Christmas Wishlist 2018

It’s post Thanksgiving break so that means it’s *finally* socially acceptable for me to start posting Christmas content…right? Right. I have plans for gift guide to come, and a post on how my roommate and I decked out our room in the sorority house for Christmas, but until then I’ve rounded up a few of my own wished for items for Christmas this year. As I’ve gotten older it always seems harder to pick out things I want that I can get daily use out of.

Evelyn Henson Prints /// J. Crew Slippers /// Hoodie Allen Crewneck /// Outdoor Voices Shorts ///  Monogrammed Locket ///  Dry Bar Clips 

Evelyn Henson Print: The second I saw she came out with an “Omaha” version I knew I needed to get my hands on one. I am in LOVE with the NYC one as well. Maybe matching mugs for both as well? hehe.

Monogrammed Locket: This is currently UNDER $50 from Kate Spade and I am obsessed with how classic and elegant it is. One of the very first Christmas gifts I ever remember requesting as a little kid was a locket, so finding a more grown up version felt so fitting and quite nostalgic.

Dry Bar Clips: Okay. So I have MAYBE the thickest hair in the world and it’s usually pretty unruly so styling it at all rarely happens usually because its such a hassle to get all of it done. These bad boys would come in handy way too often. Plus my obsession with DryBar ever since my experience in NY is beyond real. I truly wish there was a location close enough for me to just ask for that for Christmas!!! 

Hoodie Allen Sweatshirt: It’s no secret Hoodie is one of my all time favorite artists after my 4 hour trip solely to see him perform live for the second time. I’m not usually one for artist merch but I have a HUGE soft spot for this comfy sweatshirt, large for snuggling in please! 😉

J.Crew Slippers: So I REALLY want a short pair of Uggs solely to keep my feet warm walking to class, but don’t want to wear them around the house if I’m gonna be wearing them outside. That’s why I have my eye on these navy slippers (duh.) How I’ve gone so long without owning them is beyond me.

Outdoor Voices Shorts: So the second I saw these I had to have them. I mean. Fleece. Shorts. C’mon. Wow. I am a HUGE OV supporter since Sammy from Preptista started working with them and ordered a pair of their leggings, but think these are my new favorite product of theirs.

I won’t lie…my #1 wanted item is this new invention from Shark Tank I found called “The Comfy.” Google it and TRY telling me you don’t know want one too. & they come in pink??? Sign. Me. Up. 

Let me know what YOU’RE wishing for in the comments! Until next time!

Xoxo, Ally

links I’m lovin’ 11/2/18

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{one} incase you haven’t already been made aware, it’s officially holiday season at Starbucks and ya girl has been waiting ALLL year long for the return of Snickerdoodle Hot Chocolate. I’ve linked a list of all the menu items just so you can make aware of what you wanna sip on while listening to your Christmas music

{two} If you didn’t already catch up, my entire St. Louis recap is now up on the blog! Make sure to check out PART 1 and PART 2 !!!

{three} Evelyn Henson will forever be one of my favorite artists and her newest HOLIDAY greeting cards hit her shop the other day and they’re seriously TOO darling and I want every single one! Specifically eyeing this cutie!

{four} J.Crew is having 40% off with code “BOO” right now and I mayyyy have to use that as an excuse to snag this fleece!

{five} After Brenna and I made a pit stop at the tea house in STL, I’ve been dying to find some teas to make in my room in Kansas! Shoot me an email or drop a comment on this post with any good loose leaf tea brands!

{six} I had to update my phone to the newest iOS after it was freaking out on me earlier this week, BUT there are SOO many new emojis involved in the update! Hello, meet your newest most frequent user of that bagel emoji!

{seven} One of my favorite things in the blog world is getting to watch bloggers I’ve loved forever team up with brands I’ve loved forever. Julia from Lemon Stripes will FOREVER be one of my favorite gals to catch up on, and her daughter Amalia is the stinkin’ cutest as well. She recently collaborated with Dudley Stephens to make an ice blue version of their pieces and I am OBSESSED.

{eight} I don’t even have words to explain how badly I want this.

