Monday, June 30, 2014

Reflection : New Years Resolution #6

New Year, new direction :: 4 steps to make 2014 your best year yet

2014 Resolutions Post

June was such a great month. School ended on a high note - only because exams were over, I got to get back into the swing of blogging after the lack of posts in May, and I got to catch up on sleep, create a fun and easy breezy summer routine, and just relax. A lot of people tend to go for crazy summer plans, in which they're gone the mass majority of the summer traveling place to place (the case for me last summer), but I have truly enjoyed just hanging low and getting lots of work done. 

This month, I concentrated on blogging which was great. Like I said, June was my month to catch up on blogging and put a lot of time and effort into publishing better and solid content. (I hope you've felt the same way as the reader!) I also started my  own series, Tea Talk Tuesday, to highlight bloggers that I love. I also joined a new blog group, the SITS girls - and have loved being part of such an upbeat and encouraging group of girls. 
I also found a few new blogs that I absolutely love and read every morning. One of my most recent findings is of my friend Claire's blog, Adventures in Deutshland. This fall, Claire is coming to SOA for Vocal, and I am so jealous that she gets to spend the next month and a half in Germany. Her blog is just her simply writing what her time is like there and how she's enjoying her experience. 

My blog's first birthday is the 2nd - and I am so excited to write all about what this year has been like for me. I had big dreams of creating a fun little post, but with the next two days that I have planned it may not be happening. (but still, fingers crossed!) 

And to end, July's resolution may be and/or omitted until next month. During July, I am supposed to focus on Travel, but I am not traveling out of state (I'll be going to Greenville for 2 weeks in 6 days) until August, and August's resolution is Organization (I have to get back into the swing of things for school!) - so I may just combine the two and have one massive month to get lots done! 

This week I have a lot planned, between 2 doctor appointments, getting ready for camp, and blog tons, so I need some massive motivation to keep me in good spirits! 

Have a great Monday!


Friday, June 27, 2014

On My Radar { 06 . 27 . 14 }

This week was super chill, which was just what I needed. In just 9 days I head off to camp for two weeks, so this next week is going to get hectic, between writing multiple posts for my time away and getting packed, rehearsed (I have to perform the first day I get there!), and finalizing the last few details. 

Image: Ansel Elgort, left, and Shailene Woodley appear in a scene from 'The Fault In Our Stars'
ONE :: The Fault in Our Stars + Anne Frank Kiss
I LOVED The Fault in Our Stars (crying one minute and laughing the next, what's not to love?!), and soon after I saw it with my friend Cathie, this article from NBC News popped up on my Facebook News Feed. I don't necessarily agree fully with what the reviewers and critics are complaining about, but it was interesting to see their point of view and to see what made them cringe halfway through the movie. 
After Hazel and Gus climb 3 flights of stairs to see Anne Frank's home, Hazel (with her terrible lungs) is out of breath. One of the most culminating moments of the book/movie is when Gus and Hazel share a memorable (and adorable) kiss in Anne Franks' living room. But, critics aren't so happy with the scene because they don't approve how such a happy moment can take place in one of the saddest moments in history. (I'd like to hear your perspective, comment below!) 

The JacksGap Collaboration Project
TWO :: JacksGap Collaboration
I love Jack and Finn Harries (#mcm forever and always) and their very creative videos and daring adventures. One of Jack's recent videos is a challenge/collab with his viewers/readers of his blog and videos, to make a short video stating the following : What Do You Fear and/or What Do You Love? The boy's goal is to create the largest YouTube collab, and I definitely want to take part - and would love it if you would join me! 

#behindthepalette downloads
{ via this post } 
THREE : Eveleyn Henson Free Downloads
A while back, Carly from the Chicago Prepster blogged about Evelyn Henson's adorable tech wallpapers! Since then, I've been obsessed and have so many saved to my phone to change at different times! Eveleyn makes lots of the quotes/wallpapers you see all over Pinterest and Tumblr which I am in love with. 

FOUR :: Gentle Ways to Take a Break
Summer is the perfect time to take a break, especially between camps, jobs, internships, school, and chores! This post shares 55 ways to take a break - some are easy to think of and others are more creative. I am definitely going to continue referencing this throughout the summer and into the school year! 

