Summer Trends

Hello, World.

This summer I’m loving the trends of off-the-shoulder tops and ripped jeans. I also love the look of slide sandals. I’m very happy to be home in California this summer, and I something I admire about California is the easy style that permeates every corner of the state. Law students tend to keep things pretty casual, so I’m not necessarily in a super formal fashion environment in VA. However, Californians can make easy, quick looks appear more put together. It may be the constant sunshine, or the warmth of the people, but I feel more inspired to get ready and put outfits together when I’m in California. Perhaps its the reduction in school, or the fact I’m not so busy with my studies, but I also like to think it’s because I feel most inspired when i’m around my family.

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Outfit 1: Ruffle top; Ted baker Ripped denimMadewell Slide Sandal

Outfit 2: Ruffle Strapped Top; Topshop Ripped Denim; Slide Flats

Anyway, I wanted to offer some outfit inspiration for this summer with my favorite trends. This would be a great look for a Sunday morning Farmer’s Market trip or a Friday Night Happy Hour outing. I’m hoping summer moves slowly, as I’m really enjoying being home and being able to see my family so much.

What trends are you loving this summer?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Isn’t it the Pits? A natural way to stay fresh this summer

Hello, World.

When I moved to Virginia last August, I had trouble adjusting to the humidity. I was not used to sweating the instant I left my house. It was so hard to figure out a way to feel fresh all day, when I was otherwise sticky and just generally icky feeling. However, I think finding a good deodorant is key. While my hair was frizzy, and my skin had a constant glow, I noticed I was having more body odor than normal (this may be TMI, but hey, it happens).

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Finding a good deodorant can be a difficult feat. We all want our deodorant to go on easily, not show on our clothes, and keep us smelling fresh-out-of-the-shower all day. There is nothing worse than getting white stains all over your clothes, or feeling smelly through your deodorant. However, I also can’t really handle overwhelming, super noticeable scents. I am more the “oh, I just smell this wonderful all the time” person (*insert wink face here*). I love Lavender scents or those that are more “natural” or woodsy, but I cannot stand the smell of deodorants that resemble baby powder in terms of scent.

As I get older, I think it’s very important to make sure that everything I put on my body is good for it. Most deodorants today contain aluminum, which is definitely not great  (read: not good at all) for people. So, I think this summer I’m going to steer clear of any deodorants that have aluminum and move toward deodorants that are considered “natural,” which means the deodorant has ingredients (i.e., coconut oil, shea butter, etc.) that are good for my skin, and thereby good for me.

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Reviews.com recently put together a study of the best “natural” deodorant, offering great insight into what actually constitutes “natural.” Additionally, they break down the application, residue, and scent of each of the leading natural deodorants to figure out which is the best option. I think a common concern with natural deodorant is that the smell won’t be strong enough or the ingredients will make it too sticky. Reviews.com’s research gives thorough insight into what makes a natural deodorant successful. Something I found interesting is that companies are not required to disclose the ingredients of their fragrance, and it is the fragrance of their product that can usually irritate people’s skin! To read more about the research for natural deodorant, click here .

Truly,

Callie leigh

Mother’s Day 2017

Hello, World.

Mother’s Day is today! With law school finals and a Joint Journal Competition (to become part of a law review journal), I nearly forgot I was coming home Mother’s Day weekend. That probably sounds terrible (finals makes you forget most things), but I do love Mother’s Day. My mom and I have a very strong, close relationship. Think Lorelai and Rory from Gilmore Girls; we’re more like best friends. In light of the Mother’s Day celebration, I wanted to share a bit about my relationship with my mom, who is one of the kindest, most beautiful people I know.

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My mom and I look fairly different at this point in our lives. I have dark hair, she’s a blonde! So, while we may not look very similar on the surface, we actually are very similar beneath the surface. I think our similarities come from the closeness of our relationship. We’ve always kept each other accountable. When I’m being totally ridiculous, she lets me know. When I think she’s overreacting about something unrelated to parenting, I let her know. I think the foundation of our relationship is respect. I respect my mom tremendously, and she’s always respected me, and encouraged me.

So, how are we similar, you ask? Well, we both love coffee dates, and our idea of a good afternoon is going to the bookstore, flipping through magazines, and chatting with each other. We love renting movies, and making ourselves sick on Red Vines. We also love to go shopping together. My mom owned a clothing store when she was younger, and her sense of style is something I’ve definitely inherited. She always encourages comfort and ease, while still looking put together. Sometimes when we shop, I pick something out, and she immediately looks at me and goes, “that’s really cute, but do you think you’ll be able to wear it much?” However, don’t let comfort and ease translate to lack of style. When my mom was 17, she went to London, and her outfits were so elaborate – on the surface. Still, she was comfortable and warm while wandering around the city! Also, I love this photo from her trip because she had darker hair, and I think we look similar:

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It can be hard to find styles that are comfortable, but also look great and fit well. Dia.com is a personal styling website, that sends you a perfectly curated box to fit your style preferences. It’s personal styling to your doorstep! The hassle of sifting through clothing that is often sized confusingly (why am I one size at Anthropologie and a different size at another store?) The grief that often comes with shopping is taken away through Dia.com, which sends items selected specifically for you.

