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Top 10 Junior Year Moments

As I'm wrapping up junior year with my last final two exams next week, I thought it was a good idea to look back at what I've learned, seen, and did in a year. Most people have asked me if I've been enjoying junior year and each time, I've given multiple answers. Some good, some bad... definitely depended on the day, that's for sure.

I'm a firm believer that every moment is an experience leading to the next point in our lives. They all serve as lessons to better us for difficult tasks ahead in our future and to prepare us for what's to come. It isn't just our actions, but also our attitude towards a situation that shows us the person we are.

My experience living in a house full of girls was tough. I'm not going to sugarcoat it.
We've all had our ups and downs, but together we've grown and learned a lot from each other and about each other. I'm grateful to be surrounded with people that get me, love me, care about me, and want to be a part of my life. 
{ 1. Halloween on Franklin St. }

Always an interesting night. I've mentioned time and time again that Halloween on Franklin Street is always a big deal here at Carolina. Hundreds and hundreds of people walk the streets, the police block off Franklin St. for the night, everyone celebrates, shows off their costumes, takes photos, and it's just always a fun time to be surrounded by your closest friends.

{ 2. Swoozie's event in Charlotte, NC }

Natalie and I attended the Swoozie's event in Charlotte. Natalie and I have roadtripped together quite frequently this year. I love that these events and trips have allowed us to bond more and grow closer together. She's always been someone I can confide in and supports me every step of the way. I've learned a lot of things by being with Natalie and I just know that having someone who influences you and motivates you is the best kind of friendship.

{ 3. Myrtle Beach trip with the family }

My family and I like to travel for winter vacation. With the whole 'it's the most wonderful time of the year' mantra, we like to spend the season together in a place to catch up on life and just enjoy each other's company. We're very close as a family and I couldn't be more blessed. This year, we went to Myrtle Beach, SC. Even though I've been to Myrtle Beach several times before, it was the idea that I was able to spend several days with my family. We sure did make the most of it. 

{ 4. Asheville Glamping Hub travel trip with Natalie }

Natalie and I had the pleasure of partnering with Glamping Hub for a bestie mountain weekend experience. I had never been to Asheville before, so it was quite the experience for me. As a stickler for a schedule, I learned to handle situations that were out of my control. Natalie influenced me to handle them well, and looking back... I don't know if I'll ever find a better travel partner.

You can read all about it here + here + here.

{ 5. Snow Day }

I love snow days for many reasons. 
For starters, I love the cold. Secondly, I'm lucky enough to always be living with my best friends and to enjoy the day off with them. Last year it was a week off and it really did hurt our academic calendar. Not complaining though.
This year, my housemates and I trekked to Franklin Street, ate at Sup Dogs, and "played in the snow ice."

{ 6. LuLu*s Valentine's Day shoot }

Every year, I try to incorporate something fun and festive for the holidays.
This year, I teamed up with LuLu*s for a fun Valentine's (or what I like to call Galentine's) Day photo-shoot with my best friends. We had an awesome photographer, who goes to UNC, and had our living room set up like a studio. There was sangria involved and lots and lots of confetti... which, by the way, takes forever to clean up.

What did I learn? NOT to use confetti ever again. Hah. 
I say that now...

Post here.

{ 7. Turning 21 }

Turning. 21. Probably the most anticipated event of the year. My friends threw me a 21st birthday party at my house and let's just say... it was quite a night. 
Natalie took me out for dinner in Raleigh where I ordered my first apple cinnamon sangria. Swoozie's provided me with 21st birthday goodies and I made champagne jell-O shots.
The day of my birthday, there was also a tornado watch, a power outage, and a UNC basketball game, so I had to quickly learn that there will always be something that doesn't go according to plan. And it's okay. I realized that I was surrounded by people who cared about me and I changed my perspective on the situation.

{ 8. Spring Break in California }

I traveled to California for Spring Break to finally meet my blogger bestie Ashley in real life.
She was an incredible hostess and really showed me the best of LA. For someone who's been set on living in NYC after graduation, she opened my eyes to possibilities in LA. I could actually see myself living there, which made me realize to always keep my options open. Plans change, your perspective can change, and people can change. It was an eye-opening experience that I would relive in a heartbeat.

{ 9. UNC Basketball season }

Nothing gives me more anxiety and stress than Carolina basketball. Seriously.
If you follow me on Snapchat and my other social media platforms, you've probably seen my excessive love for Carolina basketball. It's quite possibly one of the top reasons why I chose to come to UNC-Chapel Hill... not even kidding. But for those who know, we made it all the way to the National Championship only to be left with an 'in-the-moment' buzzer beater that left me (and the entire UNC population) heartbroken. This was an incredible team that deserved the National title and so much more, but the team players handled it very well, and I think that's what was so inspiring to me.
I admire people who choose to shine even after all the storms they've been through.

{ 10. NYC }

Looking back at my trip to NYC for interviews and meetings, all I can think about is my stress level, which was an all-time high. I stress about stress before there's even stress to stress about. You know that quote? Yeah, story of my life. But that week in NYC gave me a sneak preview of my life in NYC for summer, and I wanted it so bad. It made me excited, nervous, and grateful to have the opportunity to stay in the City doing what I love. I don't think most people ever experience that in their lifetime, and to say that I will be doing that this summer is incredible. This situation served as a reminder that God works in mysterious ways, and to never doubt His plans for you. 