FIVE :: 10 DIY Projects from Design Darling
Summer also means lots of free time, and I am always looking for fun projects to do instead of blogging or reading (or watching Netflix, no shame)! I really want to try painting the inside of my door, creating a porcelain jewelry stand, or the gold leaf frames before summer ends! 

What links are you loving this week? 

Have a great weekend! See you girlies on Monday! 


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Flying on a Jet Plane

Just as summer means lots of time spent on beach vacations, it also means lots of time spent on trains, planes, and automobiles! I've spent plenty of hours on planes and in cars, so (as I said yesterday with my beach bag essentials), I could pack a carry on bag in 5 minutes. Honestly, I end up packing things that I never use, but better safe than sorry, am I right?!
(I tend to just grab my book or iPad when I'm actually on the plane or in the car. #theessentials)

The Essentials : 

iPad + Phone
Hair Brush 
Extra Phone Battery 
Notebook + Pen
Coin Purse/Wallet
Water Bottle

Other little things to keep in a carry on include a scarf, fuzzy socks (who wants cold feet?), eye mask, some makeup, and an extra change of close in that rare case that your luggage gets lost! 

What's in your travel bag? 


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Let's Go to the Beach, Beach

Living 20 minutes from the beach, I have spent many days out in the sun, whether it's on the boat, beside the pool, or lying on the sand. With this said, when it comes to throwing my beach essentials into a bag and going to the crisp white sand, its down to a science. 

You cannot spend your day at the beach without a few things that aren't that hard to forget - your bathing suit (top / bottom), a cute cover up (I tend to go to large tees/nike shorts!), a towel, and some sunscreen. 

Some other fun essentials to bring include a fun print bag, some cute sandals/flip flops, body spray, sunglasses (similar) and croakies, and a hairbrush. Being able to brush out your hair (if it's possible after a day at the windy beach!), is nice and refreshing, and will make washing it later a lot easier.  

I have talked a ton about easy and fun reads for summer, so taking a few magazines and a book to the beach is always a smart idea! I just started The Night Circus and I have to force myself to put it down at night so that I can get a few hours of sleep! 
And lastly, don't forget to hydrate! Bringing your own water and a cute coozie will make drinking H2O that more enjoyable! 

What's in your summer beach bag?


These Shoes Were Made for (Beaching)

I love summer shoes! There is so much variety, so many beautiful color options. After spending too much time on social media (Tumblr and Pinterest especially) I have loved seeing how other bloggers and teens style their favorite summer (comfort) shoes.

For me, once the weather is suitable for open toed shoes, they're coming out of their boxes! Here in Charleston, our summer shoes come out as early as the end of March/early April, so trying to find cute pairs to tide us over from then until September/October is both a challenge and fun! 

My go to shoes for summer have to be my Jack Rogers and some casual sandals from Target! (You cannot go wrong with Target sandals. who's with me?)

summer comfort shoes

I really wish I could pull off some type of wedge (or heel in general) but I'm so cautious about it because of my already 5'10" height. 

Let's not forget to mention that by putting together this look book there are now 11 new pairs of shoes I really want need. 

What are your summer comfort shoes? 


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Camp Checklist

Yesterday I shared what my typical camp outfits look like for two weeks, and today I am sharing the essentials I wouldn't think about leaving the house without! Even though I am not really camping (I'm staying in dorms on a High School Campus), the majority of these items are applicable to all camps. 

I've gone to summer camps for as long as I can remember, since at least 2nd grade, so I've experienced my fair share of time away from home. It's never easy the first day or two, but once camp gets going, my fears and nerves go away and I end up having the time of my life! (read : I don't want to go back home!) After leaving home for two weeks last summer and not knowing what to expect, I left home with some essentials that I wish I would have taken with me. In result, this summer my packing list is down to the specifics! 

