My Summer Pampering Routine | Testing New Beauty Products

Self-care is one of my favorite things to do. I love indulging in a bubble bath with my favorite face mask on. I decided to pick up some new products to experiment with.


Depending on my schedule, I do this routine 1-2 times a week:


Haircare.

I'm always switching up my shampoos and conditioners. Lately, I've been using The Pro-V 3 Minute Miracle Smooth & Sleek Daily Conditioner by Pantene. (I'm also a huge fan of their rescue shots!)

Body.

I usually let my body soak for 10-15 minutes and then proceed with my shower routine. Step 1: Exfoliate! My summer go-to is the Exfoliating Body Polish Kiwi Seeds & Cool Aloe by Dove. After a day out in the sun, this product nourishes my skin while it removes dead cells.

Step 2: Shave! Way back when, Bath & Body Works released their Active Skincare line. Needless to say, I was a huge fan. I stocked up on 5 bottles of their Shave + Shower 2-1 Body Oil Cleanser. The formula allows me to get a super close shave.

Meditation.

Being a psychology major, I know the importance of practicing mindfulness. I like to practice mindfulness in the bath tub-- it's so peaceful! I really like the Meditation Minis Podcast on Spotify.



Hair.

I picked up a bunch of new haircare products. However, today, I was feeling an oil treatment. This leaves my hair feeing super smooth and looking shiny as ever.

Face.

All of my favorite products are being discontinued-- including my favorite Peter Thomas Roth Cleanser. I like to start off my skincare routine with a foam cleanser to remove any makeup or sweat. Then, I follow up with a gentle exfoliator. (My skin is pretty sensitive!) I've been using the St. Ives Acne Control Apricot Face Scrub. Pro-tip: add water to any scrub to decrease the intensity. Now, it's time for a mask! I choose a mask according to my skin needs.

I also like to exfoliate my lips and apply an oil-based product to them. Mmm! And, I can't forget about my eyes! I usually have a sample of eye cream lying around somewhere. I recently got a sample from Sephora I tried out the other day. I'm a big fan! Oh-- and, I almost forgot! My eyebrows! I simply trim them and tweeze any stray hairs. I learned early on in my teenage years that eyebrows can make or break you.

Body.

I am a huge fan of using aloe based products during the summer. I love this lotion from Vaseline.



I usually lay around in my robe for a good 1-2 hours before getting dressed. It's so soft! I like to watch reality TV on Hulu (Married At First Sight-- yes, please)! I also like watching movies on Netflix. Anything by Disney has got my name on it.


What does you summer pampering routine look like? Comment below!


Tips + Tricks To Save Money In College

I have one more semester of college to go through-- I’ve seen the tuition bill on more than one occasion. Room and board, meal plans, textbooks, etc.; it adds up fast. Let’s talk about how to save: using apps, applying for scholarships, and more!



I am a huge fan of apps. They’re easy to download and convenient. These apps have helped me save hundreds of dollars. I know what you’re thinking: yes, hundreds!


I’ve been using Shopkick since I was in high school. This app gives you points when you walk into participating stores and scan promoted items. You can then redeem giftcards with the points you’ve earned. Shopkick offers a variety of gift cards from Barnes and Noble to Target to T.J. Maxx. I’m a huge fan! (I actually just cashed in my points for a $10 Marshall’s gift card. #TreatYoSelf)

Download here + use code KIND983263 for bonus kicks when you sign up!


I recently discovered Pocket Points on Pinterest. Pocket Points is an app that rewards students for staying off their phone during class and study sessions. You can cash in the points for free Redbox Rentals and discounts at some of your favorite retailers.


Who doesn’t love Target? Target has an app that allows users to scan items before purchasing to see if there are any coupons and/or deals. My favorite razor refills were $4 off the other day! 

If you’re an avid Target goer, like myself, consider opening up a Target debit card. There’s no fees or weird rules… just 5% off every time you use it. (And, no, I don't earn any sort of commission if you sign up. But, I definitely should considering how much I recommend it!)


Scholarships are a huge part of the college process. Apply! Apply! Apply! I applied for a few through my high school and ended up getting $4,000. I also applied for scholarships at my university and got over $10,000! There are so many opportunities to cut down the price of tuition. Click here to checkout some scholarships.
  

Your college ID has some serious magical powers. Next time, take it with you to the mall. You’ll be surprised at how many stores take part in student discounts. I’ve gotten free drinks at Chik-fil-a and 15% off my total purchase at Vineyard Vines. Here’s a complete list here!


Not sure if I should be promoting this or not, but let’s do it anyway: maximize your meal plan any way you can. For example:

  • Bring a reusable water bottle to the soda fountain with you and fill it up for later.
  • If your school offers to go boxes, eat there and pack some for later.
  • Stay in the cafĂ© through breakfast and lunch if time permits (2 meals for the price of 1).



