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Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Season Of Giving

Often times we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, that it becomes more of a season of frustration than a season of thankfulness. We are so consumed by making sure we get the perfect presents, or the perfect party outfits, or the perfect decorations that we forget what the season is truly about. I know I for one am guilty of this. I decided to take a step back for a few minutes and just reflect on how blessed I truly am. I have a roof over my head, food on my table, family that loves me, and I'm able to further my education. We often times forget that others are not as fortunate as we are.

Many people have heard of adopting an Angel from the Angel tree, and my church has done something similar these past few years. Every Christmas season, my church partners up with the local elementary school to get a list of families in need. These families then provide a list of things they need, and the kids get to make a list of things they want for Christmas. These items are then separated out on cards so that people can help out as much as they can, instead of not getting a card because they cannot afford to get as much as others. On the cards are things listed like toys that the kids want, but also clothing sizes, undergarment sizes, and even basic needs like cleaning supplies and toilet paper. Going through these cards was a very humbling experience, because I was able to see what true need was. It broke my heart to see that families were asking for cleaning supplies for Christmas, and that some children didn't even want toys, but asked for shoes and clothes instead. This year I decided that since I was blessed with a great job that I would provide for a child this year. I started looking through the different cards hanging on the trees, and found two cards that I knew I had to get. An eleven year old girl asked for notebooks and art supplies. Being somewhat creative, this was right up my ally and I wanted to be able to provide a creative outlet for someone else. I got a notebook and canvas from Michael's and paint, paintbrushes, pencils, and a painting set from Wal-Mart. All in all it cost me no more than $20, but I know it will bring so much joy to a sweet little girl's face on Christmas.
I love getting people gifts, and I love seeing the look on their faces when they receive it. But it means so much more when I 'm spending my money to know that a family less fortunate than I will be able to provide for their children on Christmas. I encourage everyone to step back, no matter how "broke" you think you are, and realize how blessed you really are. Then donate, whether it be adopting from the Angel Tree or just putting some change in the Salvation Army bucket at the mall.

Friday, November 28, 2014


I know I'm technically a day late on the thankful post, but a busy day yesterday spent with family meant I had no time to write. Yesterday I was able to reflect on quite a few things that I am truly thankful for. This semester I have been dealing with some health issues, and after many, many, many doctors appointments and tests, we finally came to the conclusion that my gallbladder is the problem. I have surgery scheduled to have it removed over Christmas break. I am thankful that this should hopefully be a fast and easy fix to my health issues. Over the course of all my doctors visits and tests, I had a HIDAscan, which tests how well your gallbladder functions by injecting a radioactive substance, or tracer, into your arm. During this test I was able to tour around the department that housed all of the radioactive testing. It was such an awesome experience and only reinforced the fact that I want to have a career in nuclear pharmacy.

I'm thankful for my awesome readers and blogger friends, and all the opportunities that my blog has given me. Thanks y'all for all of the support!

I'm also thankful for:

  • living in the greatest country on Earth
  • my family
  • my friends that have become my family
  • my sweet church family
  • Fall weather
  • warm coffee on cool mornings
  • sparkles
  • the color blue
  • getting to meet new people
  • monograms
  • people that tolerate my monogram obsession
  • big t-shirts and leggings
  • no dress code in college
  • snail mail
  • pizza
What are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

How To Survive Finals

Finals time is upon finally upon us. *Insert collective groan from entire student population.* Every semester we know that finals will inevitably be here before we know it, but somehow we never seem to be prepared. In honor of finals coming up, here are a few tips to help you survive!

Music is a huge part of studying for me. Personally I listen to film scores because they don't have distracting lyrics, but it also doesn't put me to sleep like classical music does. A great way to hear a bunch of awesome film scores is to listen to the Harry Potter film score radio on Pandora. Another station a lot of people like is the Hans Zimmer radio. No matter what I kind of music you like, I would definitely recommend something without lyrics or anything super distracting for intense studying!