Now that I live in Virginia, and she’s still in California, I’ve come to cherish our hour-long phone conversations. My mom’s a sensitive person, but not in the negative “oh she’s so sensitive” way. Rather, she’s extremely empathetic, something that hasn’t always come easy to me, but I’ve gotten better at expressing because of my mom. She also thinks of others always. I think as a twenty-something law student it’s easy to fall into a self-centered existence, but my mom always encourages me to think of others, and try to be mindful of what others may need or want from me. She also encourages me to be silly. I’m a fairly uptight Californian, and I definitely take myself too seriously at times. My mom, though, has always forced me to laugh at myself, and be more relaxed.

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Sometimes we drive each other crazy, probably because we’re so similar. There are people who say we’re too close, that have a more Emily [from Gilmore Girls] approach, and believe that mothers and daughters cannot be best friends. I think that’s a fairly bleak outlook. I would be a completely different person right now if it wasn’t for mom’s unconditional, endless support and love. In high school, I used to swear I would never be my mother… probably because that was the angst-y teenage thing to do. But today, I’m definitely my mom. In fact, for Christmas my sister got me a little sign for my room that says, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, I am my mother after all.” And I’m thankful it’s true because my mom is truly a kind, gentle person who forces those around her to be better purely because of her genuine spirit.

So, this Mother’s Day I’m toasting my mom and all the other mothers. Thank you to my mother for her kindness, her encouragement, and her endless devotion to her children. I imagine being a mom is not an easy feat, but my mom makes it look effortless.

Truly,

Callie leigh

Being a Maid of Honor for Family

Hello, World.

With wedding season upon us, I thought it might be interesting to write about being a maid of honor (or bridesmaid) for family! I personally feel holding this role for family is different than doing it for a friend. I was my sister’s maid of honor when she got married in 2015, and it was a very unique experience. I was in fall of my senior year of college 3 hours from home, and let’s just say… it was a busy time. I wanted desperately to “do a good job,” but also was limited because of school and work as an RA. However, the day of the wedding went off without a hitch, and was an absolutely perfect celebration of one of the better loves I’ve seen in real life.

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I have four tips that I think are valuable to making sure you have a successful run as maid of honor or a bridesmaid for family!

  1. Be present. | As I briefly mentioned earlier, I was really nervous when my sister told me her wedding date and asked me to be her maid of honor. Of course I wanted to be there and hold this role. Hell, I’d been excited about it my whole life. But I was really overwhelmed by my own stuff, and I was having trouble remembering that I needed to just be present in the moments leading up to the day. When we met photographers or florists, I tried my best to tune out my own stress, and just focus on my sister.
  2. Let them be mad at you. | Weddings are stressful, and people tend to get mad at people they love most when under stress. So, there’s a very good chance it won’t all be rainbows and smiles leading up to the wedding. But, it’s your job to smile, and allow the bride to be angry or upset or emotional (within reason). I will say that you only need to deal with the bride’s attitude. If other people are being rude, you don’t need to keep a smile up if that’s not you.
  3. Stay positive. | Again, weddings are stressful. So, while everyone freaks out, just stay positive. The day of my sister’s wedding, her groom tore his pants (you know, the ones he was going to get married in) right down the butt. Like imagine a huge, gaping hole where the seem on the butt is supposed to be. Everyone was in pure panic, but you gotta stay positive, and try to see the good or the humor in the crazy situations that will undoubtedly arise.
  4. Remember that this is, likely, one of the biggest days of their life, and they chose you to stand next to (or near) them. At the end of the day, there is a lot of crazy in weddings. There is family drama, weird intricacies that I didn’t know existed, and a LOT of detail. But, in all the chaos there is a moment of calm. It may happen as you’re chowing down on the dinner, or as your walking up to the mic to give your speech, or as the happy couple is heading out the door. In that moment, whenever it comes, you’ll realize that the bride chose to have you by their side for this one day, a day that, quite seriously, opens a new door or begins a new chapter of their life. You get to be there for the transition, and you get to see it happen. That’s a special moment. So, enjoy it!

I will forever cherish my sister’s wedding day. It was absolutely stunning and it felt so special. It was also one of the only weddings I’ve been to as an adult, so I think it felt right that my sister was getting married… and beginning this new life with the perfect guy for her. Being a maid of honor is such an, dare I say, honor. So, remember to be honored!

Truly,

Callie leigh

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.

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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