Freshman Year Lessons

Hey guys,

This post is going to be about freshman year of college…what a time to be alive. If you are a freshman reading this take all that I say into consideration and think about it, but know that this upcoming year is such a learning experience and a time for growth. It is a year that even with the best advice and preparation is something that will just have to happen. You’ll love it and hate it, but it’ll be great! Also head back to the beginning of the blog to see my thoughts while going through it!

Freshman year is full of so many emotions. Everyone keeps telling you that “college is the best years of your life” and that “you’ll have so much fun”. Yes, but they never tell you that it can be hard too. Just think about it…you are going to a new school, leaving your parents, meeting new people everyday, leaving your friends, moving into a room with most likely a stranger or someone you’ve met once, and trying to find your place all at one time. Not to mention you have to go to classes that most likely are harder than you high school class. That’s a lot to handle and a lot of new things at once. It’s hard but incredible at the same time. I mean you get to make new friends, you get to try new things, you get to grow and find who you are.

For me the biggest thing was letting myself feel all of these emotions at once and telling myself that it was okay and normal to do so. It was hard to feel left out or unmotivated. It was hard to not feel good enough or worthy enough. It was hard. Emotions are what make us human and make us unique. Feel what your feeling…realize it’s okay…then change something to make it better. Something I was told freshman that helped so much was “It’s okay to not be okay, but it’s not okay to stay that way!”

Community ended up being the best thing of my freshman year. Finding community or a group of people who care about you and build you up makes all the difference. I didn’t truly feel like I had a community until 2nd semester when I went on a mission trip with a group called Freshly. It changed my entire year after that because I knew that I had friends and supporters who cared so deeply about me and how I was doing. Find that and it will change your year for sure. Find that niche or sorority that makes you feel good. Find that club or organization that you love with people you love. It takes some consistency, effort, and stepping out of your comfort zone, but it is beyond worth it. These are life long friends you making so it takes time but is incredible!

Give everyone a chance. You never know who will be your best friend, you study partner, you coffee date groupie, your encourager, your inspiration, or your role model. You never know, so give everyone the chance to make a difference in your life. Don’t judge them by what you’ve heard or expect them to be the same person to you as they are to someone else. Each relationship is so different but special in each way. This past year I met 3 juniors and each one means the world to me. They inspire me and make me re think who I really want to be. They each are different people therefore I share different experience with each, but I wouldn’t want to change the time I have with them individually! Give everyone the chance they deserve.

It’s hard finding a balance in a world that you haven’t known before. In high school you had two seperate lives: your school life at school, your home life with your family at home. You were able to escape the school and go home to a house with only your family and vice versa with home to school. In college you mix social, home, and school together in one big place with very little escape. You have a room (more like a card board box) but there is still someone there. It is hard balance everything. Watching too much netflix, not doing your homework, going out all the time. You cannot do it all all the time. It just can’t happen. Finding a balance is so nessecary. You are in college for school, but you are also there to grow as a person and to have fun. My balance first semester ended up with me leaving my dorm for class at 9 then going to class/ doing homework all day (which is fine because nothing really happens until 7pm anyway) then going back relaxing some then hanging out with friends, going to an event with my sorority, or going to a church service. Your need to find a balance to ensure everything doesn’t spiral out of control (ha).

Freshman is an incredible time for learning and experiencing. It gives you so many chance to be whoever you want, and to try things you always wanted to try. The oppertunities are endless, but it take courage to step out and take them. It’s a great time full of emotions, fun, and new things. Don’t take any moment for granted, but also take time to reflect on what you have learned and who has made a difference in your eyes.

Writing it all out helps to much. Journals get a bad wrap that’s for sure, but I always find that writing my thoughts out helps me to process them so much better. Grab a moleskin and a pencil and write one a week, or a sentence everyday. See what it does for you. Writing this post has helped realize what I want to change for the upcoming year and who really made an impact on my past year.

Thanks for listening/ reading! And remember this doesn’t just apply to freshman year, this applies to everyone at any point in life. Take chances, be yourself, feel your emotions, love the people around you, and find your balance.

xo,

Allison

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Get Back Up and Keep Going

Hello dear old friends,

I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve thought about writing this post over the past couple of months. After I stopped blogging late last year, I realized so many things that I should’ve done and so many reasons why I loved writing a blog. Putting all of my thoughts to this page has been a long time coming, but here we go.