Caffeinate and Snackinate
I totally made those words up, but don't forget to keep your body fueled! Of course coffee is the natural go-to (because caffeine, duh!), but don't forget to drink plenty of water as well! (I like to drink 2 bottles of water for every cup of coffee) and eat plenty of snacks, but don't forget to eat real meals as well!

Plan Plan Plan!
When it comes to finals time, planning is key! Plan out your study times and when you are going to study for each class. First, make sure you write down when and where every single one of your finals is. As well as writing everything in my planner, I also printed out a calendar to hang on my wall above my desk so I have it readily available. I like to plan to study an hour then take a ten or twenty minute break (to read My Life As Hayden, duh!). Make sure when you are studying to be completely off of social media! I've found that putting my phone across the room (on silent or vibrate) is the best way to not get distracted! Don't forget to study plenty in advance (aka NOT the night before!) your final!

Write in all of your due dates and finals so it's easily accessible!
Make Your Space
Whether you're working at your own desk or at the library, a clear work area is a must! Not only does it help keep you from being distracted, but it helps you feel more productive as well. I like to spread out all of my notes and other study materials because it helps me feel less cluttered (and ultimately more productive) and I like to be able to see everything at once. Make sure you have everything you need (pens, notes, computer, flash cards, post-it notes, etc.) before you start studying so you aren't constantly interrupting your study time.

Learn How To Study
Figure out how you study best and utilize it! For me, color coding and flash cards help me best. Flash cards are my go to study tool (try Quizlet if you are in a pinch and want to use online flashcards), but if I can't do flash cards, I love to rewrite my notes and color code them. There are some awesome study tips on Pinterest that I would definitely utilize!

Study Comfy
I am a huge believer in oversized tshirts and leggings. If I'm going to hunker down for some intense studying, I want to be as comfortable as possible. Please, avoid wearing your onesie to the library at all cost, but make sure you're not dying because you're in "real pants"!

The Day Of…
Dress for success! On the days I have tests I love to dress up (aka wear real pants and not a tshirt) because it makes me feel like I have my crap together. There's nothing like walking into an 8 am exam looking -and feeling- super confident even though you stayed up until 3 the night before studying. "Dressing up" always puts me in a "YOU GO GLEN COCO" state of mind, which I think results in better test results!
When it comes to studying the day of the test, don't. Yes, you heard me right! In my first semester of college, my calculus professor told us "Cram, cram, cram the night before if you need to, but on the day of the test, take it easy. I wouldn't even open the book!" Now while I don't intensely study the day of an exam if I can help it, I do review the test material. Usually I'll make flashcards or an outline of important topics and quiz myself. In doing this, you are calmly going over the test material without the added stress of cramming the day of. Just relax, and you'll be in a better frame of mind for taking the test!

Stay hydrated in the cutest way possible…with a Future First Lady koozie!
Don't forget to reward yourself after studying, either! Head over to Future First Lady and get 10% off your purchase with the code HaydenL. Finals only come once a semester, it's totally ok to treat yourself with some retail therapy ;)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How To Survive A Group Project With BAND

Group projects are the bane of every student's existence. There's nothing worse than trying to communicate with a group of people to get together to do an awful project worth a good chunk of your grade. Group texts don't always get delivered to everyone, GroupMe chats are way too hard to follow, and Facebook is a huge hassle.

That's were this awesome app comes in. BAND is the best way to communicate with just 2 or even 1,000 people. It gives you the best of all the social media worlds with things like a post feed, group chat, calendar, polls, and even file sharing.

It's super easy to invite everyone that you need to!
With the calendar option, there is no more miscommunication about meeting times and locations! You can even add an RSVP option so you know who all will be there!

Instead of arguing over which kind of pizza to get, you can add a poll option and let everyone vote. No more "I don't care, whatever you want" answers! The polling function can also be useful for determining things like topics for your group project.

