Letter to December #2

Dear December,


It feels like a long time since I last talked to you but it's only really been a week and a half. And how eventful was that week and a half. I volunteered to put together care packages for families in need, I took my finals, I went Christmas present shopping, I went to Disneyland. It's been great! Let me tell you this month has been a whirlwind of craziness and it's not even over yet.

For the past four years I've been part of a club that allows it's members to give back to it's community. This is really important to me. Every year since I've been a part of it I've been part of our holiday drive. It's our biggest event and my personal favorite. While our packaging day is long and crazy it's so worth it. That day was a really long day but it was great to be able to give back and do something meaningful. After packaging was over I went to my little brother's bad concert which was great except he missed the first song because he was late. *shakes head*. He's had a run of bad luck recently. But once he showed up on stage, he did really well. 

I've now been to Disneyland a total of three times; once when I was too young to remember, once when I went with my middle school band, and once last Friday. I think there's something to be said about feeling an infinite sort of moment. The entire day felt like a dream. I went on roller coasters and little kiddie rides and I felt really happy. I loved being able to be a kid and have fun without a regard about what comes next. That's what I love about you, December, I have the liberty to be as childish as I wish and be happy within that scope. I can be crazy about my holiday decorating, I can wear a a whipped cream mustache without being embarrassed, I can find the joy in the little details and smile like a dork. December is a time where you can look back and be happy about the year you've had, the past years you've lived, and find your inner kid amidst all the holiday cheer. 

I'm listening to Christmas music and i'm freaking out about college apps. With one chapter of my senior done and sealed with the end of my exams it's bloody insane to think that I'm at the end of my high school career. While high school is not something I would willingly relive, it's still bittersweet to be at the end, about to leave. Finals, as usual were stressful, but there was a new tinge of finality to these exams that made me both REALLY happy and sort of sad. 

A week and a half. That's all it took to end a chapter, to start a new one, to go to the happiest place on earth. December, you've been good to me, so thanks.



Love always,


Book Talk: These Shallow Graves

Release Date: October 27, 2015
Book: These Shallow Graves
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Number of Pages: 496

The Basics:Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo secretly dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.

Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo uncovers about her father’s death, the more her suspicions grow. There are too many secrets. And they all seem to be buried in plain sight. Then she meets Eddie—a young, brash, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. Only now it might be too late to stop.

The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and the truth is the dirtiest part of all.




My Thoughts and Musings:

When I first saw this book on netgalley I fangirled because of the author. I LOVE Jennifer Donnelly, Her writing style is beautiful and lyrical. I love how she weaves stories and how she makes characters come to life. I was really excited to see and even more excited to have the chance to read it. Due college apps among other things I had to put off reading it until recently and now have finally read and fallen in love with it.

The plot is impeccable. I absolutely loved all of it. Donnely has an amazing way of creating a world and story that feels really real. The plot is original and different. It has social commentary for the time as well allusions to well known people and events of the time period. I love the depiction of society and the way Jo's world and the "real" world contrasts. The storyline is so fluid that it is able to take so many turns. Jo's journey to find the truth about her father becomes this giant thing that encompasses her world. Within this journey to find the truth about her father's death she also finds the truth about love and even herself. She discovers that her world is as broken as the one outside of it, just with a better, more beautiful facade. Jo has been sheltered and protected and has never seen the world for all that it is. She's seen the good, golden, happy bits and through this journey she is able to realize she was right in wanting more than what was being given or rather forced upon her. I love everything about the story line. It is well developed and intriguing, trust me you'll want to stay up reading it! The plot twists are mind blowing!

I can definitely relate to Jo. And I think that's why I love this book so much. Most of the characters are like that. Characterization is on point. You get to see different sides to different characters. Jo is strong but has her moments when she's not as strong. Jo is sweet, but also a badass. Eddie is snarky know it all, but a kind soul. Theres so many aspects to the characters that it's very easy to fall into the story. Like I already said I loved the social commentary and the secondary characters really helped drive that point in. Fay and Tumblr are kids that were taken in by a man and as a result they are forced to steal and the like in order to make him money. These characters where some of the most heartbreaking to read about but also the most inspiring. Fay is one of those characters that while doesn't have a lot of space in the book, makes a really big impact.

