My Thoughts on 2016

I've been trying to come up with a word to describe 2016, and I finally settled on one when I was at dinner with my best friend Tori. 2016 was a weird year. Everyone keeps calling it "the worst year ever" and whatnot, and while I do agree a lot of bad things happened this year, I can't tell if more bad things happened or if I am just more aware of the bad things happening in the world. And this was an election year, and I feel like all election years are weird and terrible, especially this one in particular. I think this year seems really bad relative to other years because I am older, and I do recognize more of what's going on in the world. Honestly, this year hasn't been all bad either. If this really was the worst year ever, the Yankees would have won the World Series and not the Cubs. 

Since everyone is adamant this year was the "worst," I have felt bad thinking this, but personally, I had a pretty good year. It's hard for me to hate a year where so many good things happened. I graduated high school. My dad moved home. I went to college and joined a sorority. I attended some pretty awesome football games. I fell in love with my major. I found some of my best friends. I met Rece Davis, Sam Ponder, and Paul Finebaum. It can be summed up like this, for the world, 2016 could definitely be seen as a bad year, but for me, 2016 was pretty great.

Remember when Kylie Jenner told us that this year would be the year we realize things? I want to say the biggest thing I realized was how much I deserve but that makes it seem like I think the world owes me something and that's not what I think at all. I guess it more like I realized what I want out of life whether it's in my career choices or my relationships or my personal life. A lot of this happened because I started putting myself first instead of the expectations of other people, and I talked about this when I talked about my anxiety. Obviously, I still want to make people like my parents proud, but I stopped caring (or have almost stopped) what other people expect of me. I realized what I am doing should always make me happy and make me proud of myself. I should never do something because it is what someone else "expects" me to do. 

My goal for 2016 was to focus on myself, and I think for the first time I actually accomplished a New Year's goal. I feel like I grew up a lot this past year, and while there were definitely some trying times, this year was a lot about personal progress. I am starting to be in a place where I am extremely comfortable with who I am, which is a HUGE first in my 18, almost 19, years. Obviously, there is a lot I didn't accomplish this year because my to-do list is always a thousand miles long, but I feel like there is a good precedent for the new year. 

As for 2017 and the world, I am going to keep fighting and making noise because becoming complacent about anything is not on my agenda. There will be rough moments for some people, but it's up to the ones with loud voices to make sure we can speak for those who are silenced. 

This isn't exactly what I had planned for today's post, but hopefully y'all still enjoyed it!
xx, jKm


Chocolate Butterscotch Pretzel Cookies

 While I am in college, I defintely miss being able to bake homemade cookies, so every time I come home, I make sure to spend some time with our KitchenAid mixer. Over Thanksgiving, I tried to make red velvet cookies, which didn't come out great, and I made chocolate chip cookies. This break I was rewatching Meghan's baking videos to get some inspiration, and honestly, cookies are what I am best at making, so this chocolate butterscotch pretzel recipe was right up my alley. 

These were so good. My family loved them even though none of them really like butterscotch. The best part? They got better over time, which I thought was really weird since cookies normally get harder the longer they are left out. Also the recipe is really easy to follow, and I am already planning on making these so I can take some back to school with me.

xx, jKm


Enlances con SDS

One of the Eagles recently came out about having anxiety, and when more and more people come out and talk about their mental health, it becomes less stigmatized. To me this is especially important in professional sports.

I love this ColourPop Ultra Matte that my sister got me. It's a lot darker than I would normally wear, but it's perfect for the winter. Plus it lasts all day, and it's super cheap.

This Carpool Karaoke is everything I never knew I needed in my life.

The Zayn/Taylor Swift song for Fifty Shades Darker is surprisingly/unsurprisingly so good.

In case y'all were wondering what got me hyped for my exams earlier this month, it was the Hamilton Mixtape. "My Shot" by the Roots got me through studying for microeconomics.

But lately I've been listening to my Spotify Year in Review playlist. It's definitely an accurate description of the songs I listened to over and over and over again.

