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Currently Vol. 6

Happy Friday! I took a little break from blogging at the beginning of the week so I could focus on spending time with my family and enjoying the festivities, but I'm back today with another volume of Currently!

Reading... my dad always gets me books for Christmas, and this year was no exception. I received Fear and Loathing In La Liga, and When Nobody Was Watching by Carli Lloyd (this one was actually my sister's, but I plan on stealing it!). I can't wait to dive into both books.

Wanting... nothing. I got everything I asked for for Christmas and I couldn't feel more blessed and content.

Listening... I'm going through Christmas music withdrawals, but to cope with that, I'm listening Taylor Swift's Reputation on repeat. I didn't get to fully appreciate it because I started listening to Christmas music right after it was released, so I'm making up for that by blasting it from my sister's new shower speaker 24/7.

Eating... Christmas leftovers. We still have so many sweets left over at our house, and I've been indulging in them all! My grandma made the most amazing pecan pie cake for Christmas Eve dinner, and I've had a piece of it for breakfast for the past couple days. Not the healthiest option, but definitely the right choice.

Buying... I bought this super-soft top and this pom-pom beanie a couple days before Christmas, but that's about it. I also purchased this velvet top to wear on Christmas (it would be perfect for New Year's, too, though!)

Watching... Friends! I've been watching this show with my mom for a couple months now, and it's so good. We're only on season two (she's seen it before, but never in sequential order) but I'm absolutely obsessed!

Loving... my new MacBook! My grandparents surprised me with it for Christmas, and I was so shocked because I genuinely didn't think that I was going to get it. I'm still learning all the features and playing around with it, but I'm obsessed and so incredibly thankful!

Have a great weekend!

Life Lately Vol. 32

Smiles all around because it's finally FRIDAY and Christmas Eve is in 2 short days! This holiday season has seriously flown by, and as excited as I am for Monday, I'm not looking forward to the most magical time of the year being over. I've done so many festive activities lately, and I can't wait to share some snapshots with you!

side note - as I'm editing this post, I realize that it's all over the place. it kind of jumps around and is just filled with random December snapshots. I still hope you enjoy, though :)

Every year, my sister and I get coordinating Christmas pajamas. These are from The Vermont Country Store, but this pair from PBTeen is super similar!

I've made these Oreo balls four times this month. That's how good they are. I made them for my cookie exchange, my soccer Christmas party, my sister's Christmas party, and a party at school. They're so easy to make and taste amazing! I've been focusing on making them look prettier, and this batch was my best one yet - am I Sally yet?

Last weekend, I went to a fundraiser brunch sponsored by Dylan's Candy Bar. It was put on by a kids' theatrical group, and it was a unique experience but so fun. There was so much candy everywhere, and of course some cute photo ops...

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is decorating gingerbread men. My mom, sisters, and I had a girls night last week, and we watched Elf and decorated gingerbread men. They're certainly not the prettiest, but they were so good and so much fun to make!

I wore this outfit while shopping on Main Street with my family. They have the best Christmas decorations, and I loved getting to do a little holiday shopping!

I wore this outfit to my sister's dance recital. It's the same outfit I wore in this post, but I added a cozy cardigan since it was chilly outside. It's all from Francesca's, because #obsessed

At the beginning of December, I had a cookie exchange with some of my friends! It was so great to get to catch up with them, try Christmas cookies, and take cute pictures.

And last, but certainly not least, my James Avery charm bracelet! I'm going to be collaborating with them for the next few months, and I'm beyond excited. They sent me this Christmas tree charm to put on my bracelet, and I love it - it's like a little piece of Christmas all year long.

Want to see everything else I've been doing lately? I'm doing Vlogmas over on my YouTube channel - click here to watch those vlogs!

Velvet & Pearls

Christmas is less than one week away, and this festive outfit has me in the holiday spirit! I've been loving the velvet trend lately - it's so fun and perfect for the holidays. Between this top's sparkling velvet and its ruffled sleeves, it makes for the perfect holiday outfit. You can pair it with a red lip and pearls, like I did, for a classy Christmas look, or add some fun pants and booties for the perfect New Year's Eve outfit. Did I mention it's under $20 and comes in pink, too?

I've included a bunch of my favorite velvet tops in the widget below - happy shopping!

