Arizona: part three 

At last, the final post of my Arizona trip! As I’m writing this, it’s the first day of fall. All day I’ve been thinking about what an incredible summer I’ve had and I feel so lucky I got to spend it with my family and some of my closest friends. Nevertheless, I am SO excited for fall. I can never pick a favorite season, but I think fall would be in my top two.

Anyways… here’s the final post of my Arizona trip! It’s a biiiit longer than my previous ones, FYI!

We went to the MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) and spent a few hours there. I had actually been there one of the last times I visited Arizona. It’s SO big, I don’t even think we got to everything! It’s a really beautiful museum and the way they have it set up is really neat. Each room is a different continent and there are sections with countries throughout that room. Each section is filled with the instruments from a specific country. They give you headphones that automatically let you listen to the song or piece that’s being played on the TV and it changes through each section as you walk around. That probably makes zero sense, but trust me – it is VERY cool!

Beatles guitar!

I love this photo… that’s Camelback Mountain! You get the perfect view from upstairs in the museum.

After that, we relaxed for a while. Then we went to an Asian market that was a super cool experience. I had never been to an Asian market before and there were so many interesting fruits and all sorts of crazy food there. We left with a bunch of stuff, including GIANT POCKY! It’s SO good. I love pocky, but giant pocky is ten times better. After that, we went to a Chinese restaurant right next door to the market. I learned that I’m not a huge fan of shrimp and I STILL can’t use chopsticks! 😦 Someday!!! LOL. Other than that, the food was VERY good. We tried this soup that’s apparently a popular dessert in China. I was not expecting to love it, but it was delicious. It didn’t taste much like soup because it was super sweet, but I had never tried anything like it!

The next day, we checked out OdySea Aquarium. We were going to go here a few days before, but instead went to the Heard Museum because it was SO CROWDED! We went on the right day AND got there super early, so it was pretty perfect. The aquarium is pretty new and it’s one of the nicest ones I’ve ever been to…it’s also HUGE. I don’t go to aquariums often, but when I do I am always blown away.

If you ever go here, there was one cool “exhibit” I really loved that you should check out. I don’t remember what it was called, but it’s in this little theater that moves around and takes you through different tanks so it kind of feels like you’re actually in the tank. I LOVED it!

Nemo!

OK, so this was probably another one of my favorite parts of that day. There’s a sloth in one of the first hallways when you’re walking through, and the first time we walked by it it was sleeping. Then we walked past it again and it woke up! Apparently it’s super rare for this sloth to ever move around, but this guy went up the ropes and back down for a few minutes and it was the cutest thing ever. I got a video and it’s seriously one of the best videos on my phone. I hadn’t ever seen a sloth in person and now I love them so much!

Oh – the penguins were also super awesome. They are such cool creatures. I love the way they swim!

The otters were the funniest!! We got there just as they were coming out for the day and it was so cute.

After we got back we went swimming (again 🙂 ) and made lasagna for dinner.

The next day, we decided to check out Butterfly Wonderland. It’s the largest butterfly conservatory in the U.S. and it’s right next door to OdySea. I always think butterfly gardens are super fun and they’re a great place to bring your camera!

OMG. This photo. I am so proud of myself. These particular butterflies are absolutely gorgeous, but the minute they close their wings they’re neutral and blend in with the others. The second I took this it closed its wing! Ahhh! It made me really happy that I got this shot. Isn’t it just the prettiest?!

After that, we walked through Old Town Scottsdale for a while to look for gifts and souvenirs. We stopped at The Sugar Bowl for some ice cream after and I am so happy we did! When I was younger, The Sugar Bowl was one of my favorite places to visit in Arizona. I still love it!

I got the Dusty Road Sundae! (I think that’s what it’s called.) Chocolate ice cream, chocolate fudge, malt, whipped cream, and a cherry. Yuuuum!

And, alas, here we have the final day… *sigh!* This day was actually one of my favorites. We went to Desert Botanical Garden first. It’s absolutely amazing there, but we only walked around for a little while because it was way too hot! Definitely go in the earlier hours of the morning or the evening if you decide to go! I love this photo of the prickly pear cactus.

