5 Best Backpacks for College (Under $100)

5 Best Backpacks for College (Under $100)

I've said it before and I'll say it again: every college student needs a backpack. I swear by my tote bags. I own more black tote bags than most people, but even I have realized the necessity of backpacks in college. If you're heading to school soon and you're still looking for that perfect backpack, here are 5 great options!*

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What I Eat in a Day to Lose Weight

What I Eat in a Day to Lose Weight

Last August I decided to try weight watchers for one month to learn more about the food I was putting in to my body. But it wasn't until March that my diet really started to change. I slowly cut out all dairy, started incorporating more veggies and over time the amount of processed extra sugar I was eating was gone and replaced with…

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2017 Back to College Packing List

2017 Back to College Packing List

This list is specifically for moving into a dorm, but the basics apply for an apartment or house as well. And keep in mind going through this list that these are the basics you will need in a dorm, and a few things I've found helpful; there will be other things you may decide you need or want. Use the note pages on the PDF print-out to your advantage! Write down anything extra you think you'll need, make a list of clothing you think you'll need to pack, or even anything you already have! 

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Lunch with the Little - Cafeteria, Boston

I posted a little while ago on Twitter that I was getting uninspired by what I had been drafting to post on here and I was nervous about some of the stuff I wanted to post. So today' post is the start of a new era. If you aren't following me on Twitter (which you should be), you may know that I follow a ton of bloggers, but I also follow a lot of vloggers and youtubers. I love the content youtubers make and I always feel so inspired by it! I would love to actually produce YouTube content, but I don't have the equipment for good quality videos yet, so I'm sticking to blogging. 

ANYWAY, I love the content of daily and weekly vlogs, I'm uninspired by my usual posts and general blog post topics, so I've decided to make my site a lot more personal and high quality. In the past I've felt like I spent so much time making sure my posts were drafted and edited but I didn't spend a lot of time on photos or even taking time to make sure I liked what I was writing. That's about to change. I take pictures constantly of what I'm doing, who I'm with and things that happen in my daily life and I want to start documenting them. That means a lot more restaurant and cafe reviews, life updates, and even a few fashion posts if I can find local photographer *wink wink my MA friends*. Looking forward, there will be more photos, and more of me in every post! 


Last week I had to go into Boston for an event for school and going into Boston means getting to see my little! She's interning there for the summer so making frequent trips will be a necessity. The event I had to go to was by Copley Square so we decided to stay close to that area by walking around Newbury and Boyalston Street. 

If you're not familiar with Boston this is a pretty touristy area since a lot of major hotels circle this block, but it's also some pretty decent shopping. Being completely broke on Newbury street is no bueno, so my little and I decided that the first cute [see instagrammable] restaurant we saw to avoid spending money in the stores. Luckily we turned the corner and the first place we saw was Cafeteria. 

I've probably walked up and down this street hundereds of times and not once have I ever noticed this place, but aparently it's super popular! And so aesthetically pleasing it hurt. 

Clearly I couldn't stop taking pictures. The entire atmosphere was so calming for the location being so hectic, I honestly didn't want to leave. 

I've probably walked up and down this street hundereds of times and not once have I ever noticed this place, but aparently it's super popular! And so aesthetically pleasing it hurt. Clearly I couldn't stop taking pictures. The entire atmosphere was so calming for the location being so hectic, I honestly didn't want to leave. 

Cue my little looking all cute! She started taking photos of me taking photos because that's what you do when your big's a blogger, right?

Our meal was DELICIOUS. I am one of those people who has a hard time going to a new place and enjoying the food there (I like what I know). But I was obsessed! 

We ordered cheeseburger spring rolls to start, definitely not healthy, but fantastic. Then we both ordered burgers. Little was good and ordered a side salad, but I had to get the fries because they looked too good. I don't know how but even though I'm going to be a senior, and she's going to be a junior, my little is 21 and I'm not, so she ordered one of heir specialty drinks called the Class Clown which had Smirnoff Vanilla, Kahlua, Baileys, Nocello and fresh Espresso. She described it as basically an alchoholic iced coffee. So if your of age and love iced coffee, check it out!


I can't wait to start sharing with you the things that truly inspire me, and I hope you guys are excited too! 

xoxo 

AME

Workout Wardrobe Wishlist

If you haven't read my May Health & Fitness Update, I've been using the Sweat App since mid March and have lost about 20 lbs. Thankfully most of my clothes still fit (they just fit a little better) but I've been eyeing some new workout apparel to splurge on to celebrate hitting the end of my first 12 week cycle. 

Who is your fitness fashion inspiration? Is there anything you've been eyeing lately? The high waisted white leggings from alo are the highest on my list! 

xoxo

AME

Creating an Instagram Aesthetic

One of the most requested posts I've gotten is about how I create my Instagram aesthetic. It makes my heart warm that you guys love my Instagram, but rather than teach you how to get mine, I'm going to show you how I edit my photos and how you can develop your own aesthetic. 

DEVELOPING YOUR AESTHETIC

The worst mistake people make when they try to make a cohesive instagram is they look at someone else's account and decide they want theirs to look like that. It's great to follow accounts for inspiration, and have a specific style you love or even people you love, but you cannot go into building your instagram with the mindset that it's going to look like someone elses. 

