Meeting My Niece

Hello, World.

Today, as I write this, I’m feeling a mixture of emotions! I spent the last week in California, meeting my niece for the first time and relaxing with family. I was kind of an emotional wreck trying to leave my niece. I kept tearing up, and may or may not have cried a bit when I got through security at the airport. But, I wanted to share the a photo or two of my niece and I. I know people say that you love family members instantly, but I really didn’t get it until my sister had a baby. So much love welled up in me the minute I saw her tiny little face.

Here is what I wore to the airport! I was so excited to get home, and I wanted to be comfortable because I always land closer to midnight. Processed with VSCO with c1 presetIMG_1693IMG_1711IMG_1716IMG_1742IMG_1827

I miss my sweet niece so much, and definitely cannot wait to see her again soon. She’s just precious! I love her greatly, and cannot wait to see her this summer, while I’m home for an internship!

Truly,

Callie leigh

An “I hate working out” Guide to Getting Fit

Hello, World.

I’ve never really liked working out. I wouldn’t say I’m un-athletic; I played sports in high school, did hiking/volleyball stuff in college, etc. It’s not that I don’t like playing sports or doing athletic things. I just never got super stoked about the idea of working out, more specifically “hitting the gym.” I couldn’t find a method that worked for me. People who work out in the morning would tell me it was the best time, and I’d say, “eh, I don’t like that.” Then if I had stuff at night, I didn’t want to go in the afternoon, and definitely not after dinner. I had an excuse for why no time was good for me every time working out came up. I tried yoga, which I love, but I prefer classes and I like to have a buddy. In law school, it’s proven hard to find a buddy who wants to do yoga classes [however, if you’re at my law school and are into yoga, let me know!!]. Anyway, the whole gym thing really freaks me out. I don’t like the idea of walking around, sweaty, in front of people, and gyms in general just feel so judge-y. However, law school stress has finally gotten the best of me because I am changed. I now look forward to working out. I now get sad if I can’t make it to the gym. I feel so good after a long workout, and my focus and stress level is much better this semester! Working Out.png

But, I know I’m not the only person who hates the idea of working out. I am by no means an expert on working out, and this definitely won’t become a fitness blog! However, I wanted to share what’s worked for me in terms of getting into working out, sticking with it, and liking it!

Tip 1: Try different workouts until you find one that works for you. | I personally like machines, ellipticals, etc. So, I workout for an hour rotating machines, and mixing in biking or weighted machines. This works for me, and I feel good when I can do a harder workout as I get in better shape.

Tip 2: Get yourself there. | Wherever “there” is, get there. Whether you go running downtown, in the park, etc. or workout at a local gym, 90% of the battle is getting yourself to show up. Hold yourself accountable. Ease into it if that works for you, but just get to the place where you’re going to work out!

Tip 3: Reward yourself. | This is probably not the best tip, but it’s one that got me through the first few weeks. After my workout, I would immediately head to the local smoothie place, and get a smoothie or smoothie bowl to reward myself for making it to the gym. During the workouts, when I was sweaty and tired, I looked forward to the smoothie!

Tip 4: Don’t get discouraged when you aren’t seeing immediate results. | I think a lot of people feel like a workout regime isn’t working for them if they don’t see weight loss or tone immediately. That’s not necessary true. Depending on your starting point and your body, it varies how long it will take to see results. But, the results do come if you stick with it!

Tip 5: Don’t try to be the fitness guru you aren’t. | This is probably ironic since I’m not a fitness guru, but here I am, telling you how to get into working out. However, I don’t claim to be a fitness person, and I wouldn’t say I’m a gym rat. I don’t pretend that I’m the Hulk of the gym… I just go, listen to my workout playlist, get a good workout in, and go home. I focus on ME. Focusing on yourself and your journey is the most important part of getting fit, in my opinion!

Tip 6: Accept fitness is a process. | There are days I love my workout, there are days I feel like I’m wasting valuable study time, and there are days I go through the motions, and literally all I think about it what song I’m listening to. You have to take it at your own pace, and figure out what workout style is yours. Having the right mindset is really important! Don’t go into working out with “I want to have Kate Upton’s body,” or “I just want to be a size 0.” Those goals, while real, aren’t realistic. Love the body you have today, but give it some love by working on it however you want [whether that’s strengthening, toning, trimming, bulking, whatever!].

