Friday, October 9, 2015

Fashion Friday: Boots

Hi Y'all,

It's boot time! AKA my favorite time of the year.

I absolutely love a good riding boot in the fall and winter!

This little beaut is the Melissa boot from Frye. It's absolutely the best riding boot! I personally have it in both the brown and black.

I'm a sucker for a cute cowboy boot, and Frye did a fabulous job with their Billy cowboy boot.

Also, with colder months comes colder rain and snow. While I love walking through snow, I hate getting my feet cold and wet. Which is why I absolutely adore my Hunter boots.

Finally, my UGGs. I realize that they aren't "stylish" but they're comfortable and look great with leggings which is my winter wardrobe about 50% of the time.

I hope this gives you some ideas for some great boots this fall and winter season. 

I have super sensitive feet (I wear orthotics almost all of the time), and these boots hardly ever aggravate them.

Do y'all have any go to boots?

*All images in this post are from google images.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Weight Loss Update

Hi Y'all,

You all have read a little bit about my fitness journey. Many of you know that I gained about 40 pounds during my junior year. It finally stabilized during my senior year, and I started losing weight during the spring semester of my Senior year.

I was a size 0/2 when I went away to college, weighing in at about 110-115.

During my weight gain, I went up to over 145 (145 was the last I weighed myself at, but I know I was definitely heavier than that at my heaviest).

I have since gone down to 117! Recently, I haven't been tracking my calories, and the last time I weighed myself I was about 121-123.

I plan to get back on track with tracking and focusing on doing some cardio several times a week. My goal weight is 115. I'm only 5'2", so being classified as "overweight" is super easy to do.

I just calculated my current BMI (using 5'2" and 120 pounds) to be 21.9, which puts me right in the middle of a healthy weight. Even dropping down the number to 110, it only puts me at 20.1 BMI.

I personally think I look better at a lower weight, mainly because I carry a lot of fat on my stomach and the back of my legs.

Here's a list of my struggles with losing weight:
1. I eat a lot of foods rich in fat (read: CHEESE!)
2. I don't have a lot of time for cardio.
3. I often chose unhealthy foods over the healthy option.
4. I hate the taste of pure water. Put some lemon in it, please.
5. I often need Gatorade and extra salt to maintain my health.

The easy parts of losing weight:
1. When I do cardio, it's for a long time.
2. When I track my calories, I do it well.
3. I make my goals feasible.
4. I'm able to walk 10,000 steps every day (recommended for losing weight).
5. Getting the right amount of sleep and not eating after a certain time. Sleep and allowing yourself to digest before sleeping are crucial to losing weight!

I hope this gives you a little insight into my weight loss journey. If you are struggling with weight loss, know you aren't alone and there are super safe alternatives to crash dieting and other dangerous options. Weight loss is never a reason to put your life at risk or anyone else.

Have a great day y'all!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Relationships 101: When to Fight for the Relationship

Hi Y'all,

I often find myself asking when it's okay to fight for the relationship.

1. Do you feel that your partner appreciates you? 

2. Do you feel that your partner respects you?

3. Has your partner cheated on you?

4. Does your partner encourage and aid you in becoming a better person?

5. Do you share similar goals with your partner?

6. Has your partner ever devalued you?

7. Does your partner take you out on dates, and pay for them?

8. Has your partner gone out of their way to introduce you to friends and family? 

9. Do you still share the same interests as your partner?

10. Do you feel like your relationship is going nowhere?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you might want to take some time to re-evaluate your relationship. 

I cannot tell you how many times I have felt like I wasn't appreciated in a friendship. For instance, if someone only talks to you when it's convenient for them (i.e their significant other isn't around or it's a special event or they want attention of some sort), then they aren't really worth your time anymore. They don't value your time.

Obviously, life changes for everyone. Some of your best friends in high school might not be your best friend in college, especially if you go to different schools. Sometimes those life changes don't work out for everyone when it means keeping it touch with friends. For instance, I moved home to a town three hours away from my university. I wasn't close to many people in high school and definitely miss having my roommate right down the hall, and other close friends within walking distance. I miss the study time in the library with sorority sisters, Sunday post Chapter dinners, watching movies with my roommate, shopping trips, and pretty much everything else. I honestly never thought I would see the day that I was feeling lonely (#introvert) from not being around people 24/7, but I kind of do! 

Some people don't change, and that can be just as detrimental to the relationship. Every person grows as they get older, both emotionally and physically. If you aren't growing at the same rate as the person, often times the relationship just doesn't work out. 

*Disclaimer: In some relationships, you are meant to argue a lot. Often times this is healthy for the relationship (growing up, I had a friend that if we weren't arguing there was something wrong). And that's fine, too! The important part is knowing if you're both ok with that being the standard in the relationship.

I hope this helps you out if you're contemplating the status of a relationship!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Fashion Friday: Dressing Up Jeans

Hi Y'all,
Today's post is definitely one of my favorites to write. I have to dress up jeans quite often for work, and I'm going to show y'all how I do it!

