapping up early today because of some more fun posts I’ve gotta crack out today, but until next time, here is your daily reminder that: *click here for ego boost*

Until next time, TGIF, have a safe and happy weekend friends!
xoxo, Ally

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coffee + I (a love story)

 

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When I look back at memories of my childhood, my family is almost always involved. I grew up in what I like to think is one of the greatest extended families of all time. My grandparents are the kind that going to their house is more exciting than the actual holiday you’re going there for itself. The grandparents whose hugs and kisses make you feel all of the good things and that believe in you and your dreams and ambitions from when you were five and told them that you were going to jump off the diving board for the first time, all the way up to now and discussing my future career plans while in college. My cousins are the actual coolest human beings I know, and each and every single one of them brings me joy for so many different reasons. My aunts and uncles are all so supportive of one another and I have never seen more giving and selfless people when it comes to family. I honestly like to think that they are my very own angels God sent me to kind of sort out my priorities in life and show me how it is supposed to be done and what I should value in my life.

My favorite memory of all this gang of my rockstar human bean relatives that still follows us around today, is the post-party coffee. From as young as I can remember, I always recall the adults of the family getting just as excited for my grandma brewing coffee around 2pm as the kids were about my grandpa being in charge of the whipped cream when it came to desserts. All the kids usually scattered off to play after all the major holiday celebrations had ceased, and the parents all gathered around the kitchen table drinking coffee and talking for hours. Sometimes it turned into card games, other times into watching videos or reading articles people have discovered and wanted to share, but amidst all of that fun is always the smell of coffee beans and the love you can almost grasp in your hands.

Being the oldest girl cousin and the second oldest cousin with an 8 year age gap between the oldest (hey Zach, yes you’ll always hold coolest oldest cousin status) and being the oldest child of my family, I was pretty quick to want to grow up and be a part of this environment. There was something about the way that it seemed like the dining room table could squeeze an endless amount of chairs around it and yours would always find a spot if you had a joke to share or ears to listen. Although I may have started out bringing my slice of cheesecake instead of coffee, I’ve grown into the habit of drinking it and absorbing all the good stuff (caffeine AND family vibes) with the rest of them.

I fell so in love with this concept of the vibes and good energy that I received from this experience that I wanted to somehow capture it and bring it with my everywhere I go. I’ve never actually told anyone that this is like my all time favorite experience, so if any of those super exclusive members of that dining table coffee club are reading this: I think you’re all so so so cool. big time. Anyways, so my mission to find this kind of good soul food love began, and so did my love affair with coffee itself.

I vividly remember the first time I drank coffee (Starb’s frappes don’t count as much as my 14 year old self would love to claim that they do!) I was a second semester freshman in high school and my pal Rachel (who you still hear a lot about around here, who lives two floors up from me, and who is my physical embodiment of a coffee bean and who you will continue to hear a lot about even in this post…so yeah, she’s pretty important people. coffee VIP if you will.) and I were trying out for our school’s dance team that morning. We had spent the entire night before practicing our routines and improv sections and I wanna say got to sleep a lot later than we should have, gossiping about who we thought would make it, all mixed in with the occasional “but it’s totally okay and totally fine if we get cut” nervous statements. (spoiler: we both made it and somehow survived a few years together) My mom made both of us a cup with our breakfast that morning and even though I am pretty positive it was doused with a hecka lot of creamer, it was still coffee. It was love at first sip. But really, driving to the tryouts with her that morning, nervous thoughts in our minds and java in our bellies, I kinda had my first glimpse at that feeling I had been wanting so badly to create for myself of contentment with coffee.

It is no surprise to any of you who have been reading with me for awhile, following any of my social media accounts, or honestly have met me for more than five minutes…that I LOVE coffee now today. I will never skip out on a coffee date at new shop, order it with my breakfast wherever I am, or simply make it for myself at home. I got a french press for Christmas from my grandma this year, and was over the actual moon to be in charge of making some of the coffee for the post holiday chat with all of the coolest people I know. Sure I love the taste of coffee, I love the kick it gives me in the morning, I honestly even am appreciative of the final step of digestion it prompts (how’s that for your visual imagery of the day), but what really does coffee mean to me? Or better yet, why the heck am I even writing this?????? An actual entire post dedicated to coffee….