Dearly Beautiful was a creation that happened almost a year ago after I had been obsessed with reading blogs for quite some time. I loved the way I looked forward to each new post a blogger wrote and the little glimpse of someone else’s life I found in each post. I felt connected to these bloggers who lived in cities like New York, San Francisco, and even places across the world. Being the dreamer that I am, I wanted so badly to have a space of my own to share my love of style and a piece of my own journey. I wanted to be that girl that the younger version of me would adore for being so real and comfortable with myself on my blog. I started a small blog called “A little Bit” on blogger, but had little preparation and time to really get it going. Then “Dearly Beautiful” was created and became something I longed for and truly believed I could do it this time.

And…I did. It went well for about a semester, but unfortunately I kind of set myself up for failure. I wrote blog posts the night before with little thought into if this was the content that I really wanted on my blog and little worry about my overall goal. I didn’t love my web design and knew it could be so much better. I tried to look into coding, but it became too complicated. In those areas my blog lacked a true creator to keep it running smoothly, and someone who would spend a lot of time and effort into making it what I wanted.

But the biggest thing that hurt me was my confidence. I was not confident in myself as a blogger. I knew that I could one day have a great blog because I love to write and I know I have a story to tell. I was afraid to tell people because I didn’t want them to judge me or think blogging was dumb. How could I convince people looking through a screen that I was genuine when I couldn’t even tell some of my friends that I had a blog? I cared too much about what others would think, and forgot about why I really wanted to blog and why it would make me happy.

So now I’m ready. I’m ready to be me and to not care about the negative thoughts or comments. I’m ready to write about beautiful things and have fun while doing so. I’m ready to see where blogging will take me. I’m ready to put in the work and the time. I’m ready to have a beautiful site that matches the content I want to share. I’m ready to plan and take beautiful pictures and travel and share parts of my life for others to see.

I’m ready! Are you ready to follow along?

XO,

Allison

 

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Out and About

Hey Everyone!

So this is round #2 because apparently my computer hates me and loves to delete really long and thought out posts even thought they were supposedly saved. Man oh Man…the world of technology. Anyway I’ll try to make this post as good as the last one, but knowing me it will be even better (hopefully). If you haven’t read the post from Tuesday you definitely need to check it out HERE. I swear I’ve worn my coat for two days straight except when sleeping of course. It’s been very very chilly here in Atlanta and part of me wishes for heat, but I’m excited for the bundled days ahead.

I wanted to talk about travel today because I am a travel junkie. I love new people, places, and experiences. There’s something about it that is so magical and inspiring. Unlike other bloggers I follow, I have to go to school and can’t travel to my hearts content whenever I want, but I breaks do help a lot. The type of travel I want to write about is the travel that doesn’t take hundreds of dollars or miles to get there. It’s a little like backyard travel, but more like using the resources you have to create your own adventures. I will one day travel to far away lands and have amazing experiences, but for now I’ll do a different (but just as rewarding) type of travel.

Over the break I was able to visit my grandma in Atlantic Beach. It’s a quite little town outside of Jacksonville with a lot of locals and big character. I’ve been coming here ever since I was a child, but I wanted to take advantage of the two days I was there to enjoy the beach (lucky me it was 80 degrees on christmas) and the little town. I walked on the beach with my parents in shorts, ate Hawaiian Ice  at our favorite little shop, and explored a record store to find oldies for my new player. It wasn’t a new place, but I still was able to “travel” and experience.

My next stop was the mountains of North Carolina with my 3 best friends in the whole world. It was amazing getting away to such a beautiful place and having a couple of days with the friends I barely see. We were able to explore Asheville and hike in Brevard (there will be more on those later). We stayed with Anne Arden’s grandma and paid next to nothing. It was so nice to breathe in the fresh mountain air and be surround with beautiful views.

After that I spent some time in my own city. Yes, travel can be just around the corner. Exploring your own city can be so fun because you can see it in a different light and discover new things that wouldn’t normally catch your eye on a regular day. I walked on the Beltline along with exploring Ponce City Market and skating through Piedmont Park. No this isn’t traveling across the world, but it is making do with what you have. Do you like this picture of me trying to be cute and then failing while trying not to fall? Cute right?

