Where Have I Been?

 

IMG_209B80FEEB1C-1.jpegWow. It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to actually write a blog post! So what has happened? Before starting school, I thought I had my whole blog planned out through October. I had pictures ready and content planned out. Nothing was written, but I was more than ready to knuckle down and crank out at least a post a week, if not two.

But then college hit me. I was completely unprepared for the amount of time I would lose to studying, classes, extracurriculars, and social obligations. This past semester has been one big, long, learning experience that I have been so grateful for (more posts to come about the specifics). I thought I had perfected time management and was on top of everything happening in my new, crazy life. Boy was I wrong! My blog started to slip through the cracks. Even when people would ask about it, I kept brushing it off in my mind. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much I missed it and how important it is to keep up with.

I don’t know how consistent I’ll be able to post, but my plan is to use last semester as a learning experience and as a way to figure out how to fix my timing and incorporate this blog into daily life. My goal is still to expand and improve and I know I can only do that if I put in the time and energy and make it a priority,

Sorry for the abrupt reentry into the blogging world. Rest assured, this post will not be the last time you hear from me. My plan is to restart consistency this month and continue as I return to school in three weeks. Bear with me as I navigate the life of a college blogger.

xo Carolyn

 

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My Favorite Way to Exercise

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I am not consistent with working out at all.  It is a major struggle.  I go through spurts where I’m all in and workout super consistently for a few days (or a month if I’m really good) and then I just stop.  Currently, I’ve been working out consistently and am trying to find a way to make it stick.  If you have any recommendations for keeping consistent motivation for working out, leave them in the comments below!

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Whether I’ve been working out regularly or am in a workout dry spell, there’s one thing I love doing-yoga!  I did ballet all through elementary and middle school and I think I’m reminded of that when doing yoga.  The flexibility and leg strength involved pushes me enough to feel the workout days later.

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In Ohio I’ve gone to 3 Sisters Yoga Studio and at home, I use the P90x3 yoga video.

I’m not the best at yoga but it’s a fun way to workout!  The stereotypes can make yoga seem like a relaxing experience, but not if you make it hard for yourself!

xo Carolyn

Miracle Hair Product

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I have tried SO MANY different hair products.  My hair is always my primary focus when I’m getting ready and because it’s thick and textured, most of the time I don’t wake up with it looking perfect.  When I need a quick fix, many times I use sea salt spray.  But the issue with salt spray is that your hair ends up crunchy or sticky and you aren’t capable of changing it up later in the day.  Thus, most of the time I resort to lots of heat.  I blow dry, straighten, or curl and basically ruin my hair.  Of course I use a heat protectant but that much heat every day takes a tole on the hair.  That’s why I was so so so happy to discover this product!!

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Phytodefrisant Straightening Balm is by far the best product I have every used in my hair.  And I’m not exaggerating in the slightest!!  All you have to do is put it in wet hair and if you want, you can be done!  My hair dries so smooth and straight just letting it air dry!  The product is also super light and doesn’t make my hair feel heavy or weighed down whatsoever.

But that’s not all!!  If you don’t want to air dry, the product also works amazingly well when you blow dry!  The label says it’s heat activated and I believe it!  After using a blow dryer I barely have to go back through at all with a straightener!  There’s no frizz, no fuss, and it takes hardly any time at all to make my hair look great!

Yes, it is called a straightening balm however I’ve used it and then curled my hair and get super big and loose curls that hold.

I would recommend this product to anyone looking to get gorgeous hair with no fuss!  Waking up for early classes and not having to worry about how my hair is gonna look has been a blessing in college!

xo Carolyn

Phytodefrisant Straightening Balm

P.S.
This post was not sponsored.  Everything I have said has been my own opinion without any prompting by the company.

How I Relax (without technology)

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Sometimes decompression is necessary.  After a long day of getting work done or running around, an hour or two of rest can feel so good!  I have certain goto ways to decompress that have so far worked wonders!

Read//

I’ve made a couple posts about books I enjoy (this one and this one) so clearly reading is a good goto for me!  There are so many books out there that you can decide if you want some light fluffy reading or something more serious or thought-provoking.  Depending on my mood, I like to mix up the books I read.

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Knit//

My grandma taught me how to knit and it’s so relaxing!!  I like to knit while listening to music (preferably the John Mayer Pandora station) with a nice cup of tea next to me.  Once you get the hang of knitting, the repetitive motion let’s your mind wander and you it’s such a good decompressor.

Card Games//

A good card game can fun!  Especially if it doesn’t get super competitive and is just a fun way to relax.  It does involve finding someone else willing to play but if you can do that, you’re golden!

Life can get busy and work can get hard, but finding ways that allow you to relax without pulling out your phone or turning on the tv can work wonders on calming down the mind.

How do you like to relax?

xo Carolyn

7 Tips for a Long Drive by Yourself

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I’ve been making longer drives by myself for awhile to my hometown in Kentucky and to my college and know these drives are going to get more frequent after starting school.  I’ve never driven longer than seven hours by myself but any long drive can get rough by yourself.  Luckily, through trial and error, I’ve developed some strategies for making the drive easier on the mind and body.

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1// Be Prepared Mentally

If you start the drive by accepting that it is going to be long and could be rough in parts you’ll be much better off.  Yes, you probably will run into traffic and no you don’t have control over a lot of what goes on along the way so it’s okay to play some things by ear and be ready to change gears.  Alternate routes might become necessities and as long as you know that’s a possibility you’ll be fine.