College events are a great way to meet new people and score some feebies. Whenever my university hosts an event, they’re always giving away free food, t-shirts, and school supplies. I've never heard of a college student passing up free food-- or anything free for that matter.

If your college hosts a Bingo night-- GO! I won a flat screen TV, a Google home, etc. My boyfriend won a bundle of Cabrini gear and a Keurig. You won’t regret going. I promise!
  

Three words: Textbooks. Are. Expensive. There are a ton of different places you can look for textbooks. Personally, I like to go on Barnes and Noble Marketplace. I’ve gotten a number of books for $1.99. You’re welcome!

These are just some of my favorite ways to save as a college student. Let me know what some of your favorite ways to save are-- I'm always looking for new ways to save money!


My Sister's Dorm Room Wish List

The countdown to Move-In Day is on! She moves into her dorm in a month-- that's crazy! My sister, Natalie, will be attending Florida Southern College. (You can read her college announcement here.) 

Shopping for your dorm is a big deal-- not to mention, an expensive one. We put together this wish list from Bed Bath and Beyond (NOT SPONSORED) so we could figure out what she really wants and needs for her dorm:


Kikkerland® Bedside Felt Storage Pocket in Grey Collection // $14.99

This bedside pocket is perfect for flashcards, highlighters, pens, sticky notes, etc. You can even throw your phone in here for easy access.

Folding Jersey Saucer Chair in Light Grey // $39.99

A comfy chair like this one is a great addition to any dorm room. When I was a freshman, I didn't have any extra seating like this in my dorm. So, when I had 5-6 people over to study, there wasn't a place for them to sit.

2-in-1 Shower Caddy // $7.99

A shower caddy is essential for a community bathroom. This specific caddy is a 2-in-1, which means that the center compartment detaches. This way, you don't have to lug your whole caddy to the bathrooms before bed. You only have to carry the center compartment to the bathroom. I love this! (Plus, you can't beat the price!)

Safavieh Faux Sheepskin Area Rug // $24.99+

A rug is a nice way to make your room more cozy. This one is super soft!

Umbra Hangup 30 Clip Photo Collage in Barnwood // $24.99

My sister has lots and lots of pictures. This picture frame is a great way to kill two birds with one stone: cover up the white wall and display her beautiful pictures.

WallPops!® Dry-Erase Calendar/Weekly Board Organizer Set // $24.99

Again, another great way to cover up the white wall space. Not to mention, stay organized! This set of organizers can be placed above her desk to help her stay on top of her assignments.

UGG® Polar Faux Fur Backrest // $49.99

A backrest pillow is definitely a nice extra to have. (I got mine from Walmart! So there are definitely some different price options if you ant a husband pillow!)

Studio 3B™ 4-Drawer Storage Cart // $49.99

I got the same exact one when I was dorm shopping. I used mine to hold extra toiletries, utensils, etc. I promise you'll find a use for a cart like this!


Comment below: What's one of your dorm room must-haves?



Checkout my Dorm Room Wish List:
https://bit.ly/30mQ0oc

What It's Like Dating In High School vs. College

I’ve tried to write an introduction for this blog post about 30 times now. Long story short: it’s still not working. 




Let’s just go over my dating history:


*Names changed for privacy reasons.


In high school, I dated two guys. Well, 3. Let’s make it 2.5-- *Sawyer, *Charlie (0.5), and *Kingston. Each of these boys taught me something crucial about myself. In college, I continued a high school relationship and after that one failed, I gave myself time to explore my options. I learned that there's different types of dating: the casual kind and the serious kind. After a long summer, I began the serious kind of dating. Each and every single "dating experience" helps shape you.

In high school, dating can cause you to rearrange your priorities. 


When I was a freshman in high school, I fell head over heels for a blonde-haired, blue-eyed jock a.k.a. *Sawyer. I had the biggest crush on him. So, when he asked me out I was absolutely thrilled (and that might be an understatement). After a few weeks into our relationship, I lost sight of my priorities-- my blog, studying Spanish, etc. I wanted to show him that I could adapt to his “jock-like lifestyle.” To put it shortly, I couldn't.


In college, it’s easier to communicate.


Before Andres and I started talking, we had “The Talk.” “The Talk” consisted of our life goals and priorities. I made it very clear that I was focused on my studies in order to graduate a year and a half early. I wanted to get a head start on my goals and dreams. He honored and respected my wishes. 


In high school, you don’t know when to move on.


I didn’t know when to move on from *Sawyer. I thought that it was okay that he didn’t acknowledge our one month anniversary. I thought it was okay that he never wanted us to hangout with my friends. I thought it was okay that he always wanted us to hangout with his friends. Red flags started going up when he began asking for pictures. I was able to dodge them by making lame excuses. On one cold Friday night in January, he took me to a party. All of the couples were going off their separate ways. I was fifteen and very confused. In that moment, I realized holding onto my virginity was more important than holding onto to a boy that really didn’t like me for me. (I don’t resent him though-- he helped me write a kick-ass college admission essay. Read it here.)


