What Comes Next

Hey y’all!!!

I know that it’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted, but my life has finally slowed down a bit and I’m so excited to be back to blogging. Over the past three months I have been in the process of applying to sixteen (I know, sixteen is totally excessive) of the nation’s coolest universities. I’ve written dozens of essays and traveled to visits and interviews. Unfortunately, I’m still not 100% sure where I will be attending in the fall (I do have a current favorite), I know that God has a wonderful plan for me and I’m excited about what’s to come. With that being said, I thought I’d use this post to discuss some of the things I’ve learned over this process.

  • Patience is a Virtue

I struggle with needing to know every detail of my life and waiting on anything is generally excruciating. During this past year, I have waited to hear back from some schools for as long as six months. Through this process I have learned that you can choose to be patient, or you can choose to fret over a date that will come eventually whether you’re worrying about it or not. Patience truly is a virtue, and while I still am not the best at waiting, this process has most definitely helped me to improve in this area.

  • Rejection Isn’t Personal

Colleges receive thousands of applications for a limited number of spots in their freshman class. Many universities receive enough qualified applicants to fill twice the size of their freshman class, however they simply just can’t accept every qualified applicant. In the beginning, I took it really personally and was dumbfounded as to why I was rejected from a school where my stats were well above their average. As I have continued through this process, I have learned that so many factors go into your admissions decision and that it is not at all personal when you receive a rejection. This journey has taught me that you don’t always get what you want or deserve, but it’s not because you didn’t deserve it or weren’t qualified enough to be admitted.

  • God’s Plan is Better

Through this process, I have been rejected by a school that I saw as my dream school. I was completely in love and the rejection hit hard, however I have since realized that I would’ve been accepted if I was supposed to go there. God has a plan for your life and throughout the past year I have found comfort in the fact that every rejection is leading me to where I’m supposed to be. It’s hard to trust in the fact that his plan is better than yours, however that is true and this journey has helped me to realize that.

The college search process has taught me countless things about myself and I hope that sharing just a few of the things that I’ve learned can help someone in the future. These past few months have been a whirlwind, but I’m excited for the future and I know that I will end up exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Stay Sparkly,

Samantha

Get The Look – Lauren James

I am constantly on the look for trendy new brands that have amazing quality and designs. I stumbled upon Lauren James while shopping for pieces for my fall senior portrait session with Mark Webb Photography. I agonized over my outfit decisions, as I wanted each choice to represent my personal style and flair. After weeks of shopping, I tried on two Lauren James dresses at a boutique and I was completely hooked. Today I’ll be sharing my two favorite Lauren James pieces with you, along with a review of each dress!

 

The Lauren James Livingston Solid Seersucker Dress has an absolutely fabulous design and features a sweetheart neckline, big pleated skirt, and beautiful bow on the back. This dress comes in eleven colors including the gorgeous red that I purchased. I am completely in love with this dress, and am so pleased with the quality.

 

The second dress that I purchased from Lauren James is what I am now calling my “power dress.” I am absolutely obsessed with this dress and love how versatile it is. I have worn it with strappy heels and red lipstick for a bold, sassy look and with black pumps and pearls for an interview. The Lauren James Landry Solid Seersucker Dress is hands down one of my absolute favorite purchases of 2016.

 

I absolutely adore these two Lauren James dresses that recently found their way into my wardrobe and I cannot wait to continue shopping with this amazing up and coming brand.

Get a free Lauren James sticker shipped to you here!

Stay Sparkly,

Samantha

 

Fall Make Up Must Haves

Hey y’all!!

It’s officially October which means that it’s now socially acceptable to fully embrace all things fall. I am definitely a warm toned girl which means that I adore fall because its color scheme was practically made for me. (Find out if you’re warm or cool toned here.) Today I’ve put together a make up look using all of my favorite fall essentials. These products that I’m sharing with you today are my absolute favs and are staples for the upcoming season. I hope you guys enjoy this look!

 

Face –

Primer : Maybelline Master Prime 300

Concealer : NYX Concealer Wand Green and COVERGIRL Trublend Fix Stick in Medium 

Foundation : COVERGIRL Clean Matte BB Cream in 540 and Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 7.75

Highlighter – Feather River Body Pumpkin Latte

Eyes –

Eye Primer : Revlon PhotoReady Eye Primer Brightener

Eye Shadow : Grav3yardgirl Swamp Queen by Tarte – natural peaches all over, dogman in the crease, mancat in the outer corner, and sassy bun on the lid

Mascara – COVERGIRL The Super Sizer Mascara and Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

Brows – Benefit Ka-Brow

Lips – 

Tarte Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Crop Top

All of the following pictures have #noedit and were taken with flash to show y’all the full look!