Post here.

As for L D O C . . .

April is always the toughest month of the spring semester. It's the month of finals and the realization that I still have a couple of semesters until graduation. But this year, I felt different about it. I am about to finish my junior year and become a senior. Which means only two more semesters until I graduate. It didn't hit me until I was walking around campus watching seniors take graduation pictures in their caps and gowns, and reading all my graduating friends post nostalgic photos and memories from their time spent at Carolina.

This is probably the cheesiest thing I could ever say, but I'm actually in love with this place. 
Carolina has been home for four years, I've grown, messed up countless times, met incredible friends, and experienced memories that I'll probably never experience again. 

It's been quite the journey. And it's sad to think my time is almost up here, but it's not over just yet. 
If there's one thing that I've learned this year, it's not stress the small things.
Which... by the way, I do. Constantly. It's hard distinguishing the small things from the big things because to me, everything is important. I'm the type of person who wants to do it all. And I want to do it perfectly to the point where it exceeds all limitations. Well. Unfortunately, that's always a struggle because we are not perfect. So I've learned to handle myself and realize that nothing is going to go according to plan, and that's perfectly okay. It'll be okay. Life will go on. And maybe it took lots of instances and difficulties to go through to finally realize that. 

What's kind of tough about writing these points is that I'm writing them through a tough time right now: finals.

But the thing is, none of those sleepless nights where you drank too much coffee, cried because you're tired and sleep-deprived is going to matter. More importantly how you handled yourself in the situation, your response to it, and the end result is what you'll remember out of it. And I think keeping that in mind has allowed me to move forward and push myself harder.

All of it will be worth it in the end.

Thank you for reading.
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Spring Swing

Happy LDOC!

Today marks the official Last Day of Classes and I cannot believe my junior year is coming to an end. It still hasn't hit me that I'm about to be a senior in college. Where has the time gone.

In other news... I was more than pleased when I received this floral swing dress because the fabric is a soft, stretchy, spandex feel. Not to mention, dresses with pockets are a win in my book. Even though this particular dress is sold out, there are tons more to choose from the Meritt Collection. They will even be restocking this dress in different prints, so be on the lookout!

Thank you for stopping by!

P.S. We have a guest host Molly of Style Miss Molly joining us today on our #WIWWlinkup !

 Wearing: dress: ℅ Meritt Collection (out of stock, but check out the collection here) | wedges: Dolce Vita (similar here) |  sunglasses: Karen Walker | bucket bag: Madewell (old) similar here + here + here |  watch: Marc Jacobs |

 Congrats to our two features this week:
|| Oby from Oby Grace || Cassie from Simply Classy || 


Gracefullee Made
Thanks for linking up with us!


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Thank you to Impressions Boutique for partnering on this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Final Countdown

I mentioned last night on Instagram, but this week is about to be the toughest week yet.
AKA finals week.

The pros and cons of being a journalism major is that I have more final projects and presentations versus final exams. Which, I'm not complaining. The downside of that is that they're all due this week. 
In other news... I am loving this dolman top from Jarrett Bay that I wore for a late afternoon coffee date last weekend. You might have seen on Snapchat, but when I popped into the Jarrett Bay store in Raleigh the other week, I had the chance to view the summer collection and also chat with the store manager about the quality of their clothing. I love how Jarrett Bay highlights comfort when it comes to their premium quality clothing because often times I'll find myself attracted to a nice top or dress, only to find the material is itchy and uncomfortable. 
P.S. I have an interesting post coming Wednesday that you all might like, so be sure to stop by!

Wearing: top: ℅ Jarrett Bay | jogger pants: old, similar here + here + here + here | necklace: ℅ Happiness Boutique (identical here) | earrings: ℅ Moon & Lola | sunglasses: DITTO (use code GRACELEE for your first month free!)  | lipstick: Revlon's 'Black Cherry' | hat: Forever 21 (old) similar here | heels: LuLu*s (old) similar here + here | mini bag: LuLu*s (old) similar here + here | pom-pom keychain: H&M (old) similar here |


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Thank you to Jarrett Bay for partnering on this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Spring in Central Park

Happy Friday everyone!

I just want to say that this week has been the slowest week ever.

In other news... I know this gingham ruffle-sleeve top has made many appearances in my wardrobe lately, but it's because of how flattering and comfortable it is. I brought it with me to my trip to NYC and thought it was fitting for a stroll through Central Park. 

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. Remember when I mentioned this on Snapchat? HAHA. I can't believe I walked all the way through Central Park with half-zipped booties! AH! How embarrassing.

Photos by Cassell Inc. Photography 

Wearing: jacket: Zara (old) similar here + here + here | gingham top: Zara (only $26!) | skirt: Zara (similar here + here) | earrings: Choies (love these!) | sunglasses: DITTO (use code GRACELEE for your first month free!)  | booties: ℅ Mari A. Axle (sold out) but similar here + here |


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