In college, you know when it’s time to let someone go.


When someone is no longer giving you their all, it’s time to let them go. When someone is holding you back, it’s time to let them go. When someone is no longer respecting you-- your body, your mind, your goals, your dreams, it’s time to let them go. I learned that it's okay to let toxic people go, whether you're in a friendship OR a romantic relationship.


In high school, you date to date.


In high school, it’s fun to date. It’s fun to go out with a boy. It’s fun to experience different emotions. It’s fun to do couple-like-things. That’s why *Charlie is 0.5. I dated him for the sole purpose of dating him. I knew he liked me and I liked the dating game. It was pretty far from romantic, but we tried. We were better off as friends in the long run. 


In college, dating is a different game.


There’s the casual kind. I’ve done casual dating; and it’s not for me. I don’t like going on one or two dates with a guy and then playing the waiting game. I think it’s stupid. I like to be in a committed relationship if the person and timing is right. With that being said, there’s also the serious kind of dating. Isn't the purpose of dating to find a lifelong partner?


In high school, you might lose yourself.


In each of the 2.5 relationships I was in, I experienced a sense of loss. In most cases, it was a Taylor Swift “Blank Space” situation: “Find out what you want/ Be that girl for a month.” With *Sawyer, I just wanted to be pretty. I wanted to be pretty enough for him to take me to the football games, parties, and everything in between. With *Kingston, I wanted to be a God’s girl. However, with *Charlie, I think I was the one who tried to change him. I wanted him to be cool enough for me. I wanted him to ditch the pot drugs, wear khakis, and take honors history. And, yes, I regret doing that to him-- Mostly because we had history together for the following two years and it was kind of uncomfortable after the split. I guess that's my #Karma for trying to change him.


In college, you might just find yourself.


I did. I spent the first year of my college career exploring and searching. I found what I was passionate about: psychology. After a serious breakup, I spent the summer “casual dating" in efforts to find out what I liked and disliked in a companion. (Like I mentioned earlier, not my thing.) I spent my second year of college, exploring and searching some more. I found a love for not only psychology, but Spanish too. I also like to create change. I am seriously passionate about immigration reform. I want to move out of my small town someday. I want to run a non-profit organization. The list goes on. By finding myself, I was able to find someone who I might want to spend the rest of my life with. Someone who appreciates your traits and values you as a human being is someone special.


In high school AND college, every Taylor Swift song will be applicable.
After my first heartbreak, I listened to "Fifteen" over and over again. Taylor was right-- you will do better things than dating the boy on the soccer football team. But, you won't figure that out until later. So, when you're still not over him, you'll listen to "Dear John" and wonder how he could break your heart like that. He'll probably catch you subtweeting him, too. But, you'll move on, and you'll watch something beautiful bloom to the beats of "Begin Again." And, after that fallout, you'll think about all the things you did wrong. Like the time you really did hangup the phone on him mid-sentence. "I Wish You Would" will get you through that one. Oh, and when you're at some party and you stumble across a guy who is so incredibly cool and handsome and everything-- listen to "Gorgeous."  We've all been there.




*DISCLAIMER: These experiences are subjective. I do not hold any resentment against the boys I "dated" in high school/college. Each and every experience has helped me grow and develop into the woman I am.*

Andres and I created a blog where we document our adventures together. New post every Friday! Click here!

The Ultimate Guide To: Surviving College



Back to school season is right around the corner for most. Though my sister moves in to her dorm in the middle of August and I go back at the end of August, I know several people that go back to school at the end of July. I wanted to get this blog post up and running for those of you who are going back so soon. This blog post includes links to a variety of other blog posts to help you survive the academic year. I've included blog posts to help you shop for your dorm, prep for the new semester, and excel academically, emotionally, and physically. Here is your ultimate guide to surviving college:

If you're living on campus, these links are great for you! I lived on campus for the first two years of my college career. Checkout my college essentials, things I bought for my dorm, and what's in my backpack and shower caddy.







What's In My Shower Caddy?

Natalie's Dorm Room Wish List


These links range from organizing your planner to creating a productive morning routine. Being organized is key to being successful in college.


How To Prep For A New Semester ft. My New Favorite Printables





Staying active is super important college-- especially if you want to avoid the freshmen fifteen. Below you can checkout my workout routine which is perfect for the girl on the go.

My Poppin' Workout Routine


We all want A's in college, right? Checkout my blog post on how to knock your professor's socks off with your academic paper!




These links are for YOU. College can be stressful; remember to take some time for yourself.


What It's Really Like Living On Campus

My Journey To Happiness: My Favorite Ways To Practice Happiness (In College!)