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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FIRST EVER VLOG

I have been putting this off for oh I don’t know, literally forever. But I FINALLY got around to vlogging and had an absolute BLAST with the editing process so expect more to come!!!! I plan on vlogging my New York trip which will include a lot more fun content than me in my car. But, you all asked, so you shall receive: a week in the life with me!

Make sure to subscribe to my channel and like / leave a comment on this blog post or the video if you liked it!

Until next time! xoxo, Ally

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Mid-Summer Catchup

Hey Friends! Back again after what has seemed like a never-ending week. I have been working all four (yes, I’m aware I’m slightly psychotic in terms of being busy) jobs non-stop this week and when I find time to breathe I’ve been busy cleaning my room before I leave for vacation or trying to run when I can. I may be the weirdest for this, but running outside in the extreme heat is like crazy therapeutic for me. From the few friends I’ve shared this with, I’m for sure crazy, but it feels so much more beneficial and well, sweaty than just a regular run around the block! ANYWAYS, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve been up to lately!

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Farmer’s market runs with my bean Brenna! & flowers in general! I’m convinced it’s from growing up a dancer and being pretty used to the frequent post-recital flowers, but I am the BIGGEST flower lover and will buy them over my daily coffee any day. Having fresh ones in my room is so nice and I think my roomie Brooke and I are going to try to make having them in our room constantly a goal this year!
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Speaking of farmer’s market finds, macrons! This was a dark chocolate one that I think I fell in love with. I’m a frequent fan of Trader Joe’s macrons as well, but am always open to new suggestions. DYING to learn to make them one day, as tricky as it sounds!

IMG_9261.PNGMy friends from school and I hit the lake the week of the 4th and spent a night watching storms and giggling over the Instagram explore page. Speaking of the 4th, my cousins and I had our annual get together and my bestie cousin Sammy and I were water balloon toss parters per usual. Don’t think we’ve ever actually won, but ask us who wins and we will always claim we’re the reigning champs 😉 Sammy is coming to NYC with me too and I’m beyond stoked!

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Next week is my last week at my summer internship 😦 We had a cute little breakfast farewell for me today and it was the sweetest! Definitely going to miss all my “work friends” and all the picture taking and spreadsheet typing I spend my time doing!

That’s all for now! Have a great rest of your Friday!

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

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xo summer playlist

I wish there was a “Manic Monday” song for Friday’s, because I need that right about now, ha. I’ve had a nasty mix of allergies and a cough that has been keeping up at night and my bed was THE most comfortable thing this morning. Nevertheless, I am at work and emailing away! I’ve been meaning to get this post up for awhile, apologies for my
“summer” playlist going up halfway through summer (over halfway for myself but I’m pretending not to think about that haha!) I’ve compiled a few songs I have been loving & my sisters and I have been driving to! Something about summer makes me that annoying girl that likes country music & yes I never say that out loud but…oh well, oops.

Enjoy!! I’ll be enjoying (???) the 101 degree temps today in Omaha…ugh! love to hate the heat! haha until next time pals, xoxo, Ally

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Friday Finds 6/22/18

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{one} TGIF!!! This week has been crazy busy (but when are they not?!) and I am FAR more than ready for a relaxing pre-birthday weekend! My birthday is Monday the 25th and I am stoked to use it as an excuse to eat ice cream for every meal (as if I haven’t done this already on a regular day, lol.)

{two} I wish it was summer year-round solely so I could wear delicate white tops/dresses whenever I would like. This one is no exception! For under $40 I may or may not be adding this to my wishlist…or cart…same thing right?

{three} It’s been cloudy and rainy here all week which, naturally, makes me think I  *N E E D* these. Another pair of rainboots? Duh. One’s with dogs under umbrellas? Uh, heck yeah.

{four} If there is one thing I am dead seriously the WORST at walking away from, it’s statement earrings. Target is my worst enemy, along with the Nordstrom website. Kate did a post with 32 of her favorites and I am using every ounce of self-control I have not to buy them all. Especially this beaded pair and these gorgeous cream ones!

{five} So I am DYING to hit up the DryBar while I am in NYC in late July. & by dying I mean i NEED to or I may throw a times square tantrum. This video didn’t help how badly I need to go!!!