Links :: 
CamelBak Water Bottle // Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Moleskin Classic Notebook // For taking notes in classes/sermons or "journaling" while you're away!
Pens // Something to write with, need I say more?
Stationary // Write home, send snail mail to friends!
Stamps // You need a way to send your snail mail! 
Kind Bars // Snack are essential - also include oreos, gummies, and chocolate!)
Old Navy Flip Flops // You never know how dirty the showers are going to be, so cheap/old flip flops are essential!
Watch // Keeping time, and as a music student, a metronome! 
Fifteen Minutes & Someday, Someday Maybe // (or any easy and light read!) I love reading before bed while I am at camp instead of watching Netflix on my mini iPad, so bringing some fun books with me is a must! 
Pop Up Laundry Bag // Carry your laundry to the washer and dryer in style! It's also easy to keep it all in one place and transport it easily. 
Shower Caddy // When sharing a bathroom with other girls, toiletries get mixed easily, especially when it comes to the shower! Keeping a cute caddy or simply a plastic tin is an easy way to keep your toiletries separate from everyone else's! 
Kate Spade Crossbody // While at camp, we are allowed to go out into the city of Greenville twice a week with a counselor. A small crossbody (or purse of some kind!) is always smart to bring to throw your phone, wallet, and other small essentials into for a fun night out. 
North Face Recon Backpack // I am so glad I decided to bring my backpack to camp last year, because it was the easiest way to carry all of my essentials (binder, waterbottle, notebook, pens, book, phone, etc.) around! 
Kate Spade Coin Purse (similar) // A small and functional way to keep your money and ID with you! 
Quilted Toiletry Bag // Same deal as the shower caddy, it's a fun and stylish way to keep your toiletries neat and together! 
Headphones // If you're allowed to bring electronics to camp, bringing headphones is not a bad idea! 
Sunglasses // Pretty self explanatory, but if you're planning on spending a lot of time in the sun and outside, make sure you protect those eyes! (and hydrate!) 
Some items I didn't include that I know I will be taking for my specific camp include sheets, towels, quarters (for the laundry machine), lanyard, and laundry detergent + dryer sheets. 
What would you take to your summer camp that isn't on this list? 

P.S. Before I leave, (and don't worry, there will be scheduled posts!) I will make sure to share my address for camp with you - so feel free to use some cute stationary! 

Tea Talk Tuesday : Madison from The Book Worm Blogger


This week, Madison has taken over the blog and is telling us a little bit about herself. I have known Madison since I was in 4th grade and when she started her own blog I was so happy to have such a close friend to talk about anything and everything blog related! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I'm 15, and I currently go to West Potomac High School. I just recently started to blog, and I am falling more and more in love with it everyday. I love to dance, and I was on the JV Dance Team, which was such a privilege. I also adore words. Books and writing pretty much make up my life. I have a loving and awesome family made up of my mom, my dad, a little brother, and two little sisters. They are so supportive of everything I do, and I seriously couldn't have asked for anything better. I am also blessed to have such close and inspiring friends who keep me in check. 

How long have you been blogging and what motivates you to write every day?
I've had my blog for I think almost a year now, but I didn't really keep up with my blog until around December of last year. I'm honestly not really sure why all of the sudden I started blogging a lot, but I think it had a lot to do with [Sydney's] blog. For me, blogging is kind of like an online journal. I use my blog to not only give reviews on books (which is something I absolutely love doing), but also to kind of write about my life and what's going on. I want to be able to look back and see what I have done in my life.

How do you handle school and your blog?
Handling school and my blog can get pretty tough at times, especially now that finals are coming up. I usually wait until I finish most of my homework before I actually write my post, but I have everything planned out beforehand. I'll sit down on weekends and take a look at my week and decide what would be best for me to write throughout the week. That way I'm not sitting for an hour trying to come up with an idea for my blog when I probably should be finishing up an essay.

What are some of your favorite posts that you've written?

Since I'm kind of just starting out with blogging, I don't have a ton of posts, but my favorites, have to be "Motivation for the Month: May," "Night Before Our Stars, pt. 2," "Weekly Fangirl Fetish: Eleanor and Park," and "Weekly Fangirl Fetish: When Godly People Do Ungodly Things." 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
The sad thing is, I really don't know what I want to do with my life when I get out of high school. In 5 years, hopefully I'll be at a fairly good college studying Business Administration and English. It sounds really boring, but I want to be able to get a secure job that will allow me to write on the side, so that hopefully I will be able to become an author when I get older. And I've always loved marketing, so Business Administration doesn't sound so bad. 

What would be your dream job and why?
My dream job would either be an editor or an author. Obviously writing is my passion, and I love to read as well, so getting paid to read aspiring author's works or write as an author myself would be amazing. If I were to become an author, I really want to write a story that means something, probably targeted towards young adults.