{nine} I’ve started to be super interested in the faux leather pants trend that was popular last year but looks like is gonna stick around for this year too and these Free People pants (UNDER $40 RIGHT NOW) may be the perfect way for me to try it out…thoughts?

{ten} It’s Dad’s Weekend for AXO here at KU and I am SO excited to get to hang out with my dad! There will be plenty to catch up on via the Instagram stories so make sure to follow over at @xoxoallisonnicole to follow along!

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

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St. Louis Recap pt. 2

Hey friends! I am back with another set of pictures mainly of food from Brenna & I’s trip to STL a little over a week ago! Pretty sure I left you off last time after our amazing brunch at The Boathouse in Forest Park, butttttt we basically went back and took a nice nap before the rest of the night’s festivities. We woke up (by we I mean I) craving ice cream. After a quick Instagram/Apple Maps search I stumbled upon a place I decided we HAD to check out. It was called The Baked Bear and basically it’s the only dessert I ever want for the rest of my life.

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It’s famous for their ice cream sandwiches, but Brenna and I decided to really go all out and get half brownie, half pumpkin spice cookie, with espresso ice cream, rolled in sprinkles, and hot pressed. Zero regrets on that one. Wow.

After heading back from our ice cream coma we got ready for Hoodie and had full intentions of heading to a math themed pizza place (Brenna’s dream I think.) However, it was the opposite direction of the venue and Brenna found a little Middle Eastern spot right across the street. We were seriously so impressed and both actually ended up agreeing that although last minute, it was easily our favorite food we ate all trip.

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Next up was the concert at 7 and I have zero words to describe how much fun it is to see Hoodie in person. We got to meet him and he even is making a vlog appearance coming soon! Brenna and I always manage to end up laughing with every adventure we go on and this one was no exception, especially when he decided to play a Shawn Mendes song (Brenna’s favorite) and it was the perfect mix of two of our favorite things!

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The next day we were en route for Lawrence again but spent a slow morning getting breakfast, grabbing tea from the cutest spot, and making a quick arch pitstop because, well, when in STL I suppose.

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The trip was SO much fun and I wish we could go on mini vacations every single weekend! Hope you enjoyed stepping into our trip with us!

Until next time (& until this summer STL), xoxo, Ally

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St. Louis Weekend Recap pt. 1

This past weekend Brenna and I casually decided we were gonna take a little mid-semester *vacation just for the heck of it. (*vacation: we got tickets to Hoodie Allen and decided to peace out of Lawrence for the entire weekend solely to eat some good food leading up to our concert.) I’ve decided to break it up into 2 different posts just because there are too many good food snaps for one blog post to handle!

Friday we left a rainy and cold Lawrence early afternoon and got on the road with a mission to make it to the BAR K, a newer bar / foodie stop that DOUBLES as a dog park as well. We were honestly amazed with the entire concept and sadly it was pretty gross outside, but that didn’t stop us from hanging out with the pups for quite some time outside. We ate inside due to the weather but the food made up for that. Brenna got a tuna salad and I got white chicken chili (one of my FAVORITE fall meals) and both were AMAZING!

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However before we even made the dog / food pitstop, I convinced us to head over to a convention center in KC for the Holiday Mart going on that weekend. We spent probably too long sampling foods and looking at different toys and winter decor. The endless Christmas music and shopping was exactly how I wanted to start off the weekend! AND! Before we even got out of the car Brenna got a call that she got accepted for an internship this summer IN STL! How ironic and fitting for the weekend!!! My only wish for the holiday mart is that the lighting was sliiiiightly better….#justbloggerprobs

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We ended up getting into STL around 8pm and after being in the car all day we decided we wanted to just get to her brother’s apartment and eat instead of going out. After making a quick Trader Joe’s run, we cooked up some pappardelle with TJ’s vodka marinara (the BEST), and some veggies and called it an early night.

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Saturday morning we made some pumpkin pancakes for breakfast that we ALSO got from Trader Joe’s. Honestly, Trader Joe’s favorites post coming soon. We then headed out to Forest Park and walked around. It was the absolute most gorgeous day outside and just being able to be outside in that kind of weather was amazing. We found this place called The Boat House to grab a late lunch at and I’m so glad we found it because it was the most perfect place to just be outdoors. It was right up to the water in the park. (I actually got to feed ducks!!!) There was also live music and not to mention the BEST huevos rancheros I think either of us have ever eaten.