{six} You betcha I was that middle schooler that was in LOVE with Abercrombie back in the day, and lowkey have never gotten over that phase. Their EVERYTHING is so soft and such good quality and their styles have been impressing me like crazy lately! Their dresses specifically. Here are a few I love: tie-shoulder , embroidered smock , and this darling satin slip dress! Those white and blue flowers!!!!

{seven} I know that social media is highly excessive and energy draining with how much work is invoved in a good post lately…but if you’re like me and neverfailing to give into the hype. This Everygirl article on Insta Stories is SUCH a best kept secret.

{eight} Did you see my post earlier this week on staying un-stressed?! I’ve gotten an awesome response rate and am SO glad I am not the only one feeling this way in the summer!!!

{nine} Once again, I REALLY want to get into vlogging and get some video content up on the blog…but my days seem, well, boring. I’m either in my cubicle or babysitting kiddos all day. The kids are hilarious all on their own and I’m sure would be very entertaining…but aren’t really up to vlogging, or staying still for more than 5 seconds for that matter, ha! However, I have been doing lots of intern updates on my insta, so make sure to follow over at @xoxoallisonnicole ! Debating on doing a little birthday weekend video though! Stay updated for content on that! Would you guys like to see college videos?! Leave a comment and let me know!!!

{ten} MOOD!

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

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Staying Sane This Summer

If there comes a time where I don’t start a blog post talking about how I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in forever because of how busy I am…honestly although that’s the goal, I think we should all be a little worried. I thrive off of staying occupied and involved 24/7 and this summer is no exception! I am having a blast and a half at my digital marketing and advancement internship at my high school this summer, getting my own cubicle, camera, and Instagram login (the whole 9 yards and I am totally geeking out, lol.)  In addition to that, I am nannying here and there, an!d working at my restaurant job during nights and weekends. Oh, and keeping up with all Panhellenic needs via email 24/7. Needless to say, I am also finding time to sleep and eat somewhere in there!!! I’ve quickly developed a few habits that are allowing me to get everything I need to do while still not losing my mind! Although, that admittedly has happened a few times due to an unexpected dead camera battery or a 2-year old that is so overdue for a nap!

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LEAVE  WORK AT WORK!!!! With two of my jobs being highly social media and online communication based, this one can sometimes be tough. However, I have come to realize that minus a few small tasks here and there, there really is nothing that was assigned Friday at 10pm that can’t wait until Monday morning at 8am when I return to my cubicle to accomplish. Learning to let go of my to-do list can be hard when in the digital age we live in, things can be requested of you at a moment’s notice via text and I can get notified that I need to edit something at 6pm on a Saturday night, but it’s wild how the world keeps spinning if instead, I stick to my weekend plans if the task means going out of my way to go back into a “work” mindset. I’ve learned I get so much more done during the workday if I know that’s the only time I am allowing myself to do so! This habit works best if you make sure you inform those you work with that this is your schedule as well. Most people are happy to respect it, as long as you make them aware it’s still on your to-do list and you are hearing their request!

Morning “Fuel Up”!!!! I used to be a HUGE morning person in high school. Like, up a good hour before I needed to leave for morning dance team practice, full hot breakfast cooked, coffee drank and lunch packed all before 6am kind of morning person. No clue what college did to my body or mindset but needless to say, this is for sure not still the case. Mornings are quite the struggle for me, but going through a work week that involves me being up and ready to function before 8am means finding solutions to that. Drinking water BEFORE my coffee is a huge one that I have been in the habit of for years now, but recently I have switched from the water from my refrigerator to room temp water. Sounds silly, but I heard it somewhere and decided to give it a try! When your water isn’t freezing cold, as refreshing as it can be on summer days like this, waking it up with room temp water allows it to absorb quickly into your body and fuel you up faster!

Plot Your Time For EVERYTHING!!!! Keeping this one short and sweet: if you want to do it. put it on your calendar. give it a time slot. whether it’s a nap. a shower. your workday. plan. plan. plan.

Figure Out What Works!!!!! Do you work well under high management or high freedom? Do you prefer requests texted or emailed to you? Do you work best all at once or with breaks? Find out what works best for YOU and make sure those around you are aware as well! The best way to get things done is to get them done YOUR way!