I guess you can say I’m a gym-convert, but I still wouldn’t classify myself as a gym rat or guru. I gained weight last semester from stress and eating in ways that I wasn’t used to… and I really beat myself up about it. I think I finally woke up and realized that I had the power to change what I was ridiculing about myself. However, I think body image is something I’ll probably always struggle with. Body positivity is relatively new [in the grand scheme of things], and I think the standards ingrained in me when I was younger will always haunt how I see myself. For one, I’ve always been tall. Taller than most girls, and my body isn’t going to look like my 5’1″ friend’s. In fact, my body won’t look like anyone’s because no one is built the exact same way. BUT, I think my mentality is much better today. I used to go into fitness with the mindset of “I just want a flat stomach, skinny legs, and slim shoulders.” And now I recognize that I only have one body to work with, and so I put the work in to feel more confident in this body I live in!

I hope this post makes those of you who want to get into fitness, but are uncomfortable with the stigma surrounding it feel a bit more at ease, and inspired to start trying different workout methods! We only have one body, so we must treat it well, instead of constantly telling ourselves what’s wrong with it!

Truly,

Callie leigh

Heels for Spring

Hello, World.

I recognize the title of this post probably seems like an oxymoron, but I wanted to share boots I think are perfect for transitioning from cold climates to warmer climates (or warm to cold when summer turns to fall). I love boots, and I wear them almost daily in the fall and winter seasons. Lately I can’t get enough of the heeled bootie look. I think heeled booties would be perfect with skinny jeans and a cute blouse/top, or a dress and jean jacket. I’m also obsessed with the Sam Edelman over the knee grey boots (let’s be real, this look became cool when Serena Van Der Woodsen wore a similar pair with her school uniform).  Over the knee boots are perfect to pair with a skirt, and lightweight sweater.

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I wanted to share my top picks right now! I think my next boot purchase will hopefully be an over the knee pair! I usually try to dig through end-of-season sales, which I find is the best time to buy boots!

Blush Bootie | Over the Knee | Leather Bootie | Frye Leather Bootie | Peep Toe Bootie | Light Tan Bootie 

What are your favorite transition boots?

Truly,

Callie leigh

Spring Break

Hello, World!

Today marks one week until I’m CA bound for Spring Break. I could not be more excited! I’m going home because my niece was born right after I returned to VA following Christmas break. So, I’m headed home to meet her, and hangout with the family for a week before returning for the last half of the Spring semester. I will be in CA this summer (more to come on this later). Anyway, one week away! Being able to go home for the break is good motivation to make next week as productive as possible (I’ll also be doing work over the weekend! WOO!).

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Can’t wait to be home!

Truly,
Callie leigh

How to be Single: Why it’s important

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Hello, World.

I recently watched How To Be Single for the first time, and was cracking up through the whole movie. I totally loved it: loved the message, the cast, the whole thing. While the film is meant to be a comedic look at the different ways people are single, and how they handle the status, I think that the message of the film is actually really important. Sure, watching Rebel Wilson make vulgar comments about men or show up late 3+ hours to work is funny, but I think the storyline I most enjoyed was Dakota Johnson’s, which shows a college graduate terminate a long term relationship so she can figure out “what she’s like on her own.” Frankly, being alone is something most people struggle with.

A lot of people see others coupling off, and feel like maybe it’s time to settle down. And we won’t even go into the subtle societal comments that imply we’re living in a Jane Austen novel… We are conditioned to believe that being with someone is best. However, I’m pretty happy being single, and I have a ton of friends who are also happy being single. I dated someone my freshman year of college, and I’m so glad it didn’t work out because the next three years were REALLY transformative for me, and I don’t think they would have been so important had I still been dating someone. I think being comfortable alone is important, but what I think is more important is using the time alone to really figure out who you are as an individual. Sure, one day you can be part of a couple, but you need to know what you’re bringing to the table, what you’re offering, and how the person you’re dating can compliment the person you are.

Not to hate on people who date a lot or switch from long term relationship to long term relationship, but I sometimes wonder if the people who do this know who they are. It’s hard to imagine that those relationships haven’t sort of defined who the person is. From the outside, it appears that the growing and maturing that happens in early adulthood is happening in relation to someone else. This is probably not true for everyone, and I don’t mean for it to sound like a standard. However, I do think it is fundamentally important for people to know who they are. Here’s the thing: if you don’t know who you are and what you’re looking for and what you deserve, how can anyone appreciate who you are when even you don’t know who that is. Relating this to How To Be Single, [NOTE: this may contain a spoiler, so avert your eyes if you don’t want a small plot point ruined], Dakota Johnson’s character spends much of her time that she’s supposed to be “finding herself” hooking up with or trying to fall for a new guy. The irony, of course, is that her idea of finding herself is finding another male counterpart. It’s soon revealed this is, quite obviously, the wrong way to go about finding yourself.