 

Travel doesn’t have to crazy wild adventures hundreds of miles away. Part of it is exploring and experiences now places and things. You can travel to visit a friend or take a day trip to a new city. You can find new things to do right where you are. Travel is almost like a state of mind and change of attitude. Sometime you just have to make the most out of what you have around you in order to get your travel fix.

I hope the rest of your week is amazing and that you keep smiling into the weekend. There are tons of new posts scheduled to be flooding in here, and my new photoshop will help a lot. There may also be another post day in the making (but that is all hush hush)! Stay tuned.

Where did you adventure to over the holidays?

 

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Barbour Love

Hi everyone!

So I usually start off talking about the weather, and I’m not sure exactly why I do this. Maybe it’s because everyone experiences weather so it is a way to connect, or maybe it is to remind you that I am still a human being and the weather affects my life too. Whatever it is, I don’t want to mess with the flow now so I’ll tell y’all that is it definitely starting to feel like winter. Those December days at 70 degrees are a thing of the past and winter is getting ready for battle. I am excited about this because it means no longer having to decide between shorts or pants in the morning before class. The answer will always be pants and a coat and boots for sure. I also get to finally start wearing my winter clothes that I love so much. Sweaters. Jeans. Scarves. Socks. Everything.

2016 has started a little slow but definitely with a couple of well needed relaxing days. A day in bed is not wasted, but sometimes I remember all that I really have to do and feel a little bad. This week is my get-stuff-done week that includes getting my phone screen fixed (so necessary), getting my haircut, fixing up the blog, installing photoshop, printing pictures, and most importantly spending as much time with my friends and family as possible. I am truly lucky that I have an extra week of break and am able to have so many days off to spend with people I love and not worrying about anything. That being said dreading the start new classes and actually working is on the list of things to do this week too unfortunately.

Today I wanted to share my favorite and I’m anticipating my most used item of the winter: My Barbour coat. It was definitely time for me to invest in a coat (and by invest I mean ask my parents to get it as a birthday gift). I have already worn it more than I can count on my fingers, and I think it will be the icing on the cake for most of my outfits in the future.

I recommend getting a size or two larger than normal so that when you wear it in extremely cold climates you layer and layer and layer. I have a light down jacket that fits perfectly underneath, but they also have a zip in vest that I hear keeps you nice and toasty. I would definitely get this coat if you are in the market for something to last you for a looooonngggg time. It’s a little pricy but let me just tell you I think it’s worth it. I’m also the person who 1) buys discount or resale OR 2) buys high quality to last forever. This coat will last for many years to come, and my dad is living proof. He’s had his jacket for over 20 years (there is a slight tear in the elbow to give it character and show that he really does get his wear out of it). His is a navy color which also goes great with really anything.

You can find the coat at NordstromOrvis, & Onward Reserve. The coat I am wearing is the Beadnell Jacket, but there are other styles that are more fitted or have more pockets and such. My sister also has one of their quilted coats and loves it. You just cannot go wrong with Barbour. I hope your holidays were great, and I hope you are ready to start off a great year!

This is me and my pals in Asheville shopping. I’m wearing my beloved coat as you can see!!! What is your favorite item for the winter?

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NYE 2016

Today is the 31th if you haven’t looked at your calendar yet. This means that you only have today appreciate 2015. Wow a year come and gone. In a way it’s sad because so many things have happened and there are so many good memories. BUT there is another way to look at it. It is a chance to start new and improve yourself. It is a time that is inspiring and shouts “I’m going to be better than what I have been.” That part is amazing.

I love New Years because I love to celebrate and accept what has happened. When graduating from high school I chose to appreciate that period in my life along with the people who impacted me and the experiences I had instead of wallowing in the sadness of it being over. For New Years I like to accept the ending of the year and hope for an even better one.