As for the romance...not gonna lie I loved it but it's also very frustrating.  Eddie is kind of a jerk at first but once he lets his guard down, he's hard not to love. The love story is secondary to everything else going on in the book, which I loved. It allowed other things to shine and never overpowered the book. It was well developed and sweet. It was a little bit cliche with the whole "not part of the same social class thing" but I think it fit in with the social commentary of the time. I think that this part of the book was really powerful in showing how girls of the time period were treated and how they were stripped of their own free will at times (no matter the social class). Eddie never treats Jo differently, which is a big reason why I love him and why I ship them!

Overall this book is awesome and you should read it!


Letters To December #1


Dear December,

Life has been all sorts of crazy. It's a miracle I'm even alive at this point. But it's December again and I'm writing to you again. I can't believe it's been a year, so much has happened, so much has changed. I've grown and become a different me than I was last year. 
I'm so glad it's December. I love the chill in the air and the sweaters that come with the gloomier days (although it's always sunny in SoCal). I've been waiting to start my letters to you for a while and I'm so glad to start again. December, you are my favorite month. It's busy yes, with finals and apps to worry about, but there's a certain lightheartedness, a happiness that only really comes out when it's a little colder and Christmas lights up. 

There are so many people that don't like winter. They think it's too harsh, too deadly even. I love it though. I love the dark, long nights. I even can see the beauty in the bear tree's. I think Winter is a time of peace, of reflection, of dreaming. Even as the year draws to a close I can feel myself excited to make the most of the end of 2015.

I've been thinking a lot about the future, or rather fearing it.With one batch of college apps in and another in the works I can't help but wonder how different my life will look like a year from now. I haven't been able to appreciate the time I have because I'm to busy worried about all the "what ifs". To be honest I'm a little scared. Mostly i'm excited about going to college and growing more as a person and student, I can't help but be apprehensive and nervous.I spend so much time thinking about the tomorrows that I feel like I've lost a few of my todays. I want to appreciate them more, especially since it's December, the final chapter of this year.

I guess this letter is more of a mess than I anticipated. But December, I want you to know that i'm excited about what this month will bring. I might be nervous and stuff but I think I can put that aside long enough to enjoy the things I love about this month. Like the hot tea and blankets; the sweaters and scarves; the jolly warmth of coming home after a cold day out; the laughter that comes with playing in rain. 


It's nice to see you,


Top Five Superstitions


It's Friday the thirteenth which is bad luck. I'm not really a superstitious person but I thought this would be a fun post to do today. Yes I have been planning this one for a while. So without ado here are my top five superstitions.

1.Finding a penny heads up = goodluck. I kid you not, if I see one tails up I will flip it over for someone else to pick up. This is one of the few that I actually do practice. I'm not sure I believe the whole "luck" thing but I think it's a nice thought to find one or to help someone else get some "luck"

2.Opening umbrellas indoors is badluck. I may not think it's true but I'm definitely not going to test that hypothesis.

3.Knock on wood. No one wants to jinx themselves. Better be safe than sorry right?
4.Breaking a mirror = 7 years bad luck. So apparently Romans believed that humans were renewed in 7 year cycles and because a persons soul and reflection were intertwined when a person's reflection was shattered so was their soul, until the seven years were up. 

5. Sneezing. I read this book once that said that when you sneeze your soul leaves your body for a little bit. So to protect your soul someone has to say "bless you" or the like. I did some research and that seems to be the common consensus on this one. 


Here are my top five! What are yours? 