I think the most important part of being comfortable alone is recognizing you don’t have to settle. Now, naturally, one of the concerns about people being too comfortable alone is that they won’t ever settle down, but I think this is unreasonable as far as arguments go. Yes, people can be too comfortable being alone, but the thing is, if someone really wants to be part of your life, you will accommodate them because it’ll be too good to pass up. While you may be stuck in your ways, and stubborn about the proper way to put toilet paper on the dispenser, if you know the fit is right, you might ease up on the little things. However, you still remain steadfast in the things that make you you: belief systems, what treatment you will allow, your career goals, etc. I think there is a reason a large percentage of people say they found their significant other, spouse, etc. when they weren’t really looking. So, if you’re single, go out there and be yourself, and do your thing, and the love stuff will come when it does. If you’re in a relationship or married or whatever, make sure you know who you are, and what you, as an individual, are bringing to your relationship.

Now, to close, I will say if you haven’t seen How To Be Single, I suggest renting it, making some popcorn, pouring a glass of wine, and watching it ASAP.

Truly,
Callie leigh

Why the First Year After College is Hard

Hello, World.

When I graduated college last May, I felt like I had reached this amazing ending, and was so excited for a new beginning in law school. I thought “I just need to finish college, and the world will open up.” I was wrong. The world was already open to me, and I think the amazing thing about college is that you’re an adult, living on your own, getting your life “together,” but you also aren’t fully an adult yet. You don’t, necessarily, have the responsibilities of full blown adulthood. I realize I’ve talked about this before, but today I wanted to share a more in-depth analysis of why the first year out of college is one of the hardest.

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I was recently lamenting how nostalgic I am for college days, which is a feeling I’m not used to. I’m typically a somewhat unattached person. Usually, by the end of my time somewhere, I feel prepared to move on. And that’s what’s funny about college. I felt so ready to move on while I was in college, but now I would give just about anything to experience senior spring for just a day again. Anyway, I was lamenting my feelings to a friend of mine from law school, who lived in Russia for a year after college but before beginning law school. She was saying she was talking to a friend while she was in Russia, and both were really struggling. Typically I’d say it probably had to do with Russia, but she said most of her friends felt weird their first year after college.

I think most of the discontent comes from the feeling of loss. I spent four years creating a life, a family, a community at a college, and then left it for something totally new. Most of my college friends (read: all) don’t live nearby, and I don’t get to see them everyday. That’s a hard adjustment. Couple not seeing my favorite people everyday with being in a totally new place with totally new people, and it’s not easy. Additionally, we start feeling really displaced. It’s like, “hey, I had a home! Hey, I had a routine. Hey, I knew who I was and what I wanted!” and now… I don’t. I feel displaced, lost, roaming aimlessly trying to remember why I started what I’m currently doing because I’d rather just be jumping in my friends car, and heading to get Chinese food, followed by cheap beer and karaoke at the terrible, but close bar near campus. I’m not trying to be dramatic, or make those about to finish college feel like they should purposely fail a class so they don’t have to leave (though it is oh so tempting).

The thing is, I knew that no matter what I did or where I went after graduating Saint Mary’s was going to feel a bit inadequate. Saint Mary’s is so unique, so community based, so close-knit, that I felt like the support system I had there, the environment, wouldn’t be easily replicated once I left. While I do love Virginia, and am thankful for the friends I have here, I do find myself drifting back to Saint Mary’s when I have a second to let my mind wander. The reality is this: most people struggle to find their footing the year immediately following college. People used to tell me “make it last. See if you can stay a few extra years” and I would laugh, not really getting why they’d say that. One of the reasons I chose SMC was the guarantee I’d be out in four years. But now I get it. Four years is nothing. Four years is so fleeting… it’s not about making it last, it’s about making the most of it.

Pack your four years with so much goodness, so many memories, so many late nights, so many dumb decisions, so many “why the hell nots” that you feel like you really discovered who you are, what you want, and who matters to you. Remember why you started, stay up until the sun rises, go after that boy who makes your stomach turn, forgive the silly boy from freshman year your sophomore year, laugh until your eyes water your best friends, drink too many jack and cokes and sing that Kanye song you don’t know the lyrics to. Pretend you want to watch another episode of some random Netflix show just to spend a little extra time with someone who makes you laugh. Because soon it’ll be gone. The irresponsibility of responsibility that is college will pass, and then there will just be responsibility. So, for those of you still in college, make the most of it.