I just got this crimson tulle skirt, and while I am not exactly sure where I am going to wear it, I am sure am excited to wear it somehow.

Katherine's (aka Katherout) Vlogmas has been my favorite this year mostly because I love seeing her Disney trips and her super cute boyfriend. I've also being loving Krista's.

I want this Zodiac print so bad. My roommates and I are weirdly into our Astrological signs, so it would be perfect for either my dorm this year or my apartment next year. This individual Aquarius print is amazing too.

I've been pinning a lot to make up for not being so active during school, so y'all should be sure to check that out. ;) Not going to lie, it's mostly been sorority crafts because I am so excited to get a little in the fall.

xx, jKm


Last Month of the Year

This isn't related at all, but while I was editing the pictures for this post, I remembered the time one of my roommates was singing "Sweatshirt," and I thought the lyric was "You can wear my sweater" because I live under a rock and don't know anything. 

Another post, another outfit that's mostly from Old Navy. Are we surprised at this point? Not really. This has been my go-to outfit this break, and by that I mean I have basically worn this outfit every time I go out. It's super easy to wear, but it looks nicer than just wear leggings and a sweatshirt, which is the other outfit I have been wearing exclusively. 

On Monday, I wasn't in the Christmas spirit, but I can safely say I am getting there. I dragged Marguerite to this town in the next county over because a few of my friends had been there earlier in the week, and I knew it would be the perfect place to take photos. Where I live doesn't have a true "downtown" area, so I absolutely love going other places that do. The downtown was decorated for Christmas, and it made me so happy and feel like it was actually the Christmas season. 

Sweater: Old Navy (similar) // Jeans: Old Navy // Scarf: Gap (similar) // Boots: Target

xx, jKm


Last Minute Gifts

I told myself this year that I was not going to do any gift guides. All bloggers do them, and let's be real, their guides are so much better than anything I could create. My gift guides are always terrible, and I just thought it wouldn't be worth the effort to create something I wasn't 100% happy with. Until I realized that I hadn't actually gotten gifts for anyone. My parents got the gifts for everyone else, and I get to put my name on them. I told y'all college had me crazy busy. I figured if I was doing last minute gift giving then someone else was too, and this idea was born (with the help of Caroline's post). So here's a gift guide for all the procrastinators out there who just remembered Christmas is next week. 

Also one of my favorite gifts I have given is a donating a goat in the name of one of my best friends. Donating money in honor of one of you friends is such a great idea, especially if it's a cause you know that's important to them. 

Not only did I procrastinate getting gifts, I procrastinated asking for gifts. I have absolutely no idea what I am getting this year since I only told my parents I wanted Anna Kendrick's new book, Coach Cal's new book, a sweatshirt, which I was supposed (and forgot) to order, and a Chewbacca onesie. Honestly I am just happy to be home for Christmas and to have had a good first semester, so whatever gifts I open on Christmas morning, I am a-okay with. 

xx, jKm


Christmas Spirit

Christmas is in less than a week, and I could not have felt less festive this entire month. For me Christmas has always been this incredibly magical time of the year. From the moment I wake up to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade to the moment I wake up on Christmas morning I used to always love this time of the year. I think getting older and having actual responsibilities put a damper on my Christmas spirit. I defintely didn't have time to think about Christmas and the holidays with how stressed out I was for the first two weeks of December. I barely even got to enjoy Thanksgiving because I was only home for two full days, and as soon as I went back to school, dead week and exams happened. I didn't stop being stressed from school until all my grades were finalized last Thursday. 

While I have been home, however, I have been desperately trying to find that Christmas "magic" because it's been kind of sad not to feel the excitement I used to feel as a kid. Ya know? Here's what I have been doing in hopes that one day I will wake up and it will actually feel like the holidays. 