1. Shoes! Riding boots or ballet flats really add to jeans, while cowboy boots dress them down. Jack Rogers are a great option in the summer.

photo from google images

2. A nice blouse. I love a good Elsa from Lilly Pulitzer to help dress up jeans. Also, another suggestion I would give is a solid color button down (Ralph Lauren has great ones, and they often have sales at their factory stores).
photo from Lilly Pulitzer's website.
Elsa in "Southern Charm"

3. Jewelry. My go to is pearls or my classic Tiffany & Co. "Return to Tiffany" necklace. 

4. Tank top, Sweater, Scarf combo. I absolutely adore this and do it all the time. I highly suggest the Clare cardigan from J.Crew Factory with a white tank top (I love the ones at White House Black Market) and then a scarf from Lilly Pulitzer to add a bit of color.

5. A great v-neck or scoop neck sweater. J.Crew often has great scoop neck sweaters, and I just picked up this sweater from Vineyard Vines:
photo from Vineyard Vines

Bonus: 6. Dark jeans are dressier than light wash jeans!

I hope this helps y'all out some when you have to dress up jeans!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Goal Review & October Goal Preview

Hi Y'all,

Today's post is a review of my September Goals and a preview of what my October goals are!

1. Earn 2,500 Swagbucks. Nope...didn't quite make it.
2. Watch all of Law & Order SVU season 16 and Criminal Minds season 10 on Netflix. Completed!
3. Finish my room. Didn't quite do that either.
4. Wash my face twice a day, every day. Completed. I also finished an entire bottle of face cleanser which is definitely a first for me!
5. Twice a day, 3 minute teeth brushing for 2 weeks (Part of 101 in 1001).  Completed!

3/5 isn't too bad.

1. Instagram 15 times. I seriously struggle with Instagram posts, so I think by giving myself a certain goal it will really help! 
2. HOMECOMING at CNU! I'm so excited to be heading back to my college and spending some time with some of my best friends (read: future bridesmaids) this month! 
3. Clean and organize my room.
4. Make a budget...that I can actually stick to.

And finally,
5. Take time off of blogging.

I've recently done some soul searching and realize that I no longer have the same passion for this little slice of the internet that I did when I first started back in June of 2011. I've also been through a lot of changes in those 4 years. I graduated high school, went to college, joined a sorority, lost my Grandfather, travelled to England and Europe, graduated college, and so much more. 

But don't worry, you'll still have posts from me! I'm working on writing all the posts so you won't miss me too much.

During this time, I hope to accomplish some tasks I've been putting off (like cleaning my room) and thinking about if a new little slice of the internet is the best option for me. I already have some ideas no matter which way I decide to go. And of course, y'all will be the first to know what I end up deciding. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Making Goals Happen

Hi Y'all,

I'm taking a quick break from the Monday "Relationships 101" posts to bring you something super close to my heart: making goals happen.

1. Realize what your goals are. Sometimes this takes a little soul searching, sometimes you already know what they are. 

2. Write down your goals. Sure, you've realized what they are, but you need to write them down, too. A great technique is to create a dream board. It can be super creative or just a cork board with a list or pictures of your goals on them.

3. Write down how to achieve your goals. Often, your goals aren't achieved at one time, but after a series of mini goals. For instance, if your goal is to graduate college, you can't graduate without completing certain classes, so your mini goals would be those certain classes you have to have.

4. Set a timeline. Some goals can be completed in the year, others might be multiple years down the road. You should always set them for longer than you need so you aren't disappointed if you don't make it.

5. Celebrate when you make your goal happen! This is possibly the most important advice I could ever give you. If your goal is to lose 10 pounds, and you do, it's okay to take a week off of counting every single calorie you're taking in. If your goal is to run a half marathon, after you cross that finish line, drink a lot of Gatorade, and then don't run for a while. No matter what your goal is, you've put either physical or emotional toll on yourself (possibly even both), and a reward is the nicest thing you could do for yourself.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Guest Post: Uncomfortable Truths: 10 Things Your Advisor Wants You to Know

Hi Y'all,
Now that you're all settled into your classes and schedule for the semester, here's some advice from a fellow ADPi Aluma, and student affairs professional!

Uncomfortable Truths: 10 Things Your Advisor Wants You to Know

By Amber Rayborn

I have been an advisor for over 7 years and I absolutely love working with college students, but sometimes y’all struggle. Whether it is because you’re the first in your family to go to college, you’re a new freshman, or you just haven’t been paying attention, here is a list of 10 things that you probably don’t know, but that your advisor wishes you did:

1. Graduating in 4 Year is NOT a guarantee.
Most bachelor’s degrees require 120 credit hours to graduate, so in order to graduate in 4 years, you would need to take (and pass!!) 15 credit hours (five 3-hour courses) per semester each semester for 4 years. And, that doesn’t factor in changing your major or accidentally taking a wrong class.