Happy Fall y’all!!!

Stay Sparkly,

Samantha

 

 

 

 

11 Times Beauty is Definitely Pain

As far as being a girl goes, experiencing pain in the name of beauty is practically a right of passage.

  1. Getting your eyebrows waxed
  2. Poking your eyeball with the mascara wand
  3. Burning your neck with a curling iron
  4. Pounding headaches from too tight updos
  5. Pulling your eyelashes out with an eyelash curler
  6. Wearing heels for hours on end
  7. Squats… enough said
  8. Cutting yourself shaving
  9. Dying of heat stroke when blow drying your hair
  10. Getting mascara all over the eyeshadow that you spent thirty minutes blending (okay this one isn’t actually physically painful, it’s worse)
  11. Wearing huge earrings all night

As much as girls (myself DEF included) like to complain about these things, there’s not a chance that I’ll stop doing any of them anytime soon.

 

Stay Sparkly,

Samantha

A Letter to The Stressed Out AP Student

This post is for all my high school students stressed out over AP exams, finals, exit exams, and projects. Remember – “We’re all in this together.”

If all you can think about is DBQs, FRQs, and whether you’re going to get a 2 or 3 then this is the post for you. In my opinion, the beginning of May is the absolute worst time of the year in high school. You have all the regular stress of school plus the additional stress of multiple three hour exams that determine whether you have to retake an entire course in college or not, and I know how overwhelming it is. Between cramming for exams, finishing homework, and studying for regular tests; it seems as if there just aren’t enough hours in a day.

When the stress gets to be too much and you can’t seem to think straight, it’s extremely important to be able to take a step back, relax, and gain perspective.  Will it matter if you passed AP Biology when you’re working at your dream job in fifteen years? Does it matter if you got a four or a five on AP Human Geography when you get into your dream college? Will your future husband care if you passed AP Calculus? The answer to all of these is NO.

While these exams are important, especially because in many cases you’ve spent a year preparing, they are in no way a defining point in your life. You are not defined by how well you do on one test in the first or second week of May. You are not defined by a 3,4, or 5. With that being said, I do feel that by studying smart and not overwhelming yourself it’s possible to make it through AP season without too many mental breakdowns.

 

Happy Studying and Good Luck!!

 

Stay Sparkly,

Samantha

3 Study Tips to Survive the School Year

The end of April is one of my least favorite times of the school year. AP Exams and finals are looming ominously and stress is at an all time high. During this crazy time of the year, it’s important to tell yourself to relax and breathe because the end is in sight. I only have about thirty days of school left, but the amount of work I have left to do is overwhelming. When the stress is too much and you need a break, remember these three things to help you push through and finish strong.

  • Take Regular Study Breaks

I find that it’s best to take your study break in a different room from where you are studying or you could even take advantage of the great weather and go for a quick walk outside. When you return from your break, you will be much more focused and ready to work.

  • Change The Scenery

If you’ve been studying for finals or AP exams for days on end then it will help you to find a new place to study. Personally I like to move my study session outside to a local park or even on my front porch. The fresh air helps me feel energized and to regain focus. Find what works for you and don’t be afraid to study somewhere unconventional.

  • Find A Study Buddy

This tip definitely varies in effectiveness based on personality type and who you choose to study with, but I am definitely a fan of studying with a friend or a group. It’s important to find a friend with equal focus and one that knows how to study. I have found that it is helpful for me to quiz others on the material because reading it aloud helps it stick in my brain.

The biggest study tip that I can share is to find what works for you. No two people study exactly the same or learn the exact same way. Be sure to be persistent with studying and never give up. Good Luck to you all as we take some of the most important tests of the year, we’ve got this!

Stay Sparkly,

Samantha

 

Gypsea Jewels

Hey y’all,

It’s one of my absolute favorite times of the year… SPRING BREAK. I’m in sunny St. Augustine, Florida spending time with my family. Spring Break is the first time this year that I’ve had the chance to wear some of my favorite pieces that have been sitting in my closet all winter, including my Gypsea Jewels!! Gypsea Jewels is an up and coming jewelry brand that offers eclectic designs at affordable prices. They have branded themselves on creating unique and fashion-forward jewelry that’s sure to impress. This brand is just under a year old, but the quality and design of their products is to die for!

 

I rocked my gold arrowhead wrap necklace  with an Aerie (sweet and sexy line) tee, SOLD Design Lab jeans, and black chunky heels.