Happy Halloween: My Costume



"This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Pumpkins scream in the dead of night

This is Halloween, everybody make a scene
Trick or treat till the neighbors gonna die of fright
It's our town, everybody scream
In this town of Halloween"

So it's Halloween which means I have a costume ready to show you. I'm actually really excited for this costume! So this year I'm... JEMMA SIMMONS


"It's true what the other guys say-- you are the smartest person to come through here."
"Is that what they say? Yeah, well, Simmons is probably smarter, technically, but that's because she likes homework more than life itself."- Fitz



"I have a duty to you, sir, as my commanding officer. But I also have a duty as a S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist to pursue this, to save lives!" - Simmons



"It's science, Fitz! I have to dissect something!"- Simmons


"Nine of the longest days of my life. When it finally broke, he couldn't speak. He just stared at me, confused. All I wanted to do was help him. All I wanted was... My best friend back."-Simmons


I've been obsessed with Agents of Shield and I love Jemma. She's just plain awesome. This costume was pretty easy to recreate and I had fun talking in a British all day. My friends dressed up as other SHIELD agents so it was amazing. Shout out to my friend who made my badge and my ID card!! 

Hope you have an awesome Halloween filled with candy and spooky movies!  

Simple, Easy Halloween Costume Inspiration


It's that time of year when those of us who lose track of time, or are lazy, realize that Halloween is coming and we don't have a costume. This year I actually had some time to figure out a costume but it fell through because finding a 1940's suit is actually really hard to find. So I went with a new costume which I will reveal on Saturday! Anyways, here are some easy costumes you could pull together.


  1. A SHIELD agent
    • This is actually a lot easier than you would think. 
    • What you need: Black everything, a leather jacket if possible and some combat boots. You can print a SHIELD logo and stick it onto an ID holder so that you seem like a legit agent. You could also attach the SHIELD logo to your shirt or jacket.
    • It would also be funny if you went up to random heroes and say "I'm here to talk about the Avenger Initiative"
  2. A cat/Bear
    • Ik this one is soo overdone, but it is really simple to do.
    • What you need: Wear all brown or all black. You could totally make this cute and wear a skirt, dot and knee high socks, or casual with a t-shirt and leggings. As for the ears I think this would be cool 
  3. A  pineapple
    • What you need: A yellow dress and a green headband and green construction paper. All you have to do is cut strands and attach it to the headband so that they stand up
  4. Miranda Sings
    • What you need: lots of red lipsticks, an oversize shirt and red sweatpants. 
  5. A Super Hero
    • This is also a little overdone but I think it's pretty cute. 
    • What you need: A tutu, tights, and your superhero of choice t-shirt.
  6. A Unicorn
    • What you need: something white and a DIY horn which you could learn to make here. You could also make a simpler unicorn headband with construction paper and an old headband
  7. Sam/Dean Winchester
    • I was Sam last year and it was pretty easy to recreate. All you need for same is a flannel either an olive coat or brown leather jacket, jeans and combat boots.
    • For Dean you need a black tee, a flannel or leather jacket, jeans and combat boots. 
    • You can also make yourself an FBI badge to go along with the costume. 

Quotes and Things: Growing Up

Perks of Being readers

I started this post with the intention of doing a motivational Monday post then realized that this was more of a rant/opinion/here are my thoughts on this quote thing. To be frank this post feels a little all over the place but it sas fun to write so i hope ita fun to read.

This quote is one of my favorites from one of my favorite movies and books "This Is Where I Leave You". I watched the movie first and just had to read this book. This quote stood out to me because I could relate to it, it struck a chord, cheesy as that sounds.

This is my senior year. The last year of the most stressful years of my life to date, then again I've only been alive for 17 years. I keep waiting for all of that to just hit me. For me to just wake up and realize that soon i'm going to have to try to be a functioning adult, It's probably not even going to actually hit me until I'm at prom, at graduation, at move in day. I'm going to look back and realize that I'v actually grown up already. That I've let go of being a kid. And it's sad. It's sad to think about the things I've given up, that everyone has to give up to be an adult, to be grown up. It sucks so much. Just because I'm turning 18 next year doesn't mean I'm full fledged adult, it just means I have to take care of more things and let go childish notions and ideas. It's sad.


