The end of my senior year definitely didn’t go as planned. While I wasn’t able to finish out my undergraduate career at the University of Oklahoma on campus with my friends and peers, I knew I at least wanted some photos to commemorate my 4 years as an undergraduate. Since social distancing procedures were already in place by mid-March, I was unable to hire a photographer for a senior portrait shoot.
Luckily, my time blogging has given me loads of experience with iPhone photography, self-timers, and tripods! I got ready and loaded up all my gear early one morning and headed to campus. I love how they turned out, although trying to wrangle all the props with the addition of a cap/gown/stole/hood on my own was a hassle. (Also, do you realize how hard it is to take a cap-throwing picture on your own with a 10-second self timer? REALLY hard.)
I’m proud of my work on these pictures, and over the past 4 years as well. I can’t wait to experience virtual commencement and graduation with my family this weekend!
We’re a little over a month into quarantine, and it would be easy to say I’m not going crazy being stuck inside. However, I have been trying to make good use of my time, and keep a balance between work and relaxation. This was a tough balance to find at first- working from home is not my forte- but the longer I’ve gone on, the easier it’s become. Here’s how I’ve been spending my days since shelter-in-place went into effect.
1. Got an internship
More on this in an upcoming post, but I was incredibly lucky to score a social media internship position with Tart-a-licious French Desserts during this quarantine experience! Since I have extra free time now that I’m not going to physical classes or commuting to campus, an internship seemed like the perfect way to fill my time. Can’t wait to share more about my experience soon!
2. Updated my resume
With new industry experience comes a new resume. I’m particularly anal about mine (not surprising when you own a resume design business) and reformatting mine to fit my new experiences was a lot of fun. I can’t wait to use it to start lobbying for a summer internship position!
3. Found new resume clients
I’m not the only one needing a new resume right now! To help those affected by COVID-19, I’m currently offering a discount of $30/document to all new resume clients. Hopefully this is able to help those seeking employment in a troubled job market. (Interested? Email me at email@example.com)
4. Designed for Redbubble
Recently, I realized I need to start capitalizing on my graphic design skills and upload more of my work to Redbubble. If you have anything you want to see, let me know!
5. Started rewatching Gossip Girl
This one shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. I’ve been binging Gossip Girl since my sophomore year of high school (7 whole years, which is kinda crazy) and I just got back into it recently. Since I’ve seen the whole series all the way through more than 10 times, it’s the perfect show to have on in the background if I’m doing other things. Currently on season 4!
6. Played animal crossing
Wild World, not New Horizons. For some reason I just can’t give the Nintendo DS version up- I’ve had it since 5th grade and still love socializing with my villagers and taking care of my town when I have some down time. It’s a great way to decompress, as well!
7. Stayed focused on my goals
COVID-19 may have stopped normal life, but school goes on. I’m gearing up to finish my semester and graduate in a few weeks, albeit without a ceremony. However, I’m excited to officially have my bachelor’s degree and officially be a master’s student! After I finish writing this post I’m going to start working on my 2-year plan. I’m excited to see where life takes me over the next year and the year after my master’s graduation, and I want to be prepared!
It’s March now, which means that spring break is right around the corner. Last year, some of my girlfriends and I took a trip down to St. Augustine, Florida, where we spent a glorious 6 days relaxing on the beach, indulging in great food, and exploring the city.
When it came time to pack last year, I was kind of at a loss. What’s important? What isn’t? And as a chronic overpacker, I stuffed my carry-on-sized suitcase to the brim and hoped for the best.
While I’m not heading back to the sun and the surf this spring break (although stay tuned to see where I will be headed), I wanted to share my tips and tricks on what you need and what you don’t for the ultimate spring break beach vacation.
I’ll be detailing my top 10 items below, and attaching a full packing checklist at the bottom full of everything you’ll need. Let’s dive right in!
If you’re on a beach vacation, this should be a no-brainer. You can probably get away with just one bathing suit if you won’t be swimming every day, but if you will be, pack multiple: because believe me, putting back on a damp or sandy swimsuit is no fun.
Going out to dinner, walking around town, or even just hanging around the beach house- a flowy sundress is a must! They’re super versatile and can be used for several different outings.
3. Light jacket
Hopefully your trip is sunny and warm, but if mother nature doesn’t favor you and you’re struggling to soak in those rays a light jacket will be your best friend. Beach weather can change on a dime and a light jacket will make sure you don’t get too cold.
The ocean glare can be super bright, so always pack sunglasses to protect your eyes while you’re lounging in the sand. You really only need one pair, but they don’t take up a lot of space, so you can pack multiple if you would like!