What are you most looking forward to about sophomore year?
There are actually a ton of things I'm looking forward to sophomore year. For one, I'm moving back to South Carolina and I'm going back to School of the Arts for Creative Writing, which is just so surreal for me. It is such a blessing from God. I am super excited to see all of my old friends and be able to go to school with them again. I will also get to write every day again, which will be SO nice after taking a break for a year. Of course, I will also be able to start driving, which is weird and really freaky to think about. Also, I won't be a freshmen anymore, so no more bottom of the food chain for me!

What are some of your essential pieces in your closet?
Some pieces of clothing that I absolutely adore include a neutral colored skirt, a polka-dot sundress, brown oxford high heels, and my Hogwarts sweatshirt (she adds sheepishly). I love the skirt because I can wear it with literally every shirt I own, and there's this black design on the bottom to keep the skirt still neutral but more exciting. The sundress is so comfy to wear, yet it still looks like I put more effort into my outfit. I adore the high heels. I usually wear them to church, but they go with any of my dresses and they are just so adorable. I think the sweatshirt is pretty self-explanatory. I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, so naturally the sweatshirt goes anywhere I go. It's nice because I can just throw it on when I get cold, and it has super warm and comfy material.

What books would you recommend to read this summer?
It depends on what you personally like to read, but I really enjoyed Rainbow Rowell's books, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. I also suggest The Great Gatsby if you haven't read it, because the whole novel has a very summery feel and is a great read. If you're looking for something more inspirational this summer, I suggest anything Beth Moore, Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagen, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (this one covers a bit more depressing subjects), and Stargirl by Jerri Spinelli. (Stargirl is a much easier book at a lower reading level, but it is extremely well written.

What is your favorite part about dancing and writing?
This answer is going to be extremely cliche, but my favorite part about writing and dancing is that I feel at home. When I'm on the stage performing or I am sitting with a journal and pen in my hand is when I feel most comfortable and confident with myself. I can be a fairly shy person and I don't really share my thoughts very often, but I can become someone else when I write or dance, which helps me share what I have to say to the world. My favorite part is when I am writing/dancing, and I am so involved in the story I am sharing that I lose myself in this little world that I created. It's the best feeling.

What is your favorite part about going to SOA?
When I first showed up at School of the Arts in the 6th grade, I was kind of a mess. I had no idea what I loved to do, I was pretty far from God, I was trying too hard to be someone I wasn't, and I didn't have a ton of friends. School of the Arts really helped me turn around my life. I am able to do something I love for an hour and a half every day. I love how I am able to focus on writing, and I am learning how to become a strong and original writer. It's so amazing that I got the privilege to go to a school like that. I also feel like everyone is so much more accepting of other people, and moving to Virginia for a year definitely helped me appreciate that. Going to a more accepting school allowed me to grow as a person and understand who I am - I was allowed to be an artist who preferred to look at the world differently, and I loved that. The teachers understood that everyone was different, and I find that so rare nowadays. I also got to be around people that shared the same passion as I do, and that helped me find common ground with potential friends. School of the Arts helped me find my voice through both writing and through the atmosphere the school provides, and I am so thankful for that.
{Madison went to the same school I currently go to and I have missed her so much this past year! If you're new to the blog, School of the Arts is a school in which you audition into, and choose one of the 8 majors : Visual Arts, Strings, Piano, Vocal, Band, Theater, Dance, and Creative Writing) You spend 90 minutes every day in your major and can attend starting at grade 6, all the way to your Senior year.}

Where can we find you on social media? 
I'm on Twitter (@TheBookworm123), Instagram (thebookwormblogger), and Pinterest (balletshooz, under the board ~blogging~).

As Madison is a fairly new blogger, go and show her some love and add her to your Daily Reads list! 


Monday, June 23, 2014

A Day at Camp

I leave for camp in 13 days and I am so pumped. If you follow me on Twitter, I have been talking about camp more and more and updating my followers on how many days I have left in the wait! I have been planning my packing list for a while now and I can't wait to meet my roommate, suite mates, and reunite with some of my best friends from last summer! 