How to Wear High Waisted Trousers

I've been gone for a while and I'm so sorry for that. I'm going to try and be better with my blogging, but life is just so hectic right now that it's hard to promise anything. So I thought it was about time I did an OOTD for you guys! *Disclaimer this post is sponsored*


So I recently fell in love with high wasited trousers but it took me a while to figure out how to wear them. That's how this post came to be. High wasited trousers look best with crop tops. The length balances out the high wasited-ness.


I love this crop top because it's super comfortable and easy to pair things with. 


You could also do a tighter fitting crop top like this or just a tighter fitting shirt. A cute loose top tucked in would also look really cute.

White Crop Top: Dresslink
Blue Crop Top: Dresslink
High Waisted Trousers: Charlotte Russe

Lets Talk About Mental Health: World Mental Health Day

You know mental health is just as important as anything else in your life, maybe even more important. Mental health doesn't deserve the stigma attached to it. People deserve to be able to talk about it without people running away, without people looking at you differently. That's why today's so important. Today is about bringing awareness to mental health and mental illnesses.

This is from The Latest Kate Blog

A few weeks ago my friend and I were talking about life, complaining about all of it's little problems when all of a sudden we found ourselves talking about depressions and the like. I can count on one hand how many people I've talking about my mental health illness. I don't like to talk about it because whenever I did people looked at me differently, treated me differently, which made me feel even more isolated and even more alone. As time went on, I got lucky, I found people that are accepting to be my friends. But that doesn't make it any easier to tell them about, to talk to them about, because the stigma is still there. And honestly its absolutely ridiculous.

I was watching a video, and i'll post the link here, and in the people in the video talked about how the hardest part of it all was the stigma. Mental illness is a thing, It's real. And it sucks just as much as any physical ailment. Suicide is still the third leading cause of death, 90% of those deaths had an underlying mental health issue. That says something. Mental illness isn't something that just goes away, it's not something we can pretend doesn't exist. People line up to sign casts, create get well cards but as soon as anxiety, depression, an eating disorder comes up, they leave. In some places people with mental health problems are abused and stripped of human rights.

This is from The Latest Kate Blog
Mental illness has this way of making people feel isolated people don't need to help with that. 1 in 4 adults suffer from a mental illness, so that means that even if you don't have one, the people around you might. Just because people seem fine doesn't mean they're fine. Just because people suffer from a mental illness doesn't give any one the ability to take away basic human rights. Just because people have mental health problems doesn't mean every one needs to run away. Some people just don't understand mental illness and don't see it as a real thing. We need days like today to educate those who don't know much about this, to bring awareness, and ultimately destroy the stigma attached to it. "People with anxiety aren't rude, people with depression aren't lazy, people with mental illness aren't crazy", I saw this quote and I just thought it was perfect for this post and that it is incredibly true.

The stigma doesn't make it any easier to get better. It makes people embarrassed to get help, to reach out, to even talk about it. I know I was afraid for a really long time to go into therapy, but trust me it's really helpful. I'm lucky, in that I'm part of a program that allows me free therapy through my school system. Not everybody has that chance. If you can, you should take advantage of it. If you don't, find an adult you trust, a friend maybe, a counselor, because reaching out to people who aren't going to stigmatize you or marginalize you, is going to help. There also hotlines and websites you can visit where you can talk about what you need to get off your chest. Here are a couple : IMAlive, 7 Cups of Tea.

We also need to focus on helping individuals with mental health issues, finding even better ways to treat them. We need to make these treatments available to everybody. We need to help those in countries that mistreat them.

That being said, I also wanted to talk about the things that can help with mental illness. Music is incredibly helpful, so is a hot cup of tea (if you have anxiety don't have caffeine, it makes it worse). Mindfulness is great, I don't do it enough, but it definitely helps: Pocket Mindfulness. Sometimes it even helps for me to hold ice cubes in my hand. Yoga helps too because it calms me down and gets me to a calm state. Part of living with a mental health issue is learning how to cope. (Here is a little post on how to cope wit mental illness.)