And this is one of my favorite photos I took the whole trip! Just LOOK how beautiful it is there!! I can’t get over it. I love New England, but going to new places always makes me so happy because the environment is so much different.

Ouch, I would NOT want to fall into that! Lol.

I don’t have any photos, but after that we went go-karting! I had never been and it was actually really, really fun. I was sooo scared at first because I had never done anything besides bumper cars in my life, but it turned out to be a blast.

After that, we went to lunch and then to SMOCA (Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art). I had seen photos of this place online because currently this light exhibit is the big thing there. It’s a pretty small museum, but they’ve got a LOT of interesting art there and an AMAAAAZING gift shop!!

It was around mid-afternoon by then, so we headed back and got all of our things together to get ready for our flight that would leave at around 10:30pm.

It suddenly started pouring and it went on for quite a while. The power flickered on and off for a bit too. Before the storm, we ordered pizza, and apparently the power had gone out at the pizza place, too! Luckily, they had made ours just in time.

When the rain stopped, we saw the owl in the backyard saying one last goodbye to my brother and I. 😉 On the way to the airport, a rainbow appeared and we saw another beautiful AZ sunset. The perfect way to end the most incredible trip!

So, there you have it: my trip to Arizona. It was the first time I had ever traveled alone, but it was also one of the most exciting and wonderful experiences I’ve ever had. I am so, so, so grateful that I got to visit my family and learn and see so many awesome sights there. I hope to visit again soon!!

I hope you enjoyed this little travel series and that you all have a wonderful weekend!

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Arizona: part two

In part one, we left off at the Grand Canyon. After that amazing sunset, it took us about five hours to drive back to Phoenix, meaning we arrived at around one a.m. I was SO tired but it was SO worth it!

The next day we slept in and went swimming for a little while in the morning. We were planning on going to the Odysea Aquarium, but since it was Saturday it was crazy busy and there was zero parking. We decided instead to go to the Heard Museum, which was something I was so looking forward to.

The exhibit going on at the time was Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. (Unfortunately, TODAY is the last day of the exhibit there, but I think it’s a traveling exhibit so it will be at other locations.)

In sixth or seventh grade I was told to do a book report on someone I knew nothing about. (AKA – not a first lady. I had done Jackie O., Eleanor Roosevelt, AND Michelle Obama in past years!) I found a book in my school’s library about Frida Kahlo and I recognized the name and face. I knew my mom was a big fan of her but I really didn’t know too much about her.

The book was a cheap, middle school-age biography with a little information about her personal life, but it didn’t go into great detail. Nevertheless I learned so much about her and I wanted to learn even more. I thought her story was just fascinating and I was in love with her work. I was so glad I branched out and chose someone new to write about!

Before we left for Arizona I was researching some museums and events I wanted to check out while there and I came across the Heard Museum. It’s primarily an American Indian Art Museum, but the Frida and Diego exhibit had been apparently been a huge hit so I had to put it on my Arizona to-do/to-go-to list!

Tons of Kahlo’s pieces were on display and it was so surreal to see all of them. I had only seen one of her real pieces at MoMA in New York, so this exhibit was so awesome. It had Rivera’s work as well and many photographs taken by Kahlo’s father, too.

This was of the coolest things in this exhibit. Designers researched Kahlo’s style in great detail and made replicas of her clothes. I thought they were actually her real clothes before they mentioned they were replicas! So much detail is put into those outfits and they’re all so beautiful. I LOVE the flower crowns, too!


My aunt and I stumbled upon a tour group and decided to join it. The tour guide was super helpful. She explained the interpreted meanings of many of the pieces and I went home with so much more knowledge about Kahlo’s life!

 They really need to make a year-round Frida Kahlo museum. This exhibit was absolutely amazing. It’s definitely in my top three favorite museums I’ve ever been to. (I think it just beats the First Ladies exhibit in D.C. 🙂 ) The gift shop was crazy awesome, too. (That’s always a plus!) I now appreciate Frida Kahlo’s work so much more knowing how much pain she went through throughout her life.