On another note, New Years resolutions are tricky. There is the type of person who makes a ton of resolutions to only break/ give up on them within a few days. AND there is the type of person who surprises everyone for 2 or 3 months, but then fades into the background and ends up breaking it. I’ve never really heard of many people who keep their resolutions even when there is good intention. Last year my family wrote lists of things we wanted to accomplish in 2015. When we read them again, only 2 or 3 things were completed. Yikes.  How can we do better at sticking to what we say we will accomplish? Good question.

Here are my resolutions for the year. I took a different approach this time around. I decided to pick parts of my life that needed more mental work than physical.

1. Increase my confidence and self-worth
2. Be more content with my life and my friends and the things I am blessed with
3. Concentrate on creating relationships and making better ones with friends and family
4. Go on more adventures (down the road or in another country)

These things will be everyday struggles, but will pay off so much more in the long run. The only downside is that there is no tangible indicator that I have reached my goal, so it will be up to me to decide this. I only hope that there will be moments when I can realize how far I’ve come or when I realize just how far I have to go.

I hope you take time to really think about your resolutions. Make them really mean something to you, and then truly fight to get to where you want to go. You are beautiful and amazing and worth every struggle. Keep your head up and never stop dreaming and working to be a better you.

Enjoy and make the most of this last day before you get a chance to change the way you live for the next 365 (not that any day isn’t a great day to change)! Happy New Years! Take time to appreciate and know just how blessed you are to be alive.

What do your resolutions look like? Are you excited to get started?

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It’s Just Cake

I’m a weirdo if you haven’t realized it yet, and I can just see Anna looking at her computer screen thinking “ya and I have to live with her.” Well anyway, I was just about to doze off into a deep sleep when my crazy brain decided to come up with a blog post idea. SO here I am at 1:30 in the morning thinking about cake. Not because I’m a fattie and eat cake all the time (although I do love cake) but because over the holidays I worked at Piece of Cake. It’s the best cake company ever, and the cakes are literally to die for.

I walked into my first day of work very nervous. I didn’t want to be late, and I wanted to make a good first impression to hopefully secure a holiday job for Christmas breaks to come. Ann one of the workers there showed me around, handed me a red t-shirt, and made me feel right at home. Then she explained that especially around the holidays things can get kind of crazy and people can be very rude, but the thing she said next stuck with me enough lie awake thinking about cake. She said “There’s one thing you have to remember about it all, is that it’s just cake.”

Wow, I realized what she meant after a couple of rude and cranky costomers came in complaining about cakes and blaming it on the workers (when clearly it wasn’t us). People get really heated about cake. Like really upset. It got me thinking about what the cake was in my life…or the things that I get worked up over and the little things I make into huge deals.  My cake is definitely what others think of me. My cake is the things I cannot control like others people actions. My cake is trying to make everything perfect when that is clearly impossible. These things matter, but aren’t the end of the world by any means. They are parts of my life that I should be making joy and love and happiness, but instead creating problems.

It’s just cake… So I should take a deep breath, remember the things I’m thankful for and the amazing things that I have in my life, and realize that cake isn’t the end of the world. Take a second to think about your “cake” and all of the little things that mean so little in the long run. Enjoy the rest of the break or enjoy this holiday season because it’s not over yet!

I’m so excited for New Years and starting new. Thanks for reading! Have an amazing day. Plus there will be new posts about my break travels!!! Keep checking!

 What was your favorite part of Christmas?

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10 Things to do on Christmas

It’s official…I’m the worst. I haven’t blogged in 2 weeks. Wow how can I call myself a blogger if I don’t blog. Yikes. Well I apologize, but if you just bare with me, I promise it is coming. I’m planning some new and exciting things that will put me more in tune with the blogging world. I want to change the look a little and start connecting more with others.

Essentially, the past couple of months have been a test run. To 1) see if I could do it…which has turned out good, but has allowed me to realize that I MUST keep on top of posts AND 2) to see if blogging was worth my time and energy. I love it. I really do, but I know it will take a lot of time and I know I’m spreading myself thin next semester. I’ll have to plan ahead (something I’m not good at) and really just keep trusting myself and my content.

So I was making a gift guide, but after a couple days without finishing it I stopped because christmas is a 2 days away. At this point if you don’t have a gift…you most likely are exactly like me and will homemake something OR add your name to someone else’s gift. Then you will probably swear to yourself that next year you are getting a head start on your shopping only for it to happen again. Someday I’ll be ready for Christmas. This is one of character flaws for sure. I have some amazing ideas and I love being creative, but the execution is really tough for me.