 

Check out the details of my outfit below.

https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=478767000&pid=uid3424-33496632-9

https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=512211602&pid=uid3424-33496632-9

https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=509386626&pid=uid3424-33496632-9

Stay Sparkly,

Samantha

Prom Trends

Prom season is right around the corner and for many girls the hunt for the perfect dress is in full swing. Shopping for the perfect dress is no easy feat. Finding the perfect dress often takes hours of trying on dresses, multiple stores, and several arguments with mom. While shopping for the perfect dress can be stressful, it should also be fun because prom is one of the most exciting and memorable nights in high school.

This year, there are a few trends that seem to be dominating the prom dress scene. For example, two piece dresses are very popular. While many are skeptical of two pieces at first, I think that they are a great option for girls who don’t want to go with a classic dress silhouette. Two pieces styles range from an elegant long sleeve top with a ball gown skirt to a strapless top with a fitted mermaid skirt. Two piece dresses have added variety to the world of prom dresses and allowed designers more room for creativity.

Dresses with embroidered details are very hot this season. From the runways of Sherri Hill to Jovani, embroidery is everywhere. I think that this trend is very interesting because embroidery is so versatile and can be used in different styles. Embroidery can be used for a bohemian vibe or it can be used to dress up the dress and give it a rich,regal feel.

Printed dresses will be everywhere for prom 2016. These dresses have gained popularity in the fashion world over the past few years and this trend is now being translated into prom dresses. This trend can be used in a variety of ways from just a small printed detail to a full floral skirts. The floral prints being used by many designers are perfect for a springtime prom because they are so light and happy.

These three trends will be dominating prom dress choices across the nation this year. While all of these trends are beyond fabulous, finding the perfect dress is very personal and specific to every girl. I firmly believe that the dress that looks the best on you, is the dress that you feel the best in. My best dress shopping advice is to go with your gut and be sure to choose what makes you smile from ear to ear.

Stay Sparkly,

Samantha

Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?

Today I’m here to share my favorite snow day activities that don’t involve building a snowman. If you have absolutely no interest in freezing your tail off and playing in the snow for hours on end then this is the post for you. A snow day is the perfect time to catch up on things that need to be done, but who really wants to do that? That’s what regular days are for! For the past two days I’ve been snowed in due to #snowpocalypse2016 and my friends and I have made some awesome memories and none of them involved building a snowman.

First we started our day off by attempting to make grilled cheeses, but that ended with smoke alarms going off so I won’t elaborate any more on that. After the grilled cheese fiasco we decided to try our hand at baking indoor s’mores bites. We followed a recipe from Pinterest that can be found here. The s’mores were pretty foolproof and tasted great. We ate them right out of the oven.

With our s’mores bites in hand we settled in for the evening with our “adult coloring books.” I can not tell you how fun these are, we colored for hours. I bought the coloring books at Target and you can purchase your very own here. Coloring is an awesome stress reliever and a great way to pass the time when your snowed in.  I definitely recommend giving it a try. For the rest of the night we just had a nice old fashioned sleepover. From hilarious YouTube videos (our favorite channel is wafflepwn) to devouring pizzas to dancing to our favorite Spotify playlists, we had a fantastic night.

By the third morning we all had cabin fever, but not much was open so we decided to brave the outdoors.  We planned a photoshoot in the snow. This activity involved a bit of preparation so after our sleepover we all woke up early and went our separate ways to get ready for the event. A couple of hours later we met back up, all dressed in warm coats and furs. We posed for pictures all morning. From silly faces to serious, we took all kinds of pictures. It was such a blast to get ready with my best friends and just have fun snapping pictures in the snow.

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So the next time that someone asks you “Do you wanna build a snowman?” you can say no proudly and use this post to suggest plenty of other fun activities for a snowy day.

Stay warm and sparkly,

Samantha

Words of Wisdom : MLK Day

Today’s holiday is observed in celebration of the life, achievements, and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King is one of the most inspiring public figures in all of history. He worked tirelessly and peacefully throughout the Civil Rights movement. While Dr. King is often remembered for his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech, he also has countless other noteworthy quotes that are fantastic to look to for guidance in our everyday lives.

  1. “Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
  2. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”
  3. “The time is always right, to do what is right.”
  4. “Only in darkness can you see the stars”
  5. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?”

So while you’re having a lazy day and binge watching your favorite show on the couch, make sure to take a few moments and reflect on Dr. King’s legacy.

Stay Sparkly,

Samantha