15 hours is a fairly large course load (I usually recommend freshmen to stay at 12-13 hours for their first semester) and I absolutely would never sign off on anyone taking 18 or more classes. Your GPA (and sanity!) are much more important than graduating “on time.” Plus, you can always take summer classes if you need to play catch-up.

2. Participating in Graduation does not mean that you actually graduated.
You’re wearing the cap & gown. Your parents paid an ungodly amount for invitations. You walked across the stage and shook the University President’s hand. So, you’ve graduated, right!? Well, not necessarily. For many schools, final grades aren’t due before graduation, so I have seen students fail a class their last semester, which kept them from technically graduating (i.e., actually receiving a diploma). Things like owing money to the health center or not returning your library book could also keep you from receiving your diploma.

3. You’re not going to get into medical school with a 2.1 GPA
I’m sorry, you’re just not. And, it’s okay, because that just means that there is another major/field/career out there that is better suited for you. Medical school probably isn’t a good option if you failed Intro to Biology, since it is prerequisite for the 800 additional science classes you will need to take to be accepted.

4. If you do poorly at one school, you can’t just start over at a new school.
First of all, most reputable schools (i.e. not ITT Tech) require you to be “in good standing” at your previous institution, which means that, among other things, you weren’t on academic probation or dismissal. Secondly, your GPA follows you everywhere and, aside from some college/university forgiveness programs, it will follow you for the rest of your life. So, if at 18, you decide to party and never go to class and end up with a 0.82 GPA (true story!), 38 year old you is going to be pretty mad when he/she tries to go back for their degree and they start with a 0.82 GPA. Moral of the story—go to class and try to get good grades.

5. Student loans are for life.
I wish I were joking, but student loans are for life. Meaning that you have to pay them, no matter what. You can’t file bankruptcy on student loans and not paying them with WRECK your credit in a hot minute. And, let’s say that you randomly die and still have student loans left. Did you know that your spouse, children, or parents are still responsible for paying off your loans? Yeah, my husband was not excited when I told him that after 2 years of marriage. Oops.

6. (and similar sites) is/are stupid.
I tried to come up with a classier word, but stupid was all that came to mind. I’ve seen so many students give up an amazing class time (I’m talking like Tuesday/Thursday at noon) because their professor had a bad rating on RMP. In addition to working with students, I also worked with a lot of professors, and yeah, some are mean/weird/crazy for no reason, but most just want you to be successful. In my experience, it is usually only students who’ve had a really bad experience with the professor that write “reviews” on RMP, and those students are usually the ones who didn’t turn things in on time or just didn’t do the work in general. People will do what they have to do to complain about something, but aren’t in such a hurry when they received good service, so keep that in mind.

7. Advisors and Professors aren’t perfect (except me, of course)
Everyone makes mistakes (again, except for me), so please make sure that you are diligent, prepared, and follow-up with advisors and professors to make sure that you get what you need to register, finish a course, graduate, etc. If your grade looks lower than it should, talk to your professor. If your advisor is having you take a class that you don’t think fits into your course of study, talk to your advisor. Ask questions and be an advocate for yourself.

8. Your schedule is not set in stone.
Just because you register for certain classes at certain times doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed to end up with that exact schedule, so please have a plan B. If a course has a registration minimum (the number of students that must be registered for the teacher to teach the course) and that minimum isn’t met, then the class may be canceled. At a lot of schools, if you don’t show up for the first day or 2 of class, the teacher can have you dropped from the class. And, of course, if you don’t pay your tuition, then your schedule can be dropped.

9. Advisors and Professors have social media, too.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Yeti. I have them all and I’ve seen sides of my students that I did not want to see. I know if you’re underage, so please don’t let me see a snapchat of you chugging a bottle of Fireball. Weed is illegal is all I’m going to say about that. And, please keep your clothes on.

10. Your advisor can be your best friend or your worst enemy
Some College/University policies and procedures are set in stone, some are not, and for the most part, your advisor knows which is which. That being said, it would behoove you to get on your advisor’s good side. Be prepared, be respectful, follow directions, come to your appointments on time, and your advisor will be happy to go above and beyond to help you out.

Amber is a College Student Affairs Professional, with a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration degree and 7+ years of experience advising with both The University of Alabama and The University of Georgia. When she isn’t helping students reach their academic and career goals, Amber enjoys reminiscing about her sorority days, binge-watching  Netflix shows with her husband, cuddling with her 2 miniature dachshunds, and teaching her 2 year old daughter how to sing Recruitment door songs. Amber can be reached by email at

I hope that you got the chance to take something away from this, I can really vouch for #9! I took a social media class where the professor followed us on our twitter accounts. I already used it for my blog so I was already careful, but I would have been super embarrassed if I had tweeted about certain things (like subtweets), and then my professor saw it! Needless to say, you should definitely be self-checking yourself because if your professor doesn't see it, a future employer could!