To finish off this post here are the TOP 10 THINGS YOU MUST DO ON CHRISTMAS AND CHRISTMAS EVE:

1. Wear Christmas PJs preferably matching with the fam
2. Leave Milk an Cookies for Santa (I don’t care how old you are!)
3. Read the Christmas Story…you must remember the REAL reason for the season
4. Get in bed early…only to lay awake anticipating the next day’s fun
5. Build a Fire (i’ll in Florida so this probably won’t happen)
6. Family card game
7. Be the one that hands out all of the gifts in the morning
8. Dress up in a Christmas outfit for a special lunch or dinner
9. Text or call friends wishing them a Merry Christmas
10. Watch It’s A Wonderful Life and hug your mother when she cry (shoutout to my mom)

I love Christmas and it’s ability to bring people together. My family is crazy, but I love them and the time I get to spend with them especially now that I’m away at college. I also have seen a lo of my high school friends which is amazing. I love catching up and realizing that it doesn’t even seem like we’ve been apart. I’m headed down to the beach where I will most likely be wearing shorts and walking on the beach due to the extremely hot weather…then I’m headed to the mountains with my camp friends. I’m pumped to be in colder weather and brush up on my skiing skills. Stay tuned. I promise I’m still blogging.

Have a wonderful Christmas! Enjoy every moment!

 What are your favorite Christmas traditions? One of my friends always sleeps in the same room as her siblings on Christmas Eve…How fun!

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Finals…Gross

Hey Friends,

If you are in school, finals are probably killing you. I know I’m either stressed out because of all the work and studying I have, or procrastinating which stresses me out even more. Well there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Even if your grades don’t turn out the way you want them too, Christmas break is so close you can feel it and your cozy bed at home is in reach.

I’m taking a study break right now, in between studying for Psych and finishing my English portfolio. Man oh man, I hate studying, and I think the holiday season is kinda bummed down because everyone is too busy trying to save their grades to celebrate. I thought I’d make a list of study break ideas that could help you from burning out and letting finals get the best of you.

1. Exercise or take a walk
I spent 5 hours studying in the student center today, and after that I definitely needed a break to clear my mind. I went to the gym and worked out which made me feel so much better, and gave my brain a little rest. Plus today was beautiful in Athens and perfect for a stroll.

2. Catch up with a friend
Yes everyone is in the same place as you, and they also need a break. Text a friend that you haven’t seen in a while and have lunch at a dinning hall or coffee at Starbucks. It will take your mind off of your tests, and it will be nice company.

3. Send encouraging texts and letters to your friends.
Again everyone is in the same boat as you, and saying some nice words to a friend not only makes them feel special and loved in a tough time but it also make you feel good. Take the time to encourage those in your classes and on your hall.

4. Blog…or Journal
In my case, blogging is my study break, but you can still write even if you don’t have a wildly successful blog like mine (ha. ha.). Take out that journal sitting in your drawer, and write about you whats going on in your head and your heart. Getting things on paper can help you fee relieved and ready to take on new challenges.

5. Think about what makes studying worth it/ your goals for the future.
Right now it can seem that your (well my) Human Geography or History class have no significance what-so-ever in your life. It is so hard to relate the minimal things in your life to the dreams and aspirations you want so dearly. Take time to really think about what you want in the future and realize that achieving that goal starts now with the classes you are taking. Everything is leading towards your future so make it count.

On this same subject about future, my small group leader showed me this video today. It is bouncing around Facebook too, so you may have already seen it. It is Stefan Vandenkooy (cool name) reading spoken word. He mentions that although we are taking finals now, later we will be faced with other finals, and God is there to help us. It is really powerful and convicting. Check it out. It is totally worth it.

I hope your week is going great, and I’m putting together some gift guides on a budget because I definitely do not have the money to spend on expensive gifts for the fam. They will have to just do with my love and my awesome taste. Thanks for stopping by as usual.

How do you take a study break?

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Style Crushes

Hey friends! So I hope your week has been good so far. I hope it is full of christmas carols and cheery decorations. I love christmas music so much (especially Michael Buble)  but it isn’t cold yet here in Athens so it is throwing me off just a little bit.

