Today marks 5 years of me having this little slice of web to share with you all. What seems like 3 weeks but was really 5 years ago- I was a junior in high school. I was a few months into 16 years old and equally as busy as I am now, but with far different activities. I was already preparing for college and was eager to get out into the world and see what it all had to offer me. Always being a little mature for my age (which I’m a firm believer comes from being an oldest child), I have looked forward to my twenties since becoming a teenager. Something about the age just seemed overall very sophisticated and full of adventure.

Well here I am. Five years later and a few months into 21 and I like to think 16-year-old Ally would be pleasantly surprised at how this quick glimpse into her twenties have gone thus far. Not sure if we’d count the takeout pizza for dinner and bawling at Toy Story 4 that I did last night “sophisticated”, but I’ll take what I can get 😉 I have experienced a lot over the past year and few months and I think It just hit me a few days ago what I *really* want my twenties to be about. If I could focus on ONE aspect, It would be little joys.

My favorite posts to go back and read over the years are the ones I wrote on happiness. Now I’m still not sure why I thought I had the credentials to be talking about such a big topic at that age, but boy did I sure know what I was saying. Five years ago taking time to focus on happy things was such a priority to me and is something I feel like I have unfortunately lacked the past few years when I let everything else life throws at me get in the way. So starting today and from now on, I want to start myself, and to challenge you as well – to focus on those little joys in your life.

I put together a small list, just ten things, that bring me happiness and pure joy at this point in my life. Not only is It an amazing thing to reflect and use gratitude, but I am excited to try to do this every week and to look back on my weeks and what brought me joy. #TenLittleJoys

Leave a comment below with one of your #TenLittleJoys !!! I’d love to see what is bringing you happiness this time of year! Until next time!

xoxo, Ally

Summer Recap in Photos

Judging from the fact I had to literally RElogin to WordPress to type this and my last Instagram over on @xoxoallisonnicole was close to over 3 months ago, it’s no surprise I had a busy summer to say the least. I wanted to round up a few photos from this summer that gave you an idea of what I was up to , because although I was absent, I was still having a blast and a half in real life!

Another little tidbit I wanted to throw in here that I seem to mention often whenever I take a little writing hiatus, but still can’t seem to kick, is how much blogging has evolved since I first started this site back in literally 2014 (what.) Fran sums it up real well in this post that I’ll just let you read for yourself. She’s right in the sense that Instagram had BARELY come out when I first started this. People were using the PRESET FILTERS ON INSTAGRAM if that tells you how dated this hobby of mine is, lol. I started this space as a way for me to have fun and whenever I think too much about it is when I am at a loss for what to write. I really hope to get back into the habit of writing what I want and what makes me happy and hoping you all share some interest in it! However, I am ALWAYS up for suggestions on things you want to see, snippets of my life you want to hear about, or more. Feel free to comment those down below, shoot me an email, slide into my Instagram DM’s, or all of the above, ha!

Let’s get onto my summer…

May was super bittersweet hanging with my friends while living my last month in my sorority house. Easily my favorite living spot over all my years of college and I miss it already. Sunset watching was on our bucket list, and see above, accomplished.

After school ended I headed home for the remainder of May and went on FAR too many Coneflower ice cream runs with my siblings.

I moved into my senior house in Lawrence early June. My dad and I designed made my bed together and I LOVE how it turned out. I’m still working on finishing touches of the room, but will for sure post a tour if that’s something you’re interested in!

My 21st birthday!!! I headed to Omaha for the actual day. We celebrated with dinner at my favorite seafood spot in Omaha, drinks at the restaurant I’ve worked at on breaks home through college, and of course the prettiest pink cake ended the night.

Random, but I had been eying these multicolor manis on Instagram for months and on my birthday FINALLY caved and just did it. I went the safe route with all pink tones (naturally) but still loved the look and got so many compliments. If you’re even thinking about it, do it!

Spent plenty of nights out and about with friends exploring my little town.

Went to Union Pier, MI with my entire extended family for my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary! The trip was to die for and I wish I could go back every day. We spent most days just in the backyard lounging in the pool drinking until bloody marys turned to margaritas. We would nap until feasting for dinner and spending nights playing games like music bingo, karaoke, a murder mystery party, and even a casino night hosted by my family

Little bro and dad came to visit!! Love any excuse to see any of my siblings.

This just in: new level of tired = first full week of student teaching AND sorority recruitment. Not quite positive how I survived, but hey I’m breathing. I love my exec team and we absolutely killed the LARGEST recruitment KU has ever seen!

Ended with my very last bid day 😦 “the sweet life” at Alpha Chi was, well, bittersweet. I am so not ready for all the lasts senior year has to bring but am loving soaking up any time I have with my friends.

That’s all for now! Hope you enjoyed my summer recap! What’s the best thing you did this summer?

Until next time, xoxo, Ally

Friday links 6/14/19

It’s been a HOT minute since I’ve done a set of “links I am loving” on this site. They honestly have always been one of my favorite posts that bloggers write and were one of the reasons I really wanted to start a blog! I may not have the creative juices or energy to produce content every living minute, or week with my past semester schedule, but I can more than happily share what I have been loving browsing at via others!

{one} The most fun and flirty LWD for all your summer needs.

{two} Just maybe the sweetest music video of all time by Us The Duo. Their baby girl is absolutely precious and this song is one of my all time favorites, so hearing their rendition is just perfect.

{three} I have loved Outdoor Voices for awhile now and own two pairs of their leggings that QUICKLY took over the spot of favorite in my closet. This pair of color block ones may be next on my list. If you haven’t tried out OV yet I highly recommend. Their leggings, in my opinion, are far more breathable, durable, and better fitting than any others I’ve ever owned…even beating out my previous favorite ‘wunder unders’ from Lululemon which is saying a lot!

{four} This post by Cupcakes & Cashmere had me adding far too many things to my mental cart. 10 things worth buying that will change your life…? Okay, fine, sold!

{five} I’ve been TRYING to get into meditation for, I don’t know, years. It’s all the rage for mental health right now and with my mind going a million miles a minute just about 24/7, I probably should try a bit harder. However, no matter what I do…it’s just NEVER something I am able to find myself loving! I have tried everything from the well rated Headspace app to aromatherapy to literally forcing myself to sit in quiet…I am still on the search for tips so leave a comment below if you have any! Until then, this article from The Everygirl on meditation for skeptics is my help.

That’s all for this week! Tune in next for more things I have been loving!
xoxo , Ally