Waking up in the morning, before the rest of the world minus a few literal feathery early-birds, when the sky is still that magical kind of purple that you would never want to be in a crayon box because it is way to special to use in any sort of circumstance minus this. Listening to coffee brew and it being the only sound you hear minus your internal thoughts and your actual heartbeat. That small period of time where you realize, wow, this is life. I’m living it. The first contact with your mug where your hands are instantly heated and it sends the warmth down your entire body and you’re reminded that you’ve got an entire lifetime ahead of you but all you want to do is live in this exact moment. But then you take your first sip and realize you’ve got places to be and things to do and people to see and guess what? The only person meant to do all the things that you have in store: you.

Coffee has led me through every emotion in my life and then some. I have made some of my biggest realizations over coffee in the mornings with myself and God, and have had some of the best conversations over coffee with people I love dearly. Rachel, who I mentioned earlier, is probably an even bigger coffee addict than I am, and the amount of quick coffee runs we make is probably excessive, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. The amount of giggles and serenades over silly songs we sing on the quick drive to our off campus Starbucks are never enough, the late night we for sure shouldn’t be drinking caffeine at this hour java break runs where you are so in love with yourself and life that you order homemade chocolate whipped cream on top are what I live for, and the quiet drives where she even sometimes knows to ask if I am okay because I am being a little quieter than usual as she pays for my latte because she could sense I needed to get out and coffee is our excuse have gotten me through some of the roughest days.

You need these people in your life, I need these people in my life! I am such an independent person that sometimes asking people for help or telling them the problems or even good things going on in my life is such a hard barrier to break, but there is something about coffee that ever since I was younger and watching my family love each other no matter what the topic of conversation over it, that can put my own selfish independent needs aside and realize that everyone needs coffee. Everyone needs their moments to realize who they are and that asking for help is brave and that sometimes you have to take an entire hour with simply you and coffee and just realize what you want from yourself for that day!!!!!! Not your entire future, not the week, not the semester, just that day. How big are you going to love? Who are you going to remind that they mean the world to you? What are you going to do to better yourself? What can you do to make someone smile today? Those questions. The simple, every day questions that we often forget to ask ourselves and therefore forget to accomplish. We can be so so focused on the bigger picture of getting our life together that we can forget to just look at the 24 hours in front of us and ask ourselves what we wanna do with it! Don’t forget to take your dwelling time to do this. Now disclaimer: I don’t care if you like coffee or not. Drink some gosh darn tea if that’s more your style of meditating figure your life out love your people and take on the world kind of beverage. Quite honestly, I’ll still take my hazelnut lattes.

But what I do ask of you to do, is find this time where you can spend with the people that mean the most to you and talk about the stuff you wanna talk about. Talk about the stuff you wanna get so excited and scream about, I don’t care if it is a new revelation you have made or the fact that you got an A on your test or the fact that Starbucks has a new drink out. Talk about it. Talk about the stuff you wanna cry about, talk about the stuff that makes you angry at the world. That stuff needs to be talked about. But don’t forget that you can’t stay talking about that forever. You still need to hop back to the topics on how to fix it, or things that are good in the world as well. EVERY situation has a silver lining, even if it takes years of hard work and a lot of perspective change to figure that out.

Coffee has helped me discover who I am. Coffee dates and runs help me validate my life and my choices I make. Coffee has helped me to realize that I need other people and that they need me. Coffee has made me realize I am a good friend, a good lover, a good sister, a good daughter, a good niece, a good student, a good Ally. But it has also made me realize that there is room for improvement in all of those areas, and that taking time to understand what I can do to improve is essential to improving. Coffee has taught me never to give up on things that mean a lot to me. Coffee has taught me that times may be tough, decisions may be hard, but if you believe in something enough, and work for it with your best intentions at heart, it will work out just how it is supposed to. Coffee has taught me how to open up to people and to understand the power of asking about someone’s day and genuinely wanting a reply of what they ate for lunch or what their hardest class was or something that made them smile. Coffee has taught me to love.