Listen to Christmas music and watch Christmas movies | I love Christmas music so much, and there's nothing like belting "All I Want for Christmas Is You" multiple times in a row. My Christmas playlist is 6 hours long, and since it's so long, I am sure to be in somewhat of a festive mood by the time it's finished. Also bad Christmas movies are my guilty pleasure. Of course I love watching Love Actually and good Christmas movies, but there's something about terrible plots and bad acting set during Christmas that makes me really happy. My favorites include A Christmas Kiss II, 12 Dates of Christmas, Snow, Holidaze, and Christmas Crush. These are all on either Netflix or Freeform. 

Decorate Your Room | I haven't done this at home because I am only here for a little before I have to go back to school, but I did decorate my dorm for our Christmas get-together. While I did leave to go to my room an hour into the party, I had so much fun decorating and making our dorm look more festive. Having the space feel Christmas-y during finals week made me so much better when I walked into the dorm after having spent 12 hours sitting in the sorority house studying. 

Dress like It's Christmas | During finals you could find me in Nike shorts and my oversized Theta sweatshirt because there was no way I was wearing anything else when I was spending all day studying. Now that I am home when I go out, I make sure to look a little festive. Sweaters, scarves, red lipstick. The works. The weather in Georgia has been weird. It was 60 degrees on Saturday, but today the high is 48. It's a little hard to dress like it's winter with this inconsistent weather, but I sure am trying my best. 

xx, jKm


Pretty Little Things

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Something about the December holiday season makes me want to buy everything and all things that sparkle. I think it has to do with all the twinkly lights on Christmas tree, and let's be real, this is the perfect excuse to break out all the glitter and sparkles. I went shopping with my mom after I picked her up from school, and I won't lie. I envisioned many a Christmas party outfits finished with the perfect statement earrings or necklace. Now if only I had a party to go to... 

xx, jKm


My First Semester of College

As of Friday at 10:30 p.m., when I finally submitted my final essay for my American literature class, I am done with my first semester of college. This past semester has been crazy good in every single possible way, and I am so grateful I go to the University of Alabama. My college decision came out of left field it seemed for some people, and there would be times during the semester where I wondered what my life would have been like if I had ended up somewhere else. If I had gone somewhere besides Alabama. I figured I would still be happy. I would be in a sorority still, and I would still have great friends, but obviously my life would not be the exact same. Who knows if I would still be in Theta? I would have friends, but they wouldn't be the amazing friends I have now. What I am trying to get at is everything in my life led me to go to Alabama, and I could not be happier that I am here. 

So now here's me trying to put all my thoughts about my first semester of college: 

College is definitely an experience? In August, if you asked whether I was enjoying college or not, I probably would have lied and told you I was loving it. Now it's December I can confidently say I love almost every single aspect of college. Of course, the stressful days when I had two tests on the same day and the drama filled days when boys were mean are not fun. I stayed up too late sometimes, and had panic attacks in the basements of fraternities. But the days spent watching football with my best friends and the days spent hanging out with my sorority sisters? The great classes I took? Or even the nights spent eating terrible dining hall food after mass communications? Those are the moments that made college amazing and worth the stress of studying for a microeconomics test three hours before class starts. 

Everyone tells you that your freshman year goes by really quickly, and they definitely aren't lying. I honestly cannot believe that I am home right now, and I will be home for a full month. Four months ago I was going through sorority recruitment trying to find a new "home," and now I'm an initiated member of Kappa Alpha Theta. Four months ago my only friends were my roommates, and now I have great group friends. Four months ago I had never seen College GameDay or the Paul Finebaum Show live, and now I've done both. So much has changed so quickly in just four months, but for once, I am really grateful for all the change in my life. 

I wish I could easily explain how great and terrifying and wonderful college has been for the past semester. I've had such an amazing time like I said, but it's also scary to think about how I have 6 or 7 semesters left of college because this one went by so quickly. I am really excited to be home for a month, so I can take some time to figure out exactly what I want to be doing with my life basically. This month also means I can redirect time to the blog! My best friend/photographer Marguerite is going to be home this weekend, so hopefully I can convince her to help me out with some posts. 

Happy Monday!
xx, jKm