What are you wearing for Christmas? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Gift Guide: For The Girl That Doesn't Want Anything

I feel like I should preface this post with a small disclaimer: I am this girl. My family members keep asking me what I want for Christmas, and I honestly have no idea. There's only two things I want, so everyone keeps telling me they have no idea what to get me! I know how frustrated they must be (mainly because my mom is doing the same thing to me), and since I'm sure many of you are in the same situation and running out of time, I've put together a few gift ideas that will be perfect for the girl who doesn't want anything!

Most of these gifts fall into three different categories: things you can never have enough of, things you would never ask for on your own, and things you don't know you need until you have. This bathrobe, this Patagonia, and this water bottle fall into the latter; I got them all as gifts and am absolutely obsessed with them. 

There are certain things that you just don't want to buy on your own, so they make for the perfect gifts! I personally don't like to buy boring things, such as jeans and plain sweaters, especially if they're on the pricier side. I have a hard time forking over money for workout clothes and pajamas, too.

I'm also a firm believer that you can never have too many fuzzy socks, chocolates, nail polishes, mugs, or candles! Therefore, they make great gifts (and it would be so cute to make a giant gift basket out of these things!)

Lastly, I think you can never go wrong with a classic James Avery charm - you can pick out one that reminds you of the girl you're getting a gift for, and it becomes an incredibly sweet, thoughtful gift!

And, my friends, this concludes the 2017 gift guide series! Don't forget to check out all my other gift guides - we've got one for the baker, the Secret Santa, an ornament exchange, and the fashion blogger. Happy shopping!

Link Love Vol. 31

Happy Friday, friends! It's been forever since I've published a Link Love post, so forgive me if this gets a bit lengthy :)

I'm so glad it's finally Friday - this week has been such a long one, between waiting for Christmas and studying for finals. Thankfully, my school has Friday off next week, so this is the last Friday of school before Christmas! I don't want to make this introduction super long, so I'll just let you get into the links. Happy reading!

1 // Need some holiday dress ideas? From velvet to sequins, Lauren's got you covered!

2 // How cute are these DIY cinnamon ornaments? I actually have one similar to this that I made in preschool, and it still smells good. I want to make more of these!

3 // So many gift guides are happening on LTPL... we've got Secret Santa, the fashion blogger, the baker, and an ornament exchange so far!

4 // I thought this article about Chip and Joanna's kids was so interesting... they're all adorable!

5 // Madewell & Milk Bar collaborated and this cookie t-shirt has my name all over it

6 // 4 Christmas outfit ideas, no matter what your plans are

7 // I've always wanted to go to LA, so I definitely bookmarked Gabby's post on 15 things to do during your first trip to the city.

8 // This Christmas song has been on repeat lately!

9 // 11 things to look for when writing an essay (especially helpful during finals week)

10 // What's your chance of getting a white Christmas? Dallas is currently at 0%, which makes me so sad :(

11 // How to stay healthy during the holidays

12 // Your salary vs. the Kardashians... I spent way too long on this website, haha

13 // 5 ways to give back during the holidays

14 // Are you all caught up on my Vlogmas?

15 // How gorgeous is this plum spice cake? I doubt it would look like that if I tried to make it, but it's the perfect dessert for Christmas dinner!

16 // Gifts for the Blair Waldorf in your life

17 // How to make an awesome Instagram plan

18 // My favorite mother-daughter duo takes on Central Park... Emma is growing up so fast!

19 // In case you were wondering what it's like to date a blogger

20 // As a Halo Top addict, I found this article about the company's history quite interesting.

21 // OBSESSED with Jessica's Christmas decor... so colorful and cheerful!

Have a great weekend!

4 Festive Christmas Outfit Ideas

It's crazy to me that we're a little less than two weeks away from my favorite day of the year, aka Christmas. It feels like every year, the holiday season gets more and more packed and ends up just flying by! Nonetheless, I'm here today to give y'all a bunch of Christmas outfit inspiration, no matter what your plans are for the special day. Y'all seemed to really enjoy my Thanksgiving outfit ideas (which would also be perfect for Christmas as well!) so I hope you love this post too!

Bell Sleeve Blouse // Pants // Earrings // Boots // Lipstick // Purse

This outfit is such a classic Christmas outfit! It's dressy, but not too dressy; perfect if you're having a big Christmas dinner. I love how elegant and classy thing outfit is, yet it still incorporates some of this season's trends, like bell sleeves.

Confession: I was planning on wearing a cute dress last year but ended up wearing a Christmas t-shirt and Nike shorts so I could play soccer with my sisters and the new soccer goal we got. Whoops. Sometimes, you just don't feel like getting all dressed up, especially if you're just having a low-key celebration at home with your family. This sweater + leggings combo is extremely comfy, but also festive!