5. Multi-purpose sandals
If you’re traveling with a big group or flying with a carry-on, luggage space is limited. Luckily, most beach clothing doesn’t take up a lot of room, but picking pairs of shoes that are super versatile can really help maximize your luggage space. Sandals that you can wear out to grab lunch or to a bar later in the night serve double duty and help you have more space in your luggage for other things!
Depending on the area you’re in, you might be privy to restaurants or bars right on the beach. Packing a cover-up ensures you’ll be able to go in and grab a drink or bite to eat during your beach day!
Probably no explanation necessary, right? Pack a couple pairs of shorts and you’ll be ready for anything you have planned, from a beach day to lunch downtown.
8. Multi-purpose tops
Much like with sandals, packing tops that can go from day to night will really save you space in your luggage. Flowy tank tops and bandeaus are your best bet!
Down by the ocean can get pretty windy, so prepare to hold your hair back with scrunchies or bandanas! Anything that helps keep your hair out of your face will be essential.
If you’re in a beach town with things to do other than hang out in the sand, you’ll want a cute and comfy pair of sneakers to walk around in! I wore mine out to a local farmer’s market and coffee shop.
And that’s my top 10! Here’s a full list of everything you’ll need:
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments, and have a great time on your vacation!
P.S. Heading to St. Augustine or somewhere similar? Check out my recap posts from spring break 2019 to see what we did on our trip!
One year ago today I created my blog, and one year ago tomorrow I launched it. I’ve come a long way from my first few posts, taken with a makeshift tripod propped up on my bed in my bedroom. What a year it has been, and I’m thrilled that Selfies & OOTDs has continually given me a platform to create content and share what I love.
If you want a good laugh, go back to February 2019 and see what my first few posts looked like. (Yeah. Pretty amateur.) Luckily, I’ve matured in more ways than one, and I’ve learned a ton about blogging, social media marketing, and content creation in the process. Here’s 8 things I wish someone had told me when I first started blogging:
1. For the best shots, have no shame
When I first started, I took all my #OOTD shots against the door in my bedroom. Aside from the fact that I didn’t have a real tripod, I was also self-conscious about people seeing me pose and wait for the self timer to go off. When I got my tripod this summer, the game completely changed, and after a few outings of taking my pictures in public I was no longer fazed. This let me have way more creativity with my poses (and it meant you could actually see my feet!
2. Even lighting is the best lighting
I thought the wall by my window was giving me good natural light, but it really wasn’t. The best lighting I’ve found is when I’m outside, in the shade. That way no one part of my face is in the shadows and none of the lighting is too harsh. But more on that in a bit…
3. Early bird gets the worm
Remember what I said about even lighting in the shade? That’s why I take almost all my pictures in the morning, preferably before 9 a.m. This gives me optimal choices for locations in terms of where is still shady, as the sun has just barely come up over the horizon. I also like the mornings because it lets me take pictures when my makeup and hair are freshly done.
4. No one can tell how cold it was when they look at the picture
When you’re getting up early in the winter, you know what that means… It’s going to be cold outside. Luckily, no one can tell how much your toes were freezing when you took the shot as long as the end result is cute- and I find that the pictures I took on the coldest days end up being my favs.
5. Hashtags are everything
About 4 months in to my blogging journey and I had only hit 80 followers. What gives? Answer: not using the tools Instagram was handing me in order to reach a larger audience! I used to feel squeamish about hashtags, but once I started using them I never looked back. It’s never been so easy for me to find and engage with like-minded individuals!
6. Engage and be engaging!
Like I just said, the purpose of Instagram is to engagewith others. You will see such a difference in what you get out of it if you give it as well! Tell that girl you like her outfit, comment on your favorite brand’s post- there’s tons of people just like you out there waiting to connect!
7. Content planning saves lives (or at least, your feed)
I’ll admit it, I fell off the wagon somewhere between September and December. School caught up to me, and suddenly I was posting less and less just because I wasn’t prepared with a plan. I implemented a content calendar for the start of 2020, and it’s already working wonders. Consistency is key, however frequently that means for you!
8. Don’t be afraid to call yourself what you are
When I first started out, I felt weird calling myself a blogger. I felt like that was just a title reserved for influencers and people with way more followers than me… but I soon realized that it’s not the number of followers you have or the number of likes you get: if you have a blog, you’re a blogger, and you shouldn’t be afraid to call yourself one. (Shout-out to my dad who always tells people I’m a blogger if we’re out doing a restaurant review in public. It’s hella validating!!)
So excited what February 2020 – February 2021 has in store for me. I hope you’ll stick around, because there’s more where that came from!
P.S. Thanks to Nompton Social for letting me come in before opening and take pictures with your murals today- you’re seriously the best!