If there is one thing I am truly hopeful for in life, it is that one day when I have a family of my own, we can have post party coffee. I want nothing more than a big dining room table with everyone I love, loving each other. It is honestly the best experience in the world, to see these people you care so much about just being themselves and everyone else appreciating them for exactly that. That is how I want to live my every day life. I want to live the rest of my life drinking coffee.

Thanks for reading about something so important to me, I hope you can take away at least one lil bean of knowledge and love.

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

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passion and pancakes

There are few things in this world that I would do anything for. Living a semester and a few weeks in college have made me solidify that statement even further. I’ve realized how little I truly need to survive, but there are for sure still a few things that I just can’t do without: (see below)

-hazelnut lattes

-chick-fil-a

-my best friend and all our banters and life chats

-my parents. oh boy my parents. + everything they’ve taught me but that is more of a novel than a bullet point.

-the Legally Blonde soundtrack

I’ve said this before on the blog, but I am the opposite of a “grey person” in terms of my feelings and what I believe in and am willing to speak my mind and stand up for. I either hate things or I love them. I believe in them or I don’t. My dad is a huge role model for me in terms of fighitng for what I believe in and doing what is right no matter what the people around me are doing or may think of my choice, and I will forever respect and love him for teaching me such a big belief and how to act on it. The things and people listed above are all things that I am highly passionate about. Okay so maybe chicken nugs, lattes, and a girl empowered jam sesh here and there aren’t NEEDED in my daily routine, but they’re things that make me happy.

I want to tell you how vital those things are to your life. The things that make you feel something in your heart you absolutely can’t even begin to put into words. Again, the nugs and coffee were for sure jokes (even though I won’t ever turn down either…) but there are a lot of things in life that aren’t. My entire life I have been told I am an insanely passionate person. Honestly I think I would have appreciated the compliment (it’s a compliment I am hoping…) a lot more if I understood what they meant. Since I have been back at school, I think I finally do. I get excited about things. I find things that I love and I do everything possible to keep them in my life. If something makes me happy, I am going to tell everyone about it and stick with it and try to get others to understand how amazing it is as well. However, I have found out this isn’t as easy as I would like it to be. There aren’t enough passionate people in this world.

Now, I am not saying by any means that everyone needs to have their thing that they’re like, totally obsessed with, however, if ya do, that’s super cool. What I want, is for everyone to understand that passion? It will benefit you in ways you have never imagined and change your life beyond belief. Find the things in your life that you aren’t grey about. Educate yourself within society. Find the beliefs, the morals, or simply the goals you have for yourself that you aren’t willing to let anyone tell you aren’t correct or aren’t going to happen. Take these ideals with you everywhere you go and constantly keep them in the back of your brain. Have something you’re willing to talk about, something you’re willing to stand up for. There are so many people in this universe who will talk about pointless matters without any passion. Be someone who does. Be someone who finds your stuff, the good stuff that you want our of your life, and gosh darn do something about it! This can be as simple as a goal you have for yourself or keeping certain people in your life.

Me? I am passionate about my people. The ones that bring me all the good energy, remind me who I am, what I am, and that I’m proud of it. I am passionate about the relationships that I hold that encourage me to be a better person and to work to better them as well. If you have these people and wanna keep them around….TELL THEM! Tell your people you love them! Appreciate them and understand that people want to be with passionate people. People don’t want to assume what you’re thinking, they want to be told. They want to hear what you have to say and what you have to stand for.

So pancakes. Where the heck you goin’ with that one Ally?

Find the things in life you would be passionate and stand up for, but also make them the things that you would talk about over pancakes with your best friend.

Your passions? Make them yours. Make them learning calligraphy. Make them running further. Make them getting better at push-ups if you have actually ZERO arm strength this is just one big stubtweet at myself. Make them finding your passions.

Thanks for listening to my little rant on all things big and powerful and fun. Quite honestly, I’m highly craving pancakes now. Go find your loves and passions, and show the world why they’re so cool.

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

P.S: you guys are one of my passions too.