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Up next is more info on our ~actual concert~ and our little morning adventure before heading back to school! Part 2 coming soon!

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

fall flannels with @TargetStyle

There’s nothing I love more than dresses as a staple piece for literally all seasons. You don’t have to match them with anything, you throw one on and have a complete outfit, and oh, you don’t have to wear pants (the best part.)  This fall flannel dress from Target’s new line is no exception to my love for them. I am a natural sucker for navy and this color scheme is absolutely perfect for fall. I paired it with my riding boots but it would look perfect with some Jack Rodgers too for slightly warmer days.

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The bow detailing in the front is my favorite part by far. It makes the flannel aspect just slightly more girly and I couldn’t be more in love with it!

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There are a few other flannel patterns to choose from as well that I have linked HERE!

Do you have a favorite staple fall dress? Send me the link to yours in the comments!

Just for kicks I thought I’d throw in this “flannel” outfit picture from the early blogging years for your entertainment….IMG_1786.JPG

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

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humpday pop-in

Hey friends! Just me here sayin’ hey!
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This picture may not be the most bloggy thing in the entire world but it sure as heck is how I feel about now. A whole lot of excited about life and a little bit of the best kind of nervous about it as well. OH! And coffee constantly in hand, duh. There’s no real rhyme or reason about this post besides I’m in the mood to pop on over to this website and give a few words over here!

The past few weeks have been crazy busy fun for me but also just emphasis on the “crazy busy.” It seems like that’s more of a way of life for me than a phase of a few weeks here and there, but honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve been really into journaling lately every single night and also just whenever I need to get something out of my head. It sounds silly but I truly cannot leave my room without a notebook in hand or with me. Written words will forever and always be my safe space and way to stay sane, and they’ve been beyond comforting to me recently. In terms of good things, bad things, exciting things, scary things, what I want to eat, and what I need to get at the store. Every single dang thing in my life get’s written down and it feels AMAZING.

I guess this post is my way of getting to share my word writing advice with you all as well. If you sometimes feel like your brain is gonna explode and you don’t even know why, write it out. If you’re stressed but can’t put words to why, just start writing what you want to do today and I bet it’ll turn into a little thought process of what’s really in your head. Write without being afraid of what you may put on paper. Write knowing it’s YOUR brain and nobody else gets to see it if ya don’t want em to! Write because sometimes you can’t sort your brain until it’s on paper and you can read it on the page and say, oh, so THAT’S why I feel this way.

Validating yourself is OKAY. Needing to understand your own thoughts is GOOD. Being so full of emotions in your head that they need to go on paper is HEALTHY! Guess what?! That actually is a crazy cool reminder that you’re THINKING and your noggin is producing thoughts! You’re alive! You’re working! 

I think our society has being stressed at such a norm or almost an expectation these days that having a brain full of thoughts and emotions is automatically assumed as a bad thing. It’s automatically assumed that overwhelming thoughts mean scary situations and that’s not the case. You are allowed to have those moments, and ya know what, embrace them. Embark on your thoughts with your noggin! Love that lil guy and everything he produces!

Again, not a real point to this post besides my thoughts. I hope this helps your noggins as well. Have the best rest of your week. Write on dudes.

xoxo, Ally

rugby stripes + denim

If stripes aren’t your thing probably stop scrolling right about now…IMG_3804

What can I say? I will forever and always be a sucker for stripes, and if they’re pink and navy (aka my literal personal brand color at this point) don’t even get me started! I had been eyeing rugby shirts forever (still on the hunt for a KU one if anyone has any links PLEASE send them to my inbox asap !!!) and the moment I saw this J.Crew one was on sale over spring break last spring, I absolutely had to snag it.IMG_3803
It is seriously such a fun piece to wear, it’s so comfy and requires basically no effort while still looking fun and stylish. Not to mention rugby shirts are totally making a comeback (which I am totally stoked about!)
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Add in my favorite denim skirt from a boutique in KC and my classic gold jacks and you’re good to go. I’ve also worn it with white denim or denim light-wash shorts and have loved all three options so far! Potentially eying the rugby DRESSES I’ve started to see all over as well. What are your thoughts on the new trend?