I was talking to my mom today, and she seemed a little concerned about me after my last post. Well let me explain. First of all, I’m totally fine. I had just been thinking about that topic for awhile and how true a statement “Life is Hard” really is. I’m not just talking the big deep emotional stuff…but i’m talking about the day to day things. It’s just not always easy, but it’s always worth it. If you missed the post you can find it here. 

So to change the subject and talk a little more light heartedly, I wanted to share the clothing items I am crushing on for this winter. I hope you enjoy!

 

Red  Bow Dress //  Funky Crop Top // Black Skirt 

Red Dress- Well isn’t this just the best dress you’ve ever seen? It’s so simple yet so pretty. The bow sold me.. and it was love at first sight. Perfect for a holiday party where you want to stand out! The shoes on the model are so cute as well!!!

The Crop Top and The Set- Okay so this is the major style right now: Having an outfit set usually a involving a crop top. This one was found on the Nordstrom website and is just so cool. The pattern stands out and the best thing about it is that it can go with so many bottoms like jeans, high waisted shorts, or a…

Black Skirt – Yes, the crop top will go great with this skirt, and there are so many skater skirts out there that are shorter than this one. I live and breath my black skirt (which you will definitely be seeing in outfit posts soon)! It is just so simple to throw on for any occasion. I also have the ability to create any outfit possible with such a plain but stylish skirt!

I hope you liked my holiday crushes. I definitely have my eye on a lot of things this season, but these are some main pieces I look for when I shop. Hope the rest of your week goes great! Keep on keeping on and Happy Holidays! Stay tuned for more!

 What is your favorite part about the Holidays? Do you have any style crushes of you own?

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Life Is Hard

 

Hey guys! I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with love, appreciation, family, and friends. Mine definitely was, but don’t be fooled…my family is just as crazy as yours. Finals are coming up which actually stinks. My first semester at college is also coming to a close which is even more scary. I can’t imagine being anywhere else, and I don’t want to see freshman fly past.

The name of this post is Life is Hard, because more and more I’ve realized just how accurate this statement is. It is not an easy thing… and as Kid President points out sometimes we just need a high five for making it out of bed in the morning. Life is hard because you are thrown into situations that seem like there are no solutions, or you are hurt in ways that don’t seem fair, or you may lose yourself for awhile. Life is hard when you have no motivation. Life is hard when feel alone. And life is hard when you can’t imagine what your next move is. It’s just hard, and IT’S OKAY to struggle. It means your human. I need to remember that sometimes because I’m doing the best I can and that’s okay.

So you, person reading this from across from your computer or phone…its okay because life is hard. You don’t have to pretend that you are flawless and don’t have troubles. It’s okay because we all do. Life is hard, but it is worth it. The experiences and the memories and the relationships are all worth it even when it’s hard. So keep on keeping on. Wake up. Breathe. Live. Give Thanks.

One thing I’ve been struggling with lately is this blog. I really enjoy blogging, but sometimes I feel like I don’t have the time to put into it and to make it really great. I start comparing myself to other bloggers who look like they have everything together with their blogs. They have amazing pictures and wonderful travel adventures. I’m just a college freshman sitting on the floor of her dorm writing about how hard life is…wow (i’m actually siting on the floor when there are two beds and a perfectly good futon to sit on…why I have no idea. Haha. I have to remind myself that I don’t have to be blog famous. I don’t have to have the perfect blog look. As long as I am writing and enjoying it..it’s all okay. Maybe someday I will have more to share, and maybe someday I will have the confidence to share my blog with the people in my daily life without feeling judged or intimidated.

On that note, I’m going to keep sharing, and I hope you’ll keep reading. I am going to play dress up with my closet over christmas break so be looking forward to that. I’m actually so excited because I want to see how I put my outfits together and the kinds of pictures I can take. Sydney gave me her word that she’d help me and I’m holding her to that by calling her out on the blog…sorry Syd. Love ya.

Anyways. Keep on trucking because you are worth it and life is worth. Have an amazing Tuesday because you’ll never get this day back. Thanks for reading. Also It’s December…which is crazy!

 

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