Throughout camp, I keep my wardrobe simple and easy (and comfortable!) In the day, I have to go to classes (Music Theory, Music Appreciation, Choir, Masterclass, and more). At night, I have to have outfits that are acceptable for performances as we attend performances in one of the halls every evening. 

Below, I've shared my favorite and typical camp outfits that would definitely work for most any camps that you'll attend this summer! 

Even though I am keeping my attire comfortable, I still want look nice and put together since this intensive is taking place at the school (Governor's School, read about what it entails here!) I really want to attend my junior and senior year of high school. I need to present myself!

COMFORT : Pullover (Similar) // Nike Running Shorts

What do your camp outfits look like? What would you add to this list? 


6 Can't Miss Blogs

I've shared some of the blogs I can't go a day without reading previously on the blog, but over the course of a few months, these favorite blogs have shifted and now there is a new group of blogs that I'm excited to share with you! 

During the school year, reading blogs is the very first thing I do in the morning - alarm goes off, iPad/phone comes out (this is probably very unhealthy but oh well), and I'm checking Social Media and catching up with the same blogs on Bloglovin. Now that it's summer, I've had time to search around and find a few more blogs that are absolutely darling and that completely catch my eye every day with every new post. I've added their buttons to my home screen on my phone and have also followed each of the blogs on Bloglovin. 

ONE :: The Blonde Prep, Frannie 
Frannie loves to cook and dress classy, and both definitely shine through on her blog. Frannie is constantly sharing some of her favorite recipies and I look forward to trying some of her recipies in the near future! (Doesn't this salad look delicious?!) Frannie recently started running and eating more raw fruits, which I really admire since I recently took up biking and have been struggling to find motivation some days! Her blog helps tons! 

TWO :: Citrus and Style, Caroline
Over time, I followed Caroline on social media sites and was so excited to find out she had a blog for herself! Her blog title explains it all - she has a love for citrus (cooking, lifestyle) and style! Caroline writes great motivational posts, such as ways to stay in shape! (And I can't forget to mention her impeccable outfits!)

THREE :: The College Prepster, Carly Heitlinger
I will always love Carly's blog. Her posts are constantly being bookmarked by me and I find myself always referencing old posts at various times throughout the week. Carly also loves to read, so I definitely look up to her for book suggestions and I think that if we were every to chat about books, we would instantly click. 
And I can't get over that adorable puppy, Teddy, and her boyfriend, Garrett! And her life in NYC makes me want to live there. #someday

FOUR :: History in High Heels
I found History in High Heels while packing for Italy because of her intense Travel section on her blog. I fell in love with her classic and fun posts, and now that she is in Italy herself, I have loved following along on Instagram and by reading her posts and viewing her outfits. I am so jealous that she is currently in my favorite travel destination - I wish I could go back and be one of her students! 

FIVE :: Sailing the Sea of Style, Sloane Kratzman
I was introduced to Sloane's blog by my friend Kira and since then I have loved viewing Sloane's outfit every day. She is a rising freshman who has impeccable style and lives just outside the big apple - what's not to love?! Sloane has so much going for her and her blog and is definitely one of my new inspirations! 

SIX :: York Avenue, Jackie
And last, (but not least!) Jackie from York Avenue has the picture perfect life in a flat in NYC. I live vicariously through her UES lifestyle and her blog simply covers all the bases - reading, style, and food. 

What are your daily reads? I love adding to my never ending list! 


Saturday, June 21, 2014

summer essentials

Happy Summer! 

Although it's felt like summer here in Charleston since the end of April, it is officially summer today and I couldn't be more excited! Throughout middle school, summer was just 3 long months between grades; but, now that I've experienced my first year of high school and actually realized how amazing 3 months away from school is, I am definitely taking advantage of this time off! 

There are a few items that are crucial during the hot summer months, no matter where you live! 

summer essentials
ONE : Water Bottle // Guys. It is SO SO important to stay hydrated any time, but even more crucial in the summer. When spending lots of time outdoors and in the heat, your body will definitely thank you after a nice cold drink of H2O! 

TWO : Portable Charger // I've had one of these chargers for a long time but haven't gotten the chance to really use it until now. If I have to run errands or just spend an extended time out of the house, I will throw this charger into my cross body and I'll be set! Definitely think about investing in one if you haven't yet - these chargers saved me when traveling in Italy this past April and will definitely come into use when going to camp and vacation later this month. 