After the Heard, we went out for lunch at the Cafe at Phoenix Public Market. Other than it being super loud in there, the menu was great and the desserts looked gorgeous. I got the AB&J (Almond butter and jelly) and WOW was that good! It was just the right portion and the flavors were perfect together. I would totally eat that again.


After lunch, we went to SNOH Ice Shavery. It’s kind of like ice cream, but it’s kind of like shaved ice. It’s super weird but super yummy. They have boba and other drinks there too, but I was curious to try the “ice cream,” or whatever you want to call it! I chose one of the ones on the menu that was already created, but you can create your own too. The base was taro (that’s the purple in the photo) and it was so good. I had never tried taro before but it was really interesting and it doesn’t taste anything like it looks. (LOL, I don’t even know what purple is supposed to taste like. Grape?!) It was topped with condensed milk, almond cookies, and almond pudding. I would totally recommend this place if you want to try something new!

After that, we went to Changing Hands which is a local bookstore. I love bookstores and I so wish we had a Changing Hands on the East Coast. I got myself a copy of The Catcher in the Rye and had a lot of fun looking at all the books and little knick knacks and accessories they had there. It’s the perfect place for gifts!

When we left the bookstore, it was POURING. As we drove into Phoenix it began to settle down and really wasn’t raining too much when we got back. We went swimming again (it really was a daily activity for us!) and enjoyed the rest of the night.

The next day, we checked out the Arizona Science Center. It had a lot of cool activities and hands-on exhibits and I really enjoyed it there! Science is not my favorite – or best – subject, so the phrase “science center” never excites me. Whenever I go to one, though, I end up having a great time and learning a lot. Science IS cool, but it only interests me when I’m able to see it in action rather than sitting in a desk at school!

We were hungry after we left so we stopped for froyo on the way back. See the little hint of pink froyo? That’s mixed berry, AKA: me trying to be healthy. TBH, there’s no coming back from sprinkles, heath bar, oreos, AND butterfingers, so that decision was pointless.

That night, I think we swam again. I also witnessed the SECOND prettiest sunset on this trip! (First being the Grand Canyon, and nothing will ever top that!) I love the silhouette palm trees in these photos.

So there is part two of my trip to Arizona! There will most likely be two more parts… I have to decide how I want to split the trip up.

Happy Labor Day and Monday! Have a great week.

A Day at the Fair

A Day at the Fair

Every year I look forward to my town’s fair. This year I went on Friday and it was so much fun. I’ve gone every year of my life and I hope I never miss a year. I love seeing my friends from school, stuffing myself with endless amounts of fair food, riding the creaky carnival rides, and photographing it all along the way. Although I left with a headache, sunburn, AND heartburn, it was totally worth it. 😉 (Oh, and here’s my fair post from two years ago #cringe. LOL.) 

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day: 






Happy September! I hope you’re all having a great long weekend and enjoyed these photos. 

An August Playlist

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I am at work on the upcoming Arizona trip post(s) but while I have a minute I figured I’d share my August playlist with you all. I haven’t shared a playlist in quite a while and I feel it’s time for a new one! (Although if you’re following me on  Spotify, I am quite active and you can see all my playlists there all in one place!)

This month has been craaaaazy. I got back from Arizona on the fourth and went to two weeks of camp after my return. I also had to finish (AKA start) my summer homework for my AP Government class. I had a bunch of school events to attend as well, and long story short the end of August was crazy stressful and busy!

Slowly but surely things started to calm down. I started school on the 29th, and I’m now a sophomore in high school! I am really excited for the year. It feels so good to not be a freshman anymore, haha! I’m taking some really cool classes and am so ready for a (hopefully) great year!

OK, back to the playlist. This month I triiiiiied to add one song a day, but that’s just now how music works for me. Once I discover one artist or song, I discover a million others that same day and it’s too stressful to add them all or to wait until the next day to add them. So, instead of having 31 songs, this playlist only has eighteen.