Everybody lives different lives and sees the world differently. Your aesthetic should reflect your life, what surrounds it, and how you percieve it. 

The best accounts [in my opinion] are those where you really get to know the person you're following. Let people get to know the real you, both in how you take your photos, what you take them of, and how you edit them. In other words, develop your own style, you're own stamp. 

HOW I EDIT MY PHOTOS

I describe the style of my photos as cluttered minimalism. Certain parts of my life are very type A, while the rest of it is incrediby disorganized, and I feel like my photos represent that. I take 99% of my photos using my iPhone 7 (purchased in Dec. 2016 for reference) and the other 1% are taken using my DSLR. 

I start editing every photo in Facetune. I use facetune to take out unecessary yellow tones in my photo using the 'whitening' tool and I literally rub it over every pixel in the photo, unless there's coffee or anything that would call for it. Then I move the photo into VSCO Cam. 

I use VSCO to both plan out my feed and edit. I use the A6 filter as well as aditional edits. I almost always use the maximum for the filter, then once its applied I will go in and up the brightness, up the contrast, up the saturation and reduce the temperature or warmth of the photo. Once I feel like it fits in with my feed I will usually post it right away, but sometimes I'll have a few ready at once and I'll wait. 

2017-06-10 12.24.40.jpg

BEFORE

AFTER

I personally like my photos a little overexposed, and later on I look back and realize that sometimes I may have upped the brightness too much or not enough on a photo, but thats what's helpful about using VSCO to plan first. 

My biggest piece of advice for building your instagram is take photos that inspire you. You'll never be bored of your feed, and you'll gain relevant, active followers that truly identify with you!

Leave links to your accounts below! I'd love to check them out!

xoxo

AME

Why I Don't Have an Internship this Summer

Every summer since I started college I've held a part-time internship. As a marketing major, I've been dreaming of the internship of my dreams the summer after my junior year (AKA right now). If you asked me in February what my plans were this year I would've said that I was on my way to the perfect internship. 

At the time I was 3 interviews deep for the ideal, paid, full-time brand strategy internship in NYC, and had applications out for a few others with interviews pending. After what felt like 30 interviews I got the emails no one expects or want to get: "After careful consideration we've decided to go with another candidate. Thank you for your time." 

I started scrambling and freaking out. This was THE summer for internships! I was convinced that if I didn't have an internship I was a failure.

I decided to apply for an unpaid PR internship in Boston for a company that I had always followed on social media. I always preached to people never to take an unpaid position becuase their work is valuable, but I convinced myself that the experience would be great and even though PR wasn't something I wanted to do, I could use that knowledge in brand development.. somehow. The internship was descriped in my first interview as being upwards of 45 hours a week, and sometimes requiring travel without being given a stipend. They sad I could take the internship for college credit, but that would cost me an additional $4,000.00 minimum to convert the credits.

I started calculating the costs of the internship: $300 a month for travel into the city, plus food while I'm there, travel expense for any PR events, and because it was a 45 hour a week min I wouldn't be able to hold a job outside of it. I emailed the recruiter after my first interview asking if they would consider reduced hours before I came in for a second interview, I was given the answer that I'd have to committ before they'd consider it. 

Ultimately I decided that it wasn't worth it. I could take the time I was dedicating to this company and dedicate it to my blog, while working. So I applied to a few retail jobs and started creating a content calendar for June. As much as having an internship experience during THIS summer is seen as necessary, I know that I would rather be getting expereince in retil and working on my blog and learning about branding through my own expereinces than dedicating 50+ hours a week to a PR internship that was not relevant to anything other than time management. 

I'm excited getting my blog back to where it belongs, making some money, and taking the summer for me. As amazing as it would have been to have that perfect paid internship in NYC, I'm completely happy with the decisions I've made and know that not having an internship this summer is not the end of the world.

Something people don't talk about enough is what to do when the perfect scenario doesn't happen. What do you do when everything you planned doesn't work out? Should you take any internship just to say you have one? This summer I'm choosing to spend the summer doing something I love, and taking time to learn skills I'll need (take e-courses in adobe software I haven't used yet, video editing software, etc.) and spend my last summer before adulthood enjoying myself. Opportunities to take time for self discovery do not come very often, so if you ever find yourself in a position where the perfect scenario isn't working out, look at it for an opportunity to discover yourself. 

How are you spending your summer? Have you ever wondered what you would do if you didn't get the perfect internship?

xoxo

AME

May Health & Fitness Update

If you know me personally you know that me and health/fitness have never been friends. I love food and I'm far too lazy to have ever cared anough to really get into a health or fitness routine, but I have consistantly attempted to try several things (see post 1, 2, 3, etc.)

BBG 2 month update

HOW I GOT HERE 

While I've always been confident in who I am, this semester I reached a point where I started to avoid mirrors and would avoid being in photos because I was so uncomfortable with where I was. I don't want to share my exact weight to avoid making anyone feel uncomfotable, but I am 5'2 and I had gained 40 lbs since my freshman year of college. For someone so short, that's and incredibly uncomfortable amount of weight to gain in only 3 years.  