Just know that you are not alone, you are more than kind of awesome, you have survived this much and that means something. Sometimes just getting up in the morning is a great accomplishment. So breath and take care of yourself. Self care is important, it's not selfish, it's not stupid, its important, a priority. Here's a little interactive guide thing.
Take some time for yourself, and take care of yourself.


 Stay Awesome,



Hometown Hangouts

Have you ever heard of Eventbite? Well it's pretty cool. It allows you to manage eventssell tickets and make events an easier experience! They help me to find events locally so today, I wanted to share one of my favorite local events with you!

So one of my favorite things is going out to the Magnolia "Ladies and Gent's Night Out". It's the last Friday of every month and my friend and I try to go every time it's up. There's a bunch of food trucks that sell anything from lobster to fried ice cream. I have yet to try the fried ice cream but I'm definitely going to next time! It's pretty awesome. They also have live music which is always a good idea.

My favorite place on Magnolia is Romancing the Bean. It's got amazing coffee and delicious pastries! My sister and I discovered this place last year and are obsesses with it, especially their chai lattes!

Without further ado, here are the pics from the event!


Romancing the Bean is a super cool, super cute place to chill, read, write, or hang out with friends. Also how cool is that truck? There a few "store" trucks, that have some pretty cool things.




In addition to have really good coffee Romancing the Bean also has a  little shop area that has some cool things.


 This food truck is amazing! It's so cute and the cupcakes are beyond amazing!! 




Cover Reveal: Once Upon a University

Book: Once Upon A Time University
Author: Savannah Ostler
Fantasy, fiction, YA, teen, clean teen fairytales, adventure, romance

The Basics:The enchanting sequel to “Happily Ever After High School”

After graduating Happily Ever High, eighteen year old Albany French was living the perfect fairy tale. She had her very own fairy godmother, a delightfully eccentric grandmother, and her boyfriend was her dream knight in shining armor.

At first, it seemed like a flawless freshman year for her at Once Upon A Time University. The campus was magical and enchanted, her classes were extraordinary, and she made surprising new friends.

A chain of unsettling events followed by a twist of fate sends Albany spinning. She is forced to make the most difficult decision of her life- one that could potentially break her heart. The perfect happily ever after was still within Albany’s grasp… or so she thought.

My name is Savannah Ostler, but you can call me Savvy. I LOVE fairy tales. No, let me rephrase that. I live and breathe fairy tales.
I’m a dreamer born and raised in a small town, and moved to the big city of Los Angeles to follow my creative ambitions. I’ve loved every minute of my journey, even if it wasn’t always easy. Having always had a passion for writing, acting, and singing, living in Los Angeles was the step that I had to take in order to pay full tribute to my dreams.

Living in the city of opportunity has opened a lot of doors for me in the span of four years- including acting in commercials, singing at world-famous concert venues around Hollywood, acting in feature films, stage productions, producing a series of short films, and having the opportunity to work on famous studio lots, including Warner Bros. studios, Culver City studios, Paramount studios, and my own personal favorite, Walt Disney studios. Being a performer allows me the flexibility of creating my own schedule, giving me plenty of time to dedicate to my writing- which in the span of just living in LA, I have added writing two full length novels, five original feature screenplays, ten short screenplays, Over two dozen poems, fifteen original songs, and a notebook full of ideas.

My career in LA has definitely been a blast, and I have loved every second of it. That being said, I would have to say that my most treasured and note-worthy adventure here in southern California was meeting my husband Steve. I had always been the kind of hopeless romantic who had believed in the magic of true love and destiny- and finding my soul mate from southern California only affirmed that belief. Steve was born and raised in southern California and had lived in the golden state all his life. To think that I probably wouldn’t have met him had I not followed my dreams to Los Angeles attests my belief in destiny, true love, and real life fairy tales. We had our perfect fairy tale, Cinderella-inspired wedding in an enchanted setting, a perfect Cinderella-worthy dress and tiara, my perfect prince, and we rode away in a horse-driven Cinderella coach. Since we are both Disney nerds, we happily were off to Disneyworld for a royal honeymoon.