I know I’m not the only one who struggles with being out of college. On Monday, all the SMC seniors were posting pictures about their last first day of school, and it made me feel so nostalgic because if only I could go back and whisper to myself: make every second matter. Make every second last because there are less of them than you think. I think a lot of my decisions my last semester of college were driven by fear of the unknown, but also the knowledge that I wouldn’t be back at SMC in the fall, prepping another residence hall for move in. I was so scared to say goodbye to college; I wanted to keep every little thing as long as I possibly could until the inevitability of parting ways was too close to ignore any longer.

So, all of that is to say that the first year after college is disorienting, and can be a real struggle. But, there is hope and positivity and good times left to be had. However, college is such a unique, special experience, and I will forever be grateful that I spent four years at such an amazing, supportive, comforting place. I miss it daily, am a little jealous of those people still spending time there, and cannot wait to return [I will be at graduation this year to see my favorite duty partners graduate].

Truly,
Callie leigh

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Happy Valentine’s Day, Loves!

If you have that someone special, I hope you have a great celebration, whether large or small. If you’re single, I wanted to share my favorite last minute [G]alentine’s Day activities.

  1. Go See that Movie! Call your single friends, and head to the theatre, get the large popcorn, and enjoy a movie!
  2. Baking Night. Bake some cookies or a cake, and eat all the sweets!
  3. Margaritas and Tacos. Taco Tuesday comes every week, but maybe go ahead and get that extra marg or taco, and spend time laughing with your best friends.
  4. Go to a Workout Class. Hey, if you’re single, go ahead and hit the gym with friends for a boxing, yoga, or spin class. It’ll feel good to be productive!
  5. Watch How to be Single with a popcorn bar. Go to the store, get a bunch of candy and toppings, and your favorite popcorn. Then make your own blend of popcorn, pop in How to be Single, and laugh your ass off (seriously, this movie is amazing, and will probably be how I spend my night after studying!).

Above are just five ideas, but I personally think Valentine’s Day can be spent in many ways! I also am a firm believer you have to love yourself before you can get serious with someone else. So, spend today working on YOU, pampering YOU. If you’re newly single, call your friends, and do a fun activity to get your mind off the inevitable comparison to previous V-Days.

Truly,

Callie leigh

How to Have Better Skin

Hello, World.

As far as skin goes, I’ve been pretty blessed. I never struggled with acne, and I would flip over about the one zit I got every six months or so. However, when I’m stressed, my skin does reflect the stress more than I like. But today I wanted to share my top tips for getting better skin!

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  1. Never (I repeat, never) Sleep with Makeup. I know it can be hard every once and a while to feel motivated to take your makeup off (super late study nights, after getting home from the bar, etc.), but I really think taking a minute to wash your face will improve your skin. I used to sleep with makeup pretty often in high school, and while I didn’t have massive breakouts, I definitely noticed my skin wasn’t as healthy. You have to give your skin time to breathe, and time to replenish itself!
  2. Drink Plenty of Water. I can usually tell when I haven’t been drinking enough water because it usually shows up in my skin. My skin starts looking thirsty (hopefully that doesn’t sound weird), but honestly, my skin gets SO dry if I’m not drinking enough water.
  3. Moisturize! This sort of goes along with drinking plenty of water, but I think adding moisture to your skin is vital. I love my moisturizer (I use Philosophy Renewed Hope in a jar), and my skin looks so much better with the use of daily moisturizer. I also recommend using a clarifying lotion from Clinique twice daily. It cleanses your skin, and allows the moisturizers to better serve your skin!
  4. Clean Makeup Brushes. I feel like cleaning makeup brushes is one of the better skin tricks that is often overlooked. Think about how much makeup gets left in the brush. Putting old, dried out makeup on your skin is not ideal, but what’s worse is when bacteria builds in the brush, and you keep rubbing it over your skin. Rather than leave bacteria there to multiply, clean your brushes. Once a month is a good start, but try to work up to once a week!

I know skincare can vary on the person, and if you have something that works, maybe implement one change at a time! I do think, however, making a more conscience effort to do each of the above things has improved my skin. It’s not dry, not dull, and feels plumper!

Truly,

Callie leigh

Saying No to Self-Doubt

Hello, World.