As you may have noticed, I’ve got a pretty random taste in music. Sometimes I hear a song in a commercial or somehow rediscover it  (An example being: Potential Breakup Song and Under Pressure…) and then become obsessed. SO, don’t mind the randomness. (That’s basically what this blog is though, right?!)

I am SO excited about Beck’s new single, and his upcoming album! AHHH! I’ve also been loving The Smiths, and made another playlist just dedicated to them. Grizzly Bear has a new album which I listened to a few times and enjoyed a lot, too.

And yes, the song Despacito is on this playlist as well. To be perfectly honest I don’t really know why because during the entire month of August, I never listened to this song all the way through. I just like the chorus and thought it was catchy, and it’s on the top charts so I figured I’d add a little bit of pop to this mix! But never mind, I don’t need to explain myself! LOL. 😉

That’s about all for now, but one, if not more of my Arizona posts should be up this weekend. I hope you all have a great rest of the week and a wonderful start to September. Let me know – what song have you been loving lately?!

My trip to Arizona: part one

My trip to Arizona: part one

This summer (and year, for that matter) has really put me out of my comfort zone for a few reasons. Towards the end of July, my brother and I took a trip out to visit our family in Arizona… alone! Yup, no parents.

I have always loved traveling but I had never traveled alone before this trip. The idea of it never really scared me, but once it actually became a reality the nerves took over juuuust a little. I’m happy to say that I made it there and back and my first trip traveling alone was a success and so much fun!

I took about a million photos so I decided to not do a giant post and instead separate them into a few different ones! This post will be our first few days and the Grand Canyon.

We headed to Boston and our flight got delayed because of rain and it left at around 10pm. I just love this colored glass at the Boston airport!

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The plane ride was about four and a half hours so we got to Phoenix at around one AM. I (thankully) was able to sleep and wasn’t cursed with too much jet lag! We flew on JetBlue so there were TVs… unfortunately I did not ask where the headphone jack was on the way there but I later found out they’re right under the armrest, so pro tip for anyone who is looking for it next time you’re on the plane! 😉

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As I mentioned above we were staying with family which was so nice!! The first day we slept and just hung out and swam in the pool. Then at night we headed down to Chase Field to see a Diamondbacks game. They were playing the Atlanta Braves and, sadly, lost. I learned a lot about baseball… like, a lot! I played softball for a whole season years ago and still didn’t know the rules of the game! I also had about a million mini-heart attacks because we were right in the strike zone for the lefties and seeing those balls above my head was so scary. Thankfully, I made it back alive to tell you the story. 

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The next day we went down to Scottsdale Fashion Square for some shopping (mostly window shopping, actually!) That was a lot of fun because I don’t go to malls too often AND it was air conditioned. I mean, that’s kind of a must for any place in Arizona because it is SO HOT there!

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Boba tea! This was some sorta watermelon strawberry blend. I can’t remember, but it was good!

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We swam a LOT. Almost every day! Mostly in the early morning or late afternoon so it was a little cooler. I loved swimming at night because we could watch the sunset! Oh – we also heard AND saw an owl! More on that later…

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The next day we headed up to the Grand Canyon. We drove about two hours up to Prescott and stayed overnight there. The scenery changed so much as we headed up towards the Canyon! It felt like we were in a totally different state.

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Prescott was a super touristy town but it was really nice to walk around and check out all the fun gift shops and art stores. For dinner we ate at the restaurant right next to our hotel called The Barley Hound that was delicious. This salad was just part of our meal and it was spinach, beets, candied pistachios, and goat cheese which is my favorite! I could eat this salad every day.

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This is where we stayed, Hotel Vendome. I had never stayed in a hotel quite like this one. You could totally tell it was pretty historic from the claw foot tubs to the pull chain toilets but it was so nice. I would totally stay there again if I ever go to Prescott again! Plus it’s in the middle of the downtown area of Prescott and right next to The Barley Hound and another nice cafe that we went for breakfast the next morning.

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The next day we drove another two hours up to the Canyon! I have been to Arizona