shirt (similar) // skirt (similar) // jacks 

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

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2018 fall must-do’s

The minute September hits we approach my all time favorite season and I am chugging Pumpkin Spice Lattes and burning apple candles like it’s my full-time gig. Amongst some of my favorite flavors and foods coming out at this time of the year, there are so many things that happen during the fall time that I am such a fan of! I thought I’d list a few for you all as a little bucket list of sorts to help you stay all kinds of festive.

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Stock up on new cold weather pjs: as if I needed an excuse…these are my current pair I am eyeing!

Make pumpkin seeds: okay so, back me up here: PUMPKIN SEEDS ARE GOOD. All my friends make fun of me for having them as a go-to fall snack year round but they are sooo yummy to me! I wish I was at home solely so I could help bake them with olive oil and sea salt like we did when I was younger. Seriously, amazing.

Tailgates: I’ll take any excuse to dress up cute for my ‘hawks but give me tailgating food as well? Ha, yeah, I’m down. Although I am slightly over the insane heat (90 degrees and direct sunlight for last Saturday’s game was NOT fun) and am pumped for when game day attire means pulling out crimson and blue sweaters.

Thanksgiving notes: I am a huge supporter of snail mail and thought it would be so fun to send letters to some of my best pals from other schools and family back home, just reminding them that I am thankful for them! I found this template and think it is so adorable!

Hike: I love to go on walks/ runs/hikes in terms of exercise OUTSIDE. Truly one of my favorite alone time activities and in the fall everything is just ten times prettier! Prepare for some photo-ops on this adventure for sure!

Apple picking: This used to be my all-time favorite event every fall with my extended family when I was little and I am really hoping to find an excuse to go again this year. Apple cider is my favorite drink of all time and I don’t exactly hate apple donuts either 😉

Make PSLs: Okay, as a blogger, forgive me, but I have started to not LOVE Starbuck’s PSLs. As I’ve gotten older and more and more accustomed to black coffee, the sugar and syrup have become less and less appealing. I love, however, getting just a casual pump of pumpkin in my drinks! My mom also sent down pumpkin spice k-cups this weekend and those are AMAZING! Not to mention they make Brooke and I’s room smell all kinds of fall.

Fall Fashion: post coming on this soon, but the weather and season change is totally an excuse to buy new shoes…right?

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

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what do you mean I’m 20 and don’t have my life together

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honestly, this picture explains my life currently a lot more than any of the words below will, feel free to stop here.

I’d like to start this post off by announcing I literally was Pinterest searching (is that like the millenial version of Googling at this point?) “angsty prompts for writer’s block.” Thank God my 20th birthday was a few months ago otherwise we would have one real angsty teen* on our webspace, lol. (*we will get to this in a paragraph or so.)  I sometimes get into these writing blocks or ruts that, not all the time, but usually have a lot to corrleate with how my life is going at the time. Which, by the lack of blogging up in this webisphere you’re probably thinking that my life is probably in complete ruins. Honestly, not the case at all. I am insanely fortune to be where I am and surrounded by the friends that I am and to have my sweet dang crazy but loving family just a short 3 hours away. However, if there is one thing that my life does have in common with my words lately, I’d use “stuck” to sum it up quite accurately.

*back to that angsty teen concept I mentioned earlierI was literally stoked to turn 20 because my friends and I love to joke I was probably up there with the worst at being a “teen,” let alone an angsty one at that. Like, didn’t-have-a-curfew-because-I-literally-spent-my-Friday-and-Saturday-nights-at-high-school-speech-and-debate-tournaments-in-pantyhose-and-blazers kind of bad at angsty.

It seems like every Pinterest quote, women’s lifestyle magazine life improvement article, and self-help book known to man (or, woman)  that I have scrolled past throughout my teenage years has to do with “your 20’s.” The ever so glorified un-glorified decade that everyone speaks of changing your life. Old enough to make the right decisions, young enough to make the wrong ones. You have all the time in the world to learn and to work and to give everything to yourself. Yet the world still expects so much from you. Figuring it out when the world wants to figure out everything for you is a job I’ve learned is full time, and the time-off? Not paid. Like, “shoot do you have any cash my work stipend isnt in the bank yet and we just ordered a boujee ass pizza because we thought we could and our sanity needed it” kind of not paid.