Would it really be a Christmas outfit post without some plaid? I didn't think so! This skirt from Lauren James is so classy and festive, especially when dressed up with pearls and heels.

Of course I had to include a pair of Christmas pajamas! These are a bit pricy, but I thought they were too cute not to show y'all, and they look oh-so-cozy! This outfit is perfect for opening presents on Christmas morning. And you can never go wrong with fuzzy moccasin slippers, am I right?!

Thanks for reading - I hope you gained some outfit inspiration from this post!

What are you wearing for Christmas?

Gift Guide: The Baker

It's no secret that I love dessert. I have the biggest sweet tooth, and you can always catch me in the kitchen baking something! Today, Ashley and I are collaborating (it's long overdue!!) to bring you two amazing gift guides for the bakers & chefs in your life. Enjoy!

Sally's Baking Addiction Cookbook // Apron + Oven Mitt Set // Brownie Dish // Pink Kitchen-Aid // Spatula Set // Silicone Baking Cups // Rose Gold Muffin Tin // Turquoise Toaster // Cake Plate // Cookie Cutter Set // Measuring Spoons

I'm a sucker for cute cookware and baking accessories - from appliances, to cookbooks, to dishes, to little knick-knacks, I love shopping for anything and everything kitchen related. The chef in your life will swoon over the gorgeous toaster and mixer, read this cookbook page to page, and bake brownies in this pan all the time! She'll also love displaying her cakes on this gorgeous stand, and will use these measuring spoons and spatulas when making a batch of delicious sugar cookies with these chic cookie cutters.

Looking for more gift guide inspo for the chefs in your life? Go check out Ashley's post here!

Currently, Vol. 5

Happy Friday! There's only 17 more days until Christmas (but who's counting??) so today I'm bringing y'all a Christmas-ified version of my Currently series! Keep reading to see what I've been loving lately!

Eating... so many Christmas desserts! Honestly, I'm surprised I'm not a candy cane at this point. I've had so many Christmas treats in the past few weeks... gingerbread, peppermint mochas, and a dozen different types of Christmas cookies, to name just a few. I had a Christmas cookie exchange last weekend, and I got to try so many different types of Christmas cookies!

Watching... Vlogmas! All of my favorite YouTubers have been doing Vlogmas (including myself!!), and I've loved keeping up with their vlogs. I'm going to be really sad when the Christmas season ends and my subscription box is void of daily vlogs...

Reading... Sophie's World. We have to read this book for English, and while I'm not a huge fan of the philosophical parts, the plot is good and pretty interesting. I keep meaning to take a trip to the library to grab some books to read for pleasure, but it's hard to find time to run small errands like that around this time of year.

Buying... this t-shirt (I got it on sale for only $8!), these socks, these earrings, and these pajamas (although these were actually an early Christmas present). Oh, and I bought 13 candles at Bath and Body Works the other day #noregrets

Wanting... a few things for Christmas! Click here to watch my Christmas wish list video! Also, i just stumbled upon these snowmen earrings - how adorable are they?

Listening... to alllll the Christmas music! Michael Buble is on repeat 24/7 at my house, and I've got my Spotify Christmas playlist queued up whenever I'm not at home! In fact, I'm listening to the Pentatonix' Christmas music as I write this :)

Here's to a great weekend filled with plenty of fun Christmas activities!

How To Take Outfit Pictures In The Winter | Outfit Photo Inspiration

I always struggle with taking outfit pictures in the winter. In the summer, it's an easy task; bright flowers and vivid greenery make for the perfect backdrops. But what am I supposed to do when the green grass turns brown and the flowers start dying?

Architecture // Finding pretty buildings with stone or brick walls can be a great way to take pictures! There's an area in my town square that has a building with gorgeous stone walls and a small courtyard, and I took pictures at this church that has stone pillars and beautiful flowers a while back!

Brick Walls // I personally love the way red brick walls look, so I find myself taking quite a few photos in front of red brick walls. If you come across a pretty brick or stone wall (bonus points if it has a green vine on it!) take advantage of it & snap a few pictures!

Fall Leaves // If you live in a place that's a few weeks behind when it comes to seasons (like me... Texas is still around 70 degrees) the fall foliage may still be on the ground everywhere, creating a perfect backdrop for pictures!