When I started my most recent fitness journey, it was about a month after a very emotional breakup from my almost 4 year relationship. I began setting a lot of personal goals and doing a lot of self-reflecting. The first thing I did was look back at each of the previous times I had started the same program or similar ones and looked at why I stopped, why did I not make it a lifestyle change. What I noticed was that I never began the journey for me. 

Each time in the past, I had started the journeys unintentionally trying to get healthy or in shape for my ex, who was a known gym rat. And each time I failed because it wasn't something I was doing for myself. I wasn't motivated. This time was different. I was doing it to get healthy for me, not look better for someone else.

THE PROGRAM I CHOSE

When I decided to start Kayla Itsines, BBG, again I convinced a friend to do it with me (she's currently kicking my butt), and I planned to start over my spring break. I took about 2 weeks before I officially started the program to get in the habit of going to the gym, and starting to devlop my meal plan. I stayed on campus for spring break, and starting the program while I was there (alone on campus with an entire gym to myself) was super beneficial! 

I decided to journal throughout the process and about two weeks in I noticed another reason that I had stopped these programs in the past: whenever I didn't do them absolutely perfect, I wanted to quit. During my second week I skipped one day of LISS so I repeated the entire week and during that week I only half did one of my resistance workouts because of a time constraint and I started to get so discouraged. I ended up skipping a bunch of days and my BBG buddy would send me snaps of her workouts and meals and I felt so annoyed with myself for giving up. 

I did more self reflecting and realized, it's ok to not do it perfectly, as long as I'm still puting everything I can into it. If I have to miss and LISS for a day, or if I can only do half a resistance workout because of time, thats OK, but it's NOT ok to give up. 

MAY PROGRESS

As of Monday, May 29, I am beginning my 8th week using the Sweat App, and my 2nd week on the Body and Mind program (switching after 6 weeks of BBG) and I have officially lost 19 lbs. Going into this program I am not as concerned with losing a certain amount of weight or getting to a goal weight, especially knowing muscle weighs more than fat, but since starting the program in Late March, I've gotten in the habit of weighing myself at the start of every new week on a Monday when I begin the next week on the program. I also try to take progress photos in the app when I remember on these Monday's.  

What I am concerned about is feeling good in my own skin again and feeling like my body is healthy. I've had some stomach issues and struggled with chronic migraine and getting into a fitness regimine has been shown to help with chronic migrane and regulating my diet has been helping my stomach. 

I haven't seen a ton of progress in my arms and chest yet (honestly I was kinda hoping my boobs were gonna shrink) but I've felt significantly less bloated and puffy! Plus my skin has never been better! I don't think I've ever felt more comfortable and confident leaving the house without makeup on. 

DIET AND MEAL PLAN

As for the meal plan, Kayla provides you with an extensive meal plan for each day of the program. Unfortunately, this plan is not made for a students budget and is not the easiest to prepare on a busy schedule. So instead, I read all of the handy educational sections of the app that included food and macro and micro nutrients. Then I created a meal plan based around making sure I ate a balanced diet of protien, carbs, and healthy fats/sugars. (if you'd like to see a post of what I eat in a day or some general recipies let me know!)

Now, I'm going to be honest, there were cheat meals, and if you follow her program exactly as it's layed out the progress would probably be amazing! But I decided that I'll only be young once, and you only have one life. I want to love myself, love my body, and take care of my body, but I also want to enjoy life. I don't want to ever be that person who will say no to a slice of pizza or some wings to avoid gaining 0.02 lbs. I'm living this lifestyle with an 80/20 mindset. If you live a relatively healthy lifestyle 80% of the time, don't be afraid to let yourself enjoy things you enjoy the other 20%. 


Have you used the Sweat App? Have a favorite fun and healthy recipe? I'd love to hear what you guys think or any advice you have!!

xoxo 

AME

Keep Moving Forward

Everyone needs a break sometimes. It's been three months since I last blogged, and the break was needed. I never thought I would take three days off bloging let alone three months, but I was drowning. My course work was getting to me, the annual conference I plan was becoming more time consuming, I stared working full-time over winter break, and blogging began to feel like a chore. 

When I got back to campus for second semester I knew I needed to focus on school, the conference, and myself. I didn't give myself a date or a timeline of when I'd return to blogging, I just gave myself time, time to love it again. 

συνέχισε μπροστά: keep moving forward. I got this tattoo as a reminder that unexpected things happen. Relationships fall apart, friendships end; and sometimes you have no control and soemtimes you may not know why. 

There are things in life that Type A people like me can't plan for. My Day Designer doesn't have a section for dealing with the loss of a friend or relationship. But I can keep moving forward. 

Taking this break from blogging, and taking this time to focus on myself has helped me discover who I am. Keep moving forward, συνέχισε μπροστά, take a break, give yourself what you need for you. 


I'm excited to finally be back to blogging and to be excited about it! I'm also excited and nervous about this new chapter of my life.

How has your new year been?! Do you have a new motto? 

xoxo

AME