I am someone who relies, probably a bit unhealthily, on knowing my next move in life and also having other people know who I am. Not in a famous popular and really cool everybody knows who I am, becuase uh, all three of my younger siblings will vouch for me in saying that is totally not the case. Instead, more that people know what I stand for, know who I am as a person, and could basically predict my life for me.  Every day there’s a “that’s such an Ally thing” comment thrown my way. Whether it be my casual Lilly thrown into my going out outfits or monogramming most things I own, it’s basically like a personal stereotype. However, I hit a point when I turned 20 when I realized that a lot of the things people relied on me to be, honestly didn’t hold true anymore, or at least that’s not what I wanted to be known for. Sure lilly pulitzer avocado leggings and color coded to a tea agendas are still and probably always will be my thing, but I didn’t want something so materalistic to be people’s first thought when my name came up. I began panicking that I had finally reached this age that I had always dreamed of, no longer a teen in any sense, and although only a few months in, I didn’t feel like I was doing or being what I had planned since idk, I turned 13 and realized how teenager so wasn’t my thing.

I started feeling honestly like a failure to myself. Things that used to be passions and dreams started having “buts” and fears in front of them. example:

cool fun ally: I am going to be a famous blogger and use my words and passions for good and have the best blogger life nothing can stop me because I am confident woo

current boring and scared ally: but money. but what if you don’t make it. but you’re literally an education major what are you doing. but what if someone is better.

I was ( and honestly have days where I still am ) FRUSTRATED over the fact that my “ideal” life that I had envisioned wasn’t coming to life the instant I wanted it to. I am not yet running my own brand, I for sure don’t have the savings I wish I did, I am weak and vulnerable about my insecurities, I am still a huge introvert and haven’t quite grasped the social life scene of college and am going on year 3, and still am unsure of what I REALLY wanna do with my life.

I still had this envision of who I wanted to be. She is cool, calm, collected, her closet resembles my Pinterest boards more than my current wardrobe, she is outgoing and never afraid of a challenge, and she probably also gets enough water in her system every day and who knows she probably wakes up at 5am to do yoga every day or something obnxoiously effortlessly perfect like that. She is this ideal woman that I like to think is of my own creation, but is truly something that the world around me tells me I need to be and takes away from what I naturally am.

I had always prided myself on being this true to myself and very independent and unique human bean, and it seemed like recently I hadn’t been really walkin my talk on that one. It seemed like I had been so consumed with making sure that I fit this “mold” I had created for myself, that I honestly started becoming less and less like who I am. Basically, I started taking the true to myself characteristics that I had become and convinced myself they weren’t good enough. If you’ve been reading over on this site for awhile you’re proabably thinking “dang Ally and her big fear of change.” lol, I’m right there shaking my head at myself with ya. Honestly, it has gotten to a point where I have started to get annoyed with myself and discouraged on a daily basis. The feeling  where it literally feels as if sometimes you’re being cosntantly bothered by another human 24/7 because you’ve taken on so many traits that aren’t your own while trying to be this person you’re not or who you think you “should be.”

I am writing this because I have zero doubt (or at least I am REALLY hopin) that I am not alone in this feeling. Yeah, the funks, the ruts, the no good feelings. Even the humans you think don’t have these, they do. They may not publicize them or oh Idk write about them on a literal piece of the internet, but they do. Of course it takes me forever to whip these posts up because 1: even for someone that loves to write, words are hard. and 2: knowing that there will be people that view anything I do, blog included, as attention seeking or not applicable to them. I’m not ignorant to the fact that people read my stuff, heck, I put it in my bio FOR people to read my stuff. But that being said, putting these words up there for everyone to change the world like this lil site was originally intended to includes not spending my time fooling all ya’ll that my life is perfect. Because ha, ya girl can’t even wear a white shirt without spilling on it in .5 seconds.