Murals // I love taking pictures in front of colorful murals! Although I'm clearly wearing a summery dress in the picture above, murals are great to take pictures in front of during the winter (or any time of year!) I've only been to cool murals in Chicago and Austin, but I have a ton in Dallas that I want to visit (this list has some great ones for all my Dallas gals!)
Christmas // Obviously, you can't do this in January or February, but during December, load your Instagram theme up with pictures of you surrounded by festive decor! I always love creating a Christmas Instagram theme (follow me here) and it's a great way to take some creative photos! If you need any Christmas photo inspiration, I've got you covered :)

original post HERE // similar top HERE
Shopping // Lauren's outfit photos are great examples of how to do this! With so many cute storefronts and boutiques everywhere, it can be fun to snap a few pictures in front of your favorite local boutique. This is a great way to create a really white and bright Instagram theme!

shop my boots HERE
Snow // Living in Texas, I don't get a lot of opportunities to take winter-wonderland-eqsue pictures, but if you live in a colder climate, take advantage of a snow day and take some cute pictures of you in your cozy winter clothes!

I hope you found these tips helpful - if you have any other ideas + suggestions, let me know in a comment below!

Gift Guide: The Fashion Blogger

Welcome back to another Christmas gift guide! Today we're talking all about gifts for bloggers, Instagrammers, YouTubers... anyone in that industry. It can be hard to know what to get these people, but don't worry - I've got you covered!

Classic Style Book // Tote Bag // Photo Printer // Power Charger // 2018 Agenda // Polaroid Camera // Fur Rug // Books Art Print // Nordstrom Gift Card // Selfie Ring Light // Gold Earbuds

First up, we have a few photography & technology gifts. This Polaroid takes the cutest little photos, and this printer can easily print pictures taken on her camera or phone! These earbuds are perfect for her to throw on while she's editing pictures or writing blog posts. I thought this selfie ringlight was so cool - perfect to take her Instagram feed to the next level! This power charger will come in incredibly handy when she's on the go and needs to charge her phone or laptop... and it will fit perfectly in this tote bag that is perfect to take to meetings, photoshoots, and feature in any outfit post!

Now, on to home decor. She'll love this fur rug - it's the perfect addition to her bedroom but will also help her take the best flatlays! This classic style book will give her a ton of inspiration for her future outfit posts, but she can showcase it on her coffee table or nightstand (and feature it on her Instagram, of course!) This art print will look so cute above her desk, and will serve as a friendly reminder to be a kind, hardworking girl boss!

She will also make this 2018 agenda her new best friend - she can use it to schedule blog posts, social events, appointments, and more!

And lastly, if all else fails, get her a Nordstrom gift card, because it's pretty much every blogger's favorite store :)

Thanks for reading! If you have any other suggestions for blogger gifts, leave them in a comment below - I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Life Lately Vol. 31

Happy Friday, friends! It feels like it's been forever since my last volume of Life Lately, so I'm glad to sit down today and catch up with y'all. November was a particularly crazy month, but such a good one. So many fun things happened - this month was definitely one for the books!

That being said, I'm so excited that it's finally December. I love all things Christmas, and I'm looking forward to really get in the holiday spirit!

If you've read my 101 in 1001 list, you'll know that I've wanted to do a Color Run for a while. I finally got to participate in one the other day when my school hosted one to raise awareness for human trafficking. It was such a fun event: I loved getting to run with all my friends and take cute pictures afterward!

My stepdad's birthday was at the beginning of November, and since he loves ice cream, my mom and I made this ice cream cake from Sally's Baking Addiction! It was pretty time-consuming, but turned out so well and didn't last long in our house :)

Over Thanksgiving break, my family and I went to tour TCU! It was such a fun day - I got to meet the dean of journalism and walk all around the beautiful campus. You can read more about my trip here!

My sweet friend Ashley's birthday was a couple weeks ago, so I went with her and my friend Sarah to grab Gigi's Cupcakes after school! Ashley and I go to a different high school than Sarah does, so it was great to get to catch up with her!

My sisters and I have a Thanksgiving tradition where every year, we make our favorite pie. While I usually help out with the majority of the food, my sisters don't like to cook that much, so this is a good way to get them involved with the dinner. They made a pumpkin pie and a chocolate brownie pie, and I made a chocolate pecan pie. They were all delicious, and we had such a fun Thanksgiving full of delicious food!

I'm so happy to say that all of our Christmas decorations are finally up! I spent the good majority of last weekend decorating for Christmas and doing a little bit of gift shopping, and I love how all of our trees turned out!

I think that about covers it... now you're all caught up with my life! Have a great weekend!