One of 2020s standout trends is supposed to be denim-on-denim. While I’m not quite ready to dive headfirst into a full-blown navy-on-navy ensemble, I dipped my toe in the water today by pairing my navy denim jacket with my black jeans. Baby steps!
I found this amazing Lauren Ralph Lauren white turtleneck at TJ Maxx the other day, and I am obsessed with it already. I love turtlenecks, sweaters, and especially combinations of the two, so I’m guessing I’ll be wearing this one a lot this season. I think it looks super classic, especially when paired with other neutrals and closet staples.
I truly can’t believe it’s already mid-January. Yesterday was the first day of my last undergraduate semester (meaning graduation is coming up faster than I realize) and every day I feel older and older. Nevertheless, I’m excited for this semester and all the fun things it will bring!
I got this cute rhinestone bobby pins for Christmas and I was just dying to try them out. I decided to pair them with slept-in, braided hair since I felt like the quirky bobby pins would compliment it nicely. I also chose one of my favorite chunky sweaters as a juxtaposition against the flowy pleated skirt and heels. I loved this vibe and can’t wait to play around with it more!
Happy 2020! That feels so weird to say, since I’ve known that was going to be my undergraduate graduation year for basically forever. That means college degree 1 of 2 is that much closer!
I stayed in pajamas at home all day yesterday, ringing in the new year with cinnamon rolls and bacon, watching copious amounts of college football and taking time to relax with my family. (We believe that New Year’s resolutions like healthier eating don’t come into affect until January 2.) That means that today’s #OOTD is the first of the new year!
As soon as I put my leopard coat on, I could feel myself channeling major Macklemore vibes. This one didn’t come from a thrift shop, but I felt funky just the same. I know this coat is going to be one of my go-tos this winter and early spring!
Also, today I broke out some liquid matte lipstick that was part of a Christmas gift! I had been skeptical about liquid lipstick for a long time, but I’m absolutely obsessed with this set and their matching lip liners. Cheers to more adventurous fashion and beauty choices in 2020!
And just like that, all my Christmas shopping for 2019 is complete! Considering it’s still a full week before Christmas Eve, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself. Now, that’s not to say I don’t still have errands to run- specifically, today I’m picking up some bubbly necessities for my family’s Christmas Eve celebration (if you voted in one of my Instagram polls lately, you might know what I’m talking about. If you don’t… stay tuned!)
I love my heels, but never found them to be very practical for my college #OOTDs, no matter how dressy the outfit is. Luckily, being home means a lot less time on my feet, making heels the perfect addition to my errand-running ensemble!
I was also super excited to break out my new winter coat. I have a long brown coat from last year that I just adore, but I knew I needed a black one to add to my collection as well. For its blog debut, I paired it with all-black everything, minus the heels, of course.
While my feet may have been a little cold, overall I was obsessed with this look! I haven’t posted a look with jeans on here in a while, but I hope to start incorporating them more. It’s getting too cold to wear skirts all the time!
After a few weeks of excruciating final papers, projects, presentations, and exams, I’m finally home for the holidays! (Or at least, until Christmas Day.) I’m so glad to finally be back in Frisco: I’ve missed my family, friends, and dogs a whole bunch this semester. Another perk to being back in Frisco? Fresh #OOTD locations! I headed out early this morning to document today’s look before Frisco Square is hit by crowds of people out doing their Christmas shopping.
If you’ve been following me since my launch back in February, this look may seem slightly familiar. I styled this divine cashmere sweater similarly, but wanted to mix it up. This time, I opted out of the paperboy cap and went for a more flirty/romantic look, with my hair pulled back to make sure I revealed my “HELLO” earrings. I love taking different closet staples, like sweaters, and giving them a fresh new vibe just by mixing up the style of accessories!
I’m glad I got out and about early this morning- Christmas shopping in Frisco is crazy, and I still have a lot of people left on my list! I hope to take some more pictures around Frisco soon, so make sure you check back for more!
With finals week just around the corner, I’m feeling super thankful that the end of the semester is rapidly approaching. This one has been a whirlwind, but I survived and that’s what matters!
Since my time on campus before I go home for break is limited, I wanted to get in at least one more #OOTD shoot before I head back to Frisco for the holidays. The weather cooperated this morning, meaning I got to break out one of my favorite all-seasons skirt and and a wintry flair with my beret! It always makes me feel très Parisienne and I thought it really complimented the rest of my outfit. (I also didn’t wash my hair this morning. Oops.)
I like hats, I just don’t know how to wear very many of them. Let’s mark this down early as one of my resolutions for 2020: experiment with different types of hats and other headgear in the coming year! (If you have a hat recommendation for me, I will accept it wholeheartedly.)