Because pizza makes even group projects better!
You can share pictures and load them into individual albums, and you can also share files! Sharing files through BAND is way easier than trying to email everyone files, and BAND even has a desktop site for easier access to these files!

If you need to chat with your group, utilize the group chat feature! It's great for when everyone needs to communicate all at once!

BAND isn't just for group projects, either! I have a BAND with a group of friends that meets every MWF for breakfast, and it's been a great way to communicate (aka send screenshots of each others funny snapchats, plan our "Monday's Suck" pizza parties, and share Buzzfeed quizzes.)

So go download BAND right now (band.us) and tell all your friends about it to save the lives of group projects everywhere. You'll be everyone's favorite group member. #beyoncestatus

Let me know what you thought about BAND and how you survive group projects! Use #bandtogether and share the love on social media!

*This is a sponsored post and all opinions are 100% my own, but I'm sure Beyonce would agree with me, too. *does hair flip*

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How To Survive Your Dorm Room: Bathroom Part 2

You've probably seen all of my dorm organization posts here, but now that I'm in my second year of living in a dorm, I wanted to share a few more tricks that I've learned. Today, I'm going to share some bathroom organization tips. Sharing a bathroom isn't always the easiest thing, but my roommate and I have learned the best ways to making it work!

You've probably seen my post about these awesome cubbies here, but I wanted to sure them again because, well, they're awesome! I use the top cubby to hold my towels, washcloths, and hand towels. I got a bin (monogrammed, of course) to put in the bottom cubby to hold things like my straightener, blow dryer, curling iron, and other hair and makeup products that I don't use that often. My roommate uses shelf inserts and smaller cubby inserts in her cubby to store her things. On top of my cubbies, I put my make-up bag and a bin with things like lotion, hairspray, etc.

I hate having a mess on my vanity, so I got these Mason jars from Dollar Tree to organize my countertop. One holds my makeup brushes, one holds my hair ties and bobby pins, and one holds my lipsticks! (Tip: Put all of your bobby pins in an empty TicTac box! It makes life so much easier!)

On the other side of my sink, I got a toothbrush holder from Wal-Mart because I was NOT going to use the toothbrush holder attached to the wall (germaphobe probs…). I also got a small bin (from Dollar Tree) to keep things like my toothpaste, floss, deodorant, and vitamins from being strewn all over my counter. 

I also added a Command Hook to the wall to hang a hand towel from (it's monogrammed in case you were wondering (; )

Just so my bathroom isn't so plain Jane, I added a few accessories like the picture frame on my counter, a canvas above my hand towel, and a super cute owl from Hobby Lobby on the opposite wall. I also added a blue rug in front of my sink for comfort and cuteness! I also suggest getting a Glade Plug-In (or something similar) to keep your bathroom smelling fresh. I currently have in a pumpkin spice flavor to put me in a good, fall mood every morning!

How do you organize and decorate your bathroom?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

DIY Lilly Invitation

Recently I was asked to make a baby shower invitation for a family friend that is expecting a little girl. I've made things on the computer in the past (like my own thank you cards, computer backgrounds, and another baby shower invitation), but this one is really special! I've developed a different style since I started creating things, and I'm so proud of how this one turned out! The parents wanted something classic, but that would match her nursery colors (Lilly's First Impression was the obvious choice), and they also wanted to incorporate her monogram (because, duh! *insert hair flip emoji*). Adding the Bible verse at the bottom made it even more special because Kinley has been prayed about for so long! I made all of it on Word Publisher, then had them printed out on a creme shimmer paper at Office Depot! Making something like this is great because it's totally personalized, and only costs to have it printed! Have any questions about it? Email me!

Doesn't she just have the sweetest little name?! I can't wait to meet this precious baby girl!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Best Days of The Year: GAME DAYS!