Needless to say, I had more than enough inspiration for my fairy tale fantasy series, “Happily Ever After High School”, and now “Once Upon A Time University”. I wanted to create a world were fairy tales were not just make believe- a world where they were thrown into the mix with real modern life. I wanted to spark the love of fairy tales and imagination in my readers while also making them believe that true love might actually be not exclusive to fairy tales. The entire series stemmed from this idea.  
Next, came my main character, Albany. I wanted to come up with a unique name that you don’t hear everyday, and I wanted it to somehow be a little personal to me. Since I am named after a city, I looked up different city names across the US, and Albany stuck out to me.

Albany is definitely not your typical eighteen year old. She is independent, determined, unique, creative, and definitely a day dreamer. She absolutely has always hated traditional public schools, because she feels like she doesn’t belong there. Albany doesn’t really have many friends, but the friends that she does make she keeps for life.
Despite being labeled as an “outcast”, Albany finds contentment in her books- especially fairy tales.

I love the character of Albany, because I can definitely relate to her. In fact, I’ll let you in on a little secret… She is pretty much me at eighteen years old. She is a dreamer, she is optimistic, she is bright, she hates math, and she is not afraid to create her own path and get what she wants in life.

This isn’t to say that Albany doesn’t have her fair share of character flaws. Believe me, she has just as many flaws as the typical teenage girl. She is a mess, she can never keep her room clean- or anything for that matter. She is extremely stubborn and has a very witty and sarcastic sense of humor that can sometimes come off as cold if not understood. For those who don’t know Albany, her stubbornness can has the potential to get irritating. In reality, she just likes to stick to her gut and is not afraid to diverge from the herd. In fact, that’s what she does best. She’s a girl who knows what she wants, and she won’t give up until she gets it.

Writing Once Upon A Time University was a blast from the very beginning. I really let myself get inside Albany’s head and put myself in her shoes. Being so similar to the character, it was second nature for me. While writing and editing, I would often times recite Albany’s dialogue aloud to see how it sounds. The majority of the time, I probably looked like a crazy person talking to myself. But hey, it was totally fun and helped my process. I also listened to a ton of music while writing the novel. I created a playlist of the key songs I listened to over and over again while writing. These are songs that Albany would totally rock out too as well. We definitely share the same taste in music. Yes, the list is kind of all over the place as far as music genres are concerned, but that’s just how we like it ;)

I so hope you enjoy reading the second installment of the enchanted series as much as I enjoyed writing it!

May all of your fairy tale wishes come true, 
Savvy

Tidbit About The Author!

Savannah Ostler was born in Alpine, Utah. Since childhood, she has enjoyed many forms of the arts. It was from her love of performing that she decided to attend East Hollywood High, a school in Salt Lake City dedicated to film, television, and writing.
In addition to acting for both stage and film, Savannah is also a singer, having released several original pop singles, and performing at well known venues in Hollywood such as The House Of Blues, and the Roxy theater.

Although Savannah is incredibly diverse with her talents, her first love is, and has always been writing. She has been writing ever since she learned how to read and write. She enjoys many different forms of writing: poetry, lyrics, fiction, and screenplays. To date, Miss Ostler has written hundreds of original poems, six original songs produced and performed by Savannah herself, hundreds of lyrics not yet produced, over a dozen produced short films, five feature film screenplays, two television pilots, and of course, her first novel Happily Ever After High School.

Savannah has always been a day dreamer and a true kid at heart. When she is not buried in her writing projects, she can be found at Disneyland, living out all of her fairy tale dreams.

She lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband Steve and their two mixed Chihuahua pups.

Where You can Find her!

Blog


Twitter: @SavannahOstler



Life At The Moment + Recipe


So I'm back in school. I've survived my first week and i'm about to start my second. My classes are hard and I'm honestly a little scared of them. I'm going to do my best and learn to be okay with that. If school wasn't enough, I have college apps to worry about to. In other words i'm going to be really busy most of the time. My stress level is going to be at an all time high but I just have to remember to breath. Breath and just do what I have to do. At this point in time my priority is going to have to be my college apps. Unfortunately that doesn't leave a lot of time for the things I do love to do.