Today I want to share a post about self-doubt. But rather than lament that 90%, probably more, of the population experiences self-doubt regularly, I think it’s important to figure out ways to close the door on self-doubt. Figure out how to say, “no thank you!” or “ain’t nobody got time for that,” to self doubt! We all experience moments where we question our ability, and I think a lot of it has to do with feeling uncertain about the future. It’s not necessarily that we can’t do something, we just wonder if we’re doing the right thing.

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I have four main ways I combat self-doubt that I usually turn to when I’m starting to question myself, and even in the worst moments, at least one of my methods calms me.

  1. Meditate. Meditation is underrated. I think even if this doesn’t immediately wipe away uncertainty, it at least calms the mind, and you can use meditation to focus on the good things in your life, what your strengths are, and even meditate on why you’re feeling insecure.
  2. Call in the Big Guns (support system, whoever is on the list.) I usually go Mom-Dad-Sister, depending on why I need to call. Sometimes I go Dad first, if it’s a school related stress, and Mom first if it’s a social thing. If I really need to break down, Mom is always first. If none of them are available or I’m still feeling meh, I text my two college friends, who I have a group chat with. They’re always quick to give a pep talk and ground me.
  3. Take a Walk. This could also be a trip to the gym, but I know some days when I’m feeling extra down and I don’t have time to hit the gym, a walk downtown or across campus will calm me down. Fresh air is good for the soul, especially when you aren’t sure you’re in the right place doing the right thing. In those moments, get some fresh air, calm yourself, and remember why you started.
  4. Write it out. Sometimes I will journal when I need to just let out whatever is holding me back. I use a pen, and literally write away the self-doubt. The self-doubt goes onto a piece of paper, and then into the trash (recycling bin). Other days I will write “you are good enough,” or “build your empire,” on a little post it and put it in front of me on my desk or in my planner. That way, even when I’m questioning myself, I’m also encouraging myself!

While each of these steps may seem like they’re not actually that helpful, I can assure you, they are more helpful than you would think. Sometimes calling on someone is best, other times spending a little time on your mental health is best. Other times, getting outside and gaining perspective is needed. And other times, you just have to make self-doubt a tangible item that can be discarded! Whatever you need, each of these offers something a bit different in combating self-doubt!

What’s your favorite way to get rid of self-doubt?

Truly,
Callie leigh

College Bucket List: What to Check Off

Hello, World.

Today I thought it would be fun to share a college bucket list. I’m sure there are many of similar lists floating around the internet, but seeing as I really miss my alma mater, I wanted to share my own version!

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  1. Put yourself out there.
  2. Try something new.
  3. Get involved in a club.
  4. Leave your dorm room door open.
  5. Smile at people as you walk around campus.
  6. Go to the party on Friday night.
  7. Go see the professor you’re scared of in office hours.
  8. Stop by office hours of your favorite professor.
  9. Go to brunch with friends.
  10. Don’t worry about sleep a few times throughout your time.
  11. Make the Dean’s List.
  12. Study Abroad (I didn’t do this, but wish I would have).
  13. Go to a sporting event.
  14. Write something for your college newspaper.
  15. Vocalize your concerns about something affecting your campus.
  16. Go on a road trip with friends.
  17. Make at least 1 life long friend (I’m sure there will be many more).
  18. Try new restaurants.
  19. Watch the sunset with friends on campus.
  20. Take a class outside of your major. Something that simply interests you.
  21. Visit friends at other colleges.
  22. Become a regular at your favorite coffee shop.
  23. Do something besides going home for Spring Break.
  24. Drink coffee and read a book in a cafe.
  25. Begin an unhealthy addiction to coffee.
  26. Cure a hangover with fast food and old movies.
  27. Work hard in classes, and come out with As.
  28. Give it your all.
  29. Call the person you met during orientation and never saw again. Ask them to get coffee.
  30. Laugh at your failures.
  31. Challenge yourself to be kinder, even when it’s hard.
  32. Throw caution to the wind, and plan an impromptu outing with friends.
  33. Go after that guy you think is cute.
  34. 33(a). Don’t get upset when he doesn’t call.
  35. Put yourself first, and do something purely because YOU want to.
  36. Spend more time on friendships, and less time stressing about guys.
  37. GRADUATE.

Okay, so that’s not everything you can do in college. But, these are some of the things I did or wish I did while in college. I really miss my college, and all my college friends. Seriously, if I could go back to senior year for a minute, I would.

College is a fun, amazing time. A time to truly enjoy where you are and who you’re becoming. So, take advantage of it!

Truly,

Callie leigh