Gamedays are my favorite days, and here in Alabama we take our game days very seriously! This past week was my school's homecoming so there were a lot of festivities! We had a banner competition, dance and skit competition, Tailgate for Troops (a cooking competition), float competition and lots of other activities. And of course we had game day! I love getting dressed up for tailgates and games, and since it felt like it was 110 degrees outside, I still got to wear a cute dress! Here are some pictures from this homecoming week!
Our awesome banner committee

Pep Rally fun!!

Homecoming parade with my little!

I'm so obsessed with our Lilly letters that my sisters hand painted!!

And how PERFECT is our tent banner!!

I love dressing up for games, and this was probably the most comfortable dress I've worn yet! It's a super lightweight dress I got at Target. I ended up changing into Chacos (don't judge me) for the game so my feet wouldn't be killing me all day. Want some more game day outfit ideas?! Check out this awesome link up I'm participating in with Classy South Blog & Loulla Reese! 

Here are some of my other favorite game day outfits:

What's your favorite thing to wear on game day?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Desk Inspiration

I pride myself on having such a cute dorm room, and for the most part I do. But, my desk needs a little help. Right now it just collects junk and clutter and doesn't look cute at all! I've been trying to find inspiration for making my desk cute but also functional…so I took to scouring Pinterest! Here are some of my favorite desks/office spaces that I have found.

The first desk that I am in LOVE with is this one from The Monogrammed Life blog. I love the monogram (duh!) and the pink and gold theme!

 I love the way Shop. Teach. Georgia Peach. utilizes her storage. The cute tote bins make having stuff organized look too cute!

 I love I Believe In Pink's gold and pink theme. The way that she displayers her pictures are cute, too!

The Christmas lights above this desk from Bowtiful Life is probably my favorite thing! I love that she has her own artwork up, too!

Obviously my desk areas need a little work, so I'll be scouring Pinterest soon for more ideas! Check back to see the final results! What are you favorite ways to personalize your desk?

P.S. I've added something new to my sidebar! It's a link to some things I think y'all will love! Click on the links under Check Out These Items to see them!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bringing Outdoors In… How To Eno In Your Dorm Room

So as y'all might know, my birthday was last month! My sweet, sweet brother got me an ENO since I've been wanting one for a while now! If you don't know what an ENO is, it is a hammock that you can hang up practically anywhere!! I have the single-nest hammock with the Atlas straps! I absolutely love it!!

Lately, there's been rainy weather at school so I haven't been able to take my ENO out *insert sad face*! But, I had this super awesome idea! I decided to try to hang my ENO up in my dorm room! *Spoiler alert* IT WORKED!

I'm a burr{eno}

I wrapped the Atlas straps around my hall door and my closet door and pulled them tight. I shut the doors and tugged on the to make sure they wouldn't come loose, then I attached my ENO! It actually held up, and I even took an awesome nap in it! (Priorities, people!!)

Where do you like to take your ENO? Have you tried hanging it indoors?! I'd love to hear about it!

PS. A huge CONGRATS to Amanda Cross for winning my giveaway! Thank you so much to everyone who entered!!

Friday, September 26, 2014


This week has been a crazy, hectic, "I'm losing my mind" kind of week. That being said, I don't have one of my "normal" blog posts to post, so this is more of a post about some cool things I thought I would share.

1. HerCampus is giving away a $500 Lilly Pulitzer shopping spree! That's right, two of my favorite things (HC & Lilly) have teamed up to make sure summer never ends. Find details about this and other awesome giveaways here!

2. Remember my fabulous Custom Lilly shorts featured here? Well get excited, because now you can get 10% off of your first purchase by using this link!

3. Alex and Ani is on RueLaLa right now! You may have seen my post about wanting an Alex and Ani bracelet not too long ago, and I'm so excited that it's on RueLaLa! If you want to join RueLaLa and get awesome deals on crazy cute stuff, click here!

4. Last but not least, I'd love to hear some ideas on new posts! And if anyone is an up and coming graphic designer or knows anyone who designs webpages, I'd love to speak with you!

Don't forget to enter to win a SABRE alarm system here!