I'm not going to be blogging as often and when I do it's probably going to be sporadic. I'll try and post on Saturdays for now, but I might throw a Motivation Monday, or a Whatever Friday, or something here and there. I'm really sorry about this, I know it sucks and that it's annoying. Anyway, I figured I owed y'all an explanation as to why my blog is going to be a little cray at the moment.

To all my people who started school already, we can do this, we can survive this year. We are strong and awesome. It's as simple as that. To everybody else who hasn't started school, good luck, don't be afraid, you got this!

Now for the fun part! Since school often requires us to stay up late and lose precious hours of sleep, caffeine is something of a necessity. So I thought I would share a recipe I found for some awesome coffee! (if you're not a coffee person, green tea is a good alternative)

Caramel Macchiato Frappuccino  

Ingredients

¾ cup fresh espresso or double strength coffee, use a caramel flavor if you can find it
¾ cup milk (soy, rice, low fat, 2%, whole, etc)
3 tbls Torani Caramel syrup
pinch of xanthan gum (about 1/16 tsp)
2 cups ice

Instructions

In a large blender, add warm coffee and xanthan gum and process on slow speed for about 30 seconds. (The warm coffee helps to completely blend in the xanthan gum.)
Add milk and caramel syrup and blend for about 15 seconds just to combine. Finally, add in ice and blend on high power until ice is completely crushed and blended into coffee mixture.
Pour into a large cup and top with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce if desired.


Enjoy! Happy Studying! Or just staying up late!




Style Saturday: My Fashion Wishlist


So I just finished my first week of school yesterday. Let me just say that this semester is going to be crazy busy. My classes, I found out, and expected are going to be a lot of work! But other than the drowning in homework thing, school's been pretty cool. Anyways I figured I would do a fun little style post that's sponsored by Dresslink. They have a lot of cute clothes that are really inexpensive. So without further ado, here's my wishlist!

I know a lot of these are summary but it's still super hot out where I love. Just the other week it reached over 100 degrees. We don't really get "autumn" here, unfortunately. But it does get a little chilly, Hope you liked my wishlist!

What's on your wishlist?



Back To School Outfits



I've been obsessed with watching back to school videos and getting fashion inspiration. I thought I would do the same today. After all, today is the last day of my Back to School series! Crazy I know. I go back to school this next Monday. I cannot even begin to explain just how NOT ready I am. But life's going to happen whether your ready or not. So without further ado here is some style inspiration for your lovely Saturday.

Back To School Series:
Day One:Back to School: Books and Movies
Day Two: Mixtape Monday + Organization
Day Three: Student Survival Guide
Day Four: Goals For the 2015 School Year
Day Five: Cute Hair Styles
Day Six: Open Letter To Students


If you want to dress up but not look like you're trying too hard this is the perfect outfit for you. The high waisted trousers give off a chic look and the crop top and shoes dress it down.
You can never go wrong with a dress for the first day. You can dress it up, or down, like I did.It's still pretty hot out where I live, so I probably wouldn't wear the socks, so feel free to modify to fit your dress code and weather situation.



I like dressing up for school. A skirt and loose tee is a great way to look cute but feel really comfortable!



Dear Students,

I'm not ready.


I am in no way ready for school to start. I'm sure you all feel the same way. I'm sure we're all still recovering from last year, I know I am. I'm not ready for the stress, anxiety, tears, frustrations this year will bring.

Sometimes I think that all the bad stuff outweigh the good parts of school, but then I'll hang out with my friends and we'll have a great time, then I think maybe it isn't so bad. High school is not going to be the best four years of your life. Most likely anyway.