Sure, it those funks probably looks different for everyone. Honestly it looks different for me on a daily basis. Whatever it is and looks like for you, chances are you aren’t meant to be the person you’re putting forth so much energy to be. Being you shouldn’t take work. Being you is who you are when the best song in the world comes on in the car and being you is facetiming your little brother and being you is the you that talks to your dog and gets yourself up every morning. However, I do know that we aren’t all going through this just for the heck and fun of it. Because yeah, it sure as heck isn’t fun! Whatever it may be, there is something that is making you feel like who you are naturally isn’t good enough. For whatever reason, there’s somethin in your noggin telling you that this other person you’re trying to be is better than who you really are. Uh? dumb. Who you are when you tell you’re dog she is the goodest girl is the BEST version of you.

I realized lately that change doesn’t happen when you don’t like the person you’ve become. To quote Darling and one of my favorite online blogs (yeah, one of the one’s that terrifies me that I’m doing my 20’s wrong 3 months in) change happens when you love yourself enough to recognize that you desrve better than a life filled with insecurities.” and boy oh boy is that right. One of my biggest insecurities and something I always mistake as a flaw of mine is how i have SO. MANY. FEELINGS. (am I a Cancer, much?) Instead of apologizing for them like I usually do, I am learning to learn my feelings and who to best channel them towards and how to use those dang emotions for the best. Because truth is? That perfect yoga practicing woman I mentioned earlier? She doesn’t exist. But I do. With my many many many quirks (I believe these are what my siblings use to call me “weird” and “totally not cool”) and those insecurities and polka dotted rainboots and all. And hate to break it to ya but your cool yoga version of yourself doesn’t exist either. But you do. And that’s such a crazy beautiful thing.

I realize this is up there with the longer of my posts and to quote my alpha chi little “I love your blog but sometimes I stop halfway through becasue it’s really long.” Lol, ya girl has got a lot to say, espcially when she finally allows herself to be the kind of girl that gets to word vomit on this nerdy webiste without comparing herself or worrying it’s not where it needs to be. So, maybe I’m 3 months into 20 and am not where I thought I should be. But maybe im 3 months into 20 and am real pumped to spend some time re-getting to know myself. Imma end this with another Darling quote because I love them all too much and they said it better than this delusional typing human bean ever could:

Don’t let your ideal expectations rob you of your present joy—you are far too valuable, too lovely and absolutely irreplaceable for that. So, I dare you. Throw in the towel—break up with your ideal self and love the one you are. Because you’re the only you you’ve got.

Until next time, be you, love you, & change the world (but don’t freak out if you thought you were already supposed to do that by now 😉 ) 

xoxo, Ally

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mid-vacay update

Hey friends! Greetings from upstate NY!IMG_9693.JPG

I don’t have a real “topic” or anything for today’s post, but simply wanted to stop by and say hey and thank you for all the love + support that I got last week posting my first vlog! I had tons of fun filming it and can’t wait to put up some more for you all soon! I am in the works of finding a vlogging camera that is slightly more *high tec* than my iPhone, lol. Any and all recommendations are greatly appreciated!

Also wanted to hop on here to talk about what I am up to this week! My little brother is 12 years old and has a baseball tournament at the Dreams Park in Cooperstown, NY! They’re currently ranked 38th in the whole thing so fingers crossed for some good luck, real tournament play starts today! We got into Cooperstown on Saturday night after exploring even further upstate in Saratoga Springs with my friend from school at her house! It happened to be opening day at the races and so we dressed up and headed out to watch a few. Truly was so much fun and I’d love to go again in the future! We explored downtown Saratoga that night and hit up a Mexican place for din, wasn’t complaining at ALL about that one! The next morning we headed out to their lake house on Canada Lake which was beyond gorgeous. I will forever be a lake>beach girl and that little day trip completely confirmed why. I don’t think I’ll ever get over the skylines of mountains of trees while out on the water.

My cousin Sammy gets here Friday and we will be off to NYC then! I am BEYOND excited and would love love love any recommendations of food places to xoxoallisonnicole@gmail.com ! Also, as always, you’re more than welcome to hit up my email to chat or discuss anything and everything!

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

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