THREE : Chinos and a Tee // My go to outfit in the summer (when the heat is unbearable) is a cute pair of solid or printed shorts and a classic and comfortable tee. I recently started wearing more V-Neck tees after they were on sale at Gap and I can confidently say that they're so versatile and so fun to style! 

FOUR : Sandals // You honestly cannot go a summer without breaking out your favorite sandals/flip flops. I received a pair of Jack Rogers (similar) a few months ago and I love them! 

FIVE : Cross-Body Bag // I recently received the Kate Spade Little Minka (it's on MAJOR sale!) and am surprised as to how much I love it! (Updated What's in My Purse to come!) The color is so versatile which I love. If you haven't already, think about investing in a nude colored purse - you won't regret it! 
There are also so many smaller options that will fit the summer essentials you need and they're all reasonably priced!

SIX : Light Summer Read // Summer is my time to catch up on reading that I haven't been able to do throughout the school year! Light, easy, funny, and inspirational (and page-turner!) reads are my go tos. 

One thing I didn't list is a good summer playlist! Great music and a great summer go hand in hand. 

What are your summer essentials? 


Friday, June 20, 2014

On My Radar { 6 . 20 . 14 }

This week has flown by! I can't believe it's already Friday. This week was such a great week, since I finally got back into the swing of blogging, finished up my collab with Tiny Prints and Julep, and felt very productive each day. I also started working out with my dad, (we bike 6.5 miles 5 days a week) and we have shaved 4 minutes off since our first ride last Friday! I also spent some time this past week with some girlfriends downtown for the first time since school got out which was super fun and it was nice getting to catch up with them. 

I have so many links I want to share with you these next few weeks! I wish I could share 20 each Friday but I think that would be too overwhelming! 

ONE : Smart Girls Group - June Magazine
I've been a Smart Girl Blogger for quite a few months and have always enjoyed their emails that appear in my inbox. They are filled with inspiring articles, links to new bloggers, and headlining blog posts that lead me to find many websites that are "bookmark worthy" (guys, this is why I have so many links coming at you this summer. they've all piled up and I finally have time to share them all). While scrolling through these emails, I have always noticed the Smart Girls Magazine each month, but have never taken the time to sit down and read it. OMG. I have been missing so much motivation and fun articles that I wish I knew about sooner! I've left a few (read : 8) of my favorite articles. 
pg. 21 - Smart Style (insanely gorgeous pictures!) 
pg. 29 - "Blogger Lookbooks" (lead me to find Amy V. Norris and read more about Sydney Carver - interview to come next month!) 
pg. 51 - How Your Period Affects Your Health (a must read! what's actually behind the PMS and cravings and what you can do to help during that time of the month!)
pg. 53 - Fun In The Sun (5 Ways to Get Active outside!) 
pg. 63 - Interview with the blogger behind Corals and Cognacs! 
pg. 81 - Smart Reads (I am always looking for books to add to my reading list, and #GirlBoss is no exception!) 
pg. 85 - 10 Ways to Look (and Feel!) Like Sunshine (so inspiring and perfect for summer!)
pg. 99 - Welcome to Cornell University (as a sophomore, I have so many colleges that are on my radar, and after reading about Cornell I definitely want to look into it even more!) 

TWO : Blogs I'm Loving
Corals and Cognacs and Amy V. Norris - I found both of these blogs while reading Smart Girls Group emails but I am so glad that I followed them on Bloglovin' and added them to my "Blog Bookmarks"! I cannot wait to add them to my daily reads. 
Essie Button - I've been watching Essie's YouTube videos for quite a while and when I finally realized that she had a blog of her own I had to add it to my list as well - and I am so glad I did! I love her blog design and her posts are so so fun! 

THREE : How To Flirt
It's summer ... so why not try some new techniques before school comes back around? LOVE this post from the sisters behind PopCosmo! 

 photo Reading-Leigh-Viner-BlogSM_zps427002a7.jpg
{ via }
FOUR : Summer Bucket (and Reading!) List
I've been out of school for almost 2 weeks and I am constantly looking for things to do and books to add to my (LONG) list of summer reads. So many of my favorite bloggers have been publishing Summer Reading posts and it isn't helping (you can look at my liked list on Bloglovin' and view a few of them!) Below I've listed a few of my favorite Summer Reading Lists and fun things to pass the time on those days that you're super bored! 
1. Summer Reading List from Smart Girls
2. Summer Projects
3. 5 Fabulous Ideas to Kick Off Your Summer
4. Summer Reading List from Create

FIVE : 8 Things That Reveal a Woman's Character
As a daughter of God, this list of eight qualities is eye opening and very intriguing. I am thinking about making this list on a sticky note to hang above my desk as a constant reminder! 