Learn Something New / Keep Up!!! I will go in spurts of being really on top of this and then die down when I get super busy. It’s SO important to keep updated on news not only within your field or specialty but with the world as well! My favorite way to quickly do so is using The Skimm email subscription! The news is delivered to me in a fun and quite often, funny, way every morning so I never feel out of the loop! Another way I love to keep myself learning is through things like blogging or my internship! I am constantly having to use new programs, applications, and adjusting to new processes. Google and YouTube may be my best friends, but nothing feels better than finally getting an HTML code to work or finding that crop button on InDesign you had to spend 20 minutes searching for. (Guilty.) Keeping yourself open to learning new things and not saying no to a project just because you don’t understand quite how to accomplish it can leave you feeling in a creative rut! Plus, I’m a week away from 20 and it’s never too early to start keeping my brain young…right? 😉

Have Fun!!!!! Cheesy, I know, but true! Whether it’s an internship or a day job or a babysitting gig, having fun makes time fly by! Make sure to take some time to laugh throughout the day. This may involve a quick call or text to your funny friend because let me tell you, I’ve learned this summer that there is absolutely nothing funny about Excel spreadsheets!

Hope whatever your summer stress is caused from that this may help you stay sane! Until next time! xoxo, Ally

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Stripes + Pompoms, nothing new

Admittedly, this isn’t the first time the blog has seen a blue and white striped and ruffled combo and chances are it won’t be the last. I couldn’t NOT post it, however, considering absolutely ANYTHING blue&white is in my summer rotation and this piece is no exception.

Being a nurse, my mom had to work on mother’s day but my sister and I decided to drop off her favorite (& my favorite, & everyone’s favorite) salad for lunch for her! Which meant we obviously needed to get brunch ourselves beforehand, obviously. Same situation and excuse as the night before when an assigned trip to Target to get some family-needed groceries turned into me buying into their jewelry sale. How was I supposed to pass up pom-poms?! Not to mention pink ones!!!

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I’d be lying if I said my sister didn’t see the necklace in my hand and automatically say, “of course you picked that out.” I am deciding to translate that to, “you have such great taste!”

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I’ve also been OBSESSED with my shoes from Target. Purchased as a last minute Easter dress accessory, they’ve transitioned into a staple piece that has been paired with literally everything I’ve been wearing! Easy to do when they’re so cute and soooo comfy!

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shoes // jeans

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

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April loves

Okay so it’s 8 days into May and this is just getting up…like my brain currently and my life considering I leave KU tomorrow and my packing has consisted of not doing my laundry for a good few weeks now…everything has been a liiiiiittle chaotic lately. Welcome to April / May in college life. I still have been loving far too many things to not get this up though, so better late than never right?! (my life motto honestly, fashionably late are probably the two best words to describe me…always!)

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Eating // Croissants. Oh. Boy. Like, tons of them. They’ve always been a favorite treat of mine but lately, I have had literally multiple a week and have actually started to get somewhat picky about them and their quality. Diva? Maybe. Worth it? Absolutely.

Listening to // Mean Girls is on Broadway now and ever since friends and I did it as a speech my senior year (yes I do have every one of Cady Heron’s lines memorized) I have had such a bigger appreciation for it. I am already on the hunt for tickets for when I go to NYC this summer but the few songs that are already out…SO. GOOD.

Reading // The Every Girl, as always. Seriously my go-to for when I am stressed out and need a non brain busting thing to read but still want to stimulate myself. This article is basically what everyone screams at me 24/7 and now that it’s in online writing maybe I’ll even be convinced to listen…maybe?

Sippin // Arnold Palmer season is back in my mind and therefore my green tea lemonade spin on it from Starbucks is as well. My all-time favorite and I am not sure anything will ever top it!

Wearing // always. always. always. the most classic!

Day Dreaming // How E X C I T E D I am for my big girl internship this summer! Basically, this is like the coolest thing to happen to me since meeting Hoodie Allen so, be prepared for lots of little exciting updates. Already planning my outfits. Okay, maybe I’ve been planning those for a while! Lol, who is surprised.

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

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