2// Snacks and Drinks

I make sure to have easy to open snacks within an easy reach, generally in the passenger seat.  I also always have water in the cupholder, again in an easy to open and drink out of bottle.  I don’t want to have to be fiddling with wrappers or water bottle lids while on the interstate.

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3// Good Music

A playlist is the way to go.  You don’t want to be fiddling with the radio every time you change cities and you don’t want to deal with commercials so developing your own personalized playlist is the way to go.  Make sure you update the playlist the night before so every song is something you’ll want to hear because you don’t want to be skipping through every song you own trying to get to a good song.  I use Spotify and have different playlists for every trip I’ve gone on.  I can share those in a later post!

4// Podcasts

The last drive to Centre I listened to a podcast the majority of the drive and let me tell you it made the ride go by much faster than I expected!  I prefer podcasts with a storyline and not just interviews or information.  The last one I listened to was S-Town and I would highly recommend it!

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5// Stop When You Need To

This is something I’ve struggled with.  The very first long drive I did by myself I had to drive through a horrible torrential downpour for 45 minutes and by the time the rain stopped, I had no desire to get off the highway so I never ate dinner and just barely made it to my destination with the gas I had.  Since then I’ve made sure to take care of myself and my car by trying to coordinate when I ate and got gas.  Luckily for me I’ve been making the same long drive so by now I know the best exits for stopping.  That’s something you’ll probably have to discover along the way.  It’s hard to prepare for this sort of thing.

6// Give Yourself Plenty of Time

If you are trying to get somewhere by a certain time, make sure you give yourself at least an extra hour and a half for stops and random traffic jams.  Hopefully you won’t need that much extra time but it’s better to be early than late because you didn’t give yourself enough time.

7// Wear Comfortable Clothes

I would hope this goes without saying, but wherever you are headed you can wear comfy clothes.  Even if you are driving straight to some formal event, there will always be a bathroom to change in.  I’m all about comfort when it comes to driving on mini road trips.  There is hardly ever a time when comfortable clothes won’t work.

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Traveling is what you make of it.  If you let yourself get stressed out or nervous about it, it won’t be fun.  Long drives by yourself don’t have to be horrible!  Jamming out to your favorite songs in the car without fear of embarrassment can be the one thing making the drive bearable!  I wouldn’t say I look forward to long drives, but I’ve learned enough to not stress or be worried about it.

xo Carolyn

What’s In My Purse

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I basically have two purses that I alternate between using, a cute pink Kate Spade and a small purse my mom got me at a craft fair.  They are both super small and don’t fit too many things so the pressure is always on to keep my load small when I go out.

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Absolute essentials include my phone and wallet.  I can’t leave the house without either of these, for obvious reasons.  Another essential is chapstick.  I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to chapstick.  Whenever I don’t have it I feel like I need it really bad and can focus on nothing except my lips.  Not fun if I’m going to be gone for awhile.

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I try to also have a pen on me at all times.  It seems like whenever I don’t have a pen, I need one.

Because my purses are so small, most of the time my sunglass case doesn’t fit so I always have sunglasses on me but I generally just hold them or hook on my shirt.

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Another little thing I almost always have on me is gum.  I love gum after almost every meal so having it with me is always handy.

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With this little amount of stuff in my purse, it doesn’t normally get cluttered.  A clutter-free purse makes life a lot easier, however going forward I will be looking for a larger purse.  If you have a purse you absolutely LOVE, comment it below! I have a large Longchamp I love but it’s too big to be practical as an everyday purse.

What are some things you can’t leave home without?

xo Carolyn

Carry-On Essentials

 

Image-1.jpgIn my opinion, the carry-on bag(s) is the most important bag you bring with you.  You have it with you the whole trip so you have to make sure everything you are going to need the whole time traveling is included.  I always bring some sort of big bag and my purse.  Generally the big bag is a backpack but on a couple trips I’ve opted for my Longchamp bag instead.  Whether I take a backpack or tote, here are a few things I always make sure I have, no matter how long the flight or drive is.

 

Headphones//

One of the most important things to remember.  I just use the earbuds that come with my phone, nothing fancy, but they get the job done!

Chapstick//

The dry air in planes can really take a tole so I always make sure to have chapstick on me.  Honestly, chapstick is something I have with me no matter what.  I believe it is a life essential.

Book//

I like to have something to read, especially on short flights.  Listening to music and reading can be the perfect way to kill time waiting for a plane or on the plane!

Water Bottle//

I always take an empty water bottle through security and then fill it up at a water fountain or get water somewhere once I find my gate.  Staying hydrated is definitely important during travels.

Laptop//

For longer flights I like to rent movies on my computer and other times I can be super productive during flights!  Either way, it’s always a good idea to have your computer with you for work or entertainment.

Sweater/Sweatshirt//

It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 degrees outside, I can always guarantee the airport and plane will be cold.  Sometimes big sweaters can double as blankets!

A lot of times, people will write about how they bring a change of clothes and basic toiletries, maybe I’m too trusting but I’ve never done that.  I try to keep my carry-on bags light and at the size where I can just shove them under the seat without having to worry about overhead storage space.

What are some things you always make sure to have with you during flights?

xo Carolyn