I'm going boating this weekend and then I'm planning to hang low Sunday and get some blogging done for the rest of the week!
Come back tomorrow for a special post to ring in Summer with my essentials! 

What links have you been loving? 


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Branding, Organization, and Selling Yourself as a Blogger

It has been almost a year (July 1 2013!) since I started my little corner of the interweb here at A Thousand Tomorrows, formally known as Everyday Southern Prep. I have learned so much and have found that writing is a hobby of mine that relieves stress and lets me create new ideas and content. It has been an absolute joy writing this past year and I cannot wait to see what is to come. 

With this being said, I have learned lots of important things you need to consider while blogging, such as the importance of organization, branding, and "selling yourself" on social media. Each blogger has their own little differences when it comes to branding themselves, whether it be how they describe their blog, style, or content. I have read so many blog posts about blogging tips, how to brand yourself on twitter, instagram, pinterest, etc. (and how to utilize these social media platforms!), creating the best content, and organizing each week. 

For me, organizing is the key to blogging. I use a master calendar along with an Excel Spread Sheet to log every post and its views and reader response. I do not have a calendar solely dedicated to blogging, because the calendar I use is fine for both school and blog work. I simply pencil in the post I want to plan for that certain date. 
Recently, I plugged all my posts into my Google Calendar. I cannot carry my calendar around with me, as it doesn't fit in my purse, so if I need to quickly glance at my blog plans, it's all accessible on my phone. It's also easy to edit! 

Carrying around a small notebook is always a good idea for every woman, but for us bloggers, notebooks can hold thousands of blog post ideas and inspiration. I find myself taking notes on my phone, on scratch pieces of paper, and napkins, so having one notebook to compile all these ideas makes it much more organized (key theme here!) and easy to read/navigate. 
I mentioned that I have recently started using Excel. As well as logging each post with its views and response, I log my blog ideas here as well. That way if I were to misplace my notebook, its all on my computer. 

With my blog growing slowly each day, I have been thinking about investing more in different items to help brand myself and the blog. A simple solution? Business Cards. They can be customized just for you/your blog and can say everything needed - name, email, web address, social media handles, and phone number. 

Keeping a weekly to do list for your blog can also help tremendously. I tend to keep a master to do list for the entire week, whether it be errands, school, home chores, or blog work, but staying organized in that way also helps - and you feel great when you're able to scratch something off of the list! 

One thing that every blogger will tell you when you ask them how they were able to grow their blog and connect with others will be the usage of Social Media Platforms. Sharing links, mentioning other bloggers, following bloggers, and linking up with blogs when possible will greatly increase your traffic and (hopefully!) keep some readers for the long run! I always had a love for Instagram before I started blogging, but since then my love for Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google Plus (and even emailing!) has shot through the roof. If you can allot a simple 10 minutes each day to a few of these platforms and share your own posts as well as others, you're going to capture at least one persons eye (fingers crossed) and allow them to then go on and share about your personal blog. 

Lots of these tips seem to apply to blogging, but some can even apply if you're going into a job or interview - selling yourself is HUGE in these settings as well! 

Being a high school sophomore (eek!) can be rough because of the constant judging when it comes to quirky things that most people don't do - such as blogging. There are 4 girls I know of (now 3, since Kira has moved on to another local high school) that blog in my grade, and just a couple upperclassmen. Having to share what you do and love can be tough with people that don't always understand how you love writing your heart out to the tiny corner you've made for yourself on the internet, but being able to stand up and strongly state that is something even I'm still struggling with. I don't know how long this blog will last, but being able to share what I love with you, my readers, really inspires me to keep writing. (I'm getting sappy!) 

I'm going to save my feelings about this blogs growth and readers for my 1st Birthday Post, but just know that  I have learned so much from you as my reader and I am so thankful for you. 


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