High school is going to feel more like an audition for college. It's going to feel like too much all at once. I know that that's how it felt for me. I know its scary. I'm still scared. I am absolutely terrified of my senior year of high school. I'm scared about not getting into the "right" college. I'm scared about messing up in the last home stretch. I'm scared that maybe everything I've done isn't enough. I think the last part scares me the most.So to my fellow seniors, we can do this, we can survive it. We're almost done. We've had a 100% survival rate so far. College apps, crazy schedules, friend drama, it's all survivable. I have to remind myself of that. So I'm reminding you of that. Because sometimes all we need is someone to tell us that we can. And trust me you can do this. Don't let stats get you down, don't let grades make you feel like your less of a person. You are you. That can't be defined with numbers and grades. My advice to you, and myself, is that you are in charge of your life so take control and steer yourself where you want to go. Don't let someone tell you that you can't do something. Don't let people tear you down, or try and tell you what you should do. At the end of the day your the one who has to live with the life you create, so create an awesome one. Don't apologize for making choices that make you happy and will help keep you happy for years to come.

 Maybe you're scared about starting high school, maybe you're scared about taking your first AP class, maybe you're scared about making new friends, maybe you're scared about not fitting in, maybe you're scared of disappointing someone. Let me tell you right now that no matter what your anxious about, you'll survive it. It might suck for a really long time.But that doesn't mean you won't survive, you will and you will go on to better things. If you stay organized, you can survive AP classes. If you work your butt off, you will get the grades you deserve. If you put yourself out there, chances are you will meet people who are like you. Don't be angry or sad if you don't find people at first or if you can't find a "real group" of friends. You'll find your people eventually. Try some new things, you might be surprised at where your happiest. That's the other thing, surround yourself with good people.

You'll need good friends, not flaky unreliable people, in your corner. If you don't fit in because your "weird" or "nerdy", fuck everybody else. You just need to be yourself and happy in your skin. High school sucks, its terrible, but don't let the people and the place force you to change. The things people might think are "uncool" now, are the eccentricities someone else with think are awesome, are the things that will make you stand out. After all who wants to be boring carbon copy, leading a boring, vanilla life? Not me. If there's one thing I wish I could have told myself as a freshman is that "You will survive and be okay. Maybe even better than okay". So i'll tell you guys that. Somewhere down the line you'll realize that you turned out okay and that your life will turn out okay too.

Mental illness is a thing that a lot of people struggle with. I can't count how many people have talked to be about depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, etc. They were all afraid to talk about it and I hate that they felt so afraid to talk about it because of the stigma attached to it. Mental illness is a disease. Not something to run away from, or pretend doesn't exist. From my experience music is a great help when things suck and when they don't. It's okay to have bad days, and sometimes your going to have more bad days than good ones. It sucks but remember that the sun at some point will come out and because you've survived dark nights, scary nights, lonely nights, you will appreciate the sun. Talk to someone if you can, and if you don't have someone, talk to me. If not there are plenty of online resources that will help you out: 7 Cups of TeaIMAlive.

School will most likely get crazy. The people in it are little bit bonkers. And that's okay. But this year I want all of you to take care of yourselves and remember to make yourselves a priority amidst all the chaos. I know I'm going to make more of an effort to do that this year. I always start these open letters with an idea of what I want to say but then I write them and the just end up being mini rambles. As per usual this is also all over the place, but I really want to wish you guys luck this year.

Here's what I've learned from surviving three years of the crazy jungle that is high school
  • It's not worth it to be "cool"
  • Don't apologize for who you are but accept when you are in the wrong.
  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes and try new things. 
  • Put the work into school. It's your ticket out and your key to open doors to places you want to go. 
  • Education is one thing that no one will be able to take away from you. Take advantage of your classes and learn as much as humanly possible. 
  • Playlists will be the soundtrack of your experiences. 
  • Being alone is not a bad thing. It's important to know how to be alone. 

Remember that some days are going to suck, but hold on to the ones that are amazing. Pay attention to the moments you feel on top of the world. Those are the ones that count. Remember and enjoy the little things because those small details can make your memories and life all the more richer. Keep in mind that education is important even if you decide not to go to college ( and if you do want to go to college it's helpful to start looking into the application process early).


Here's to us. Here's to a new school year. Lets be awesome and kick ass this school year.


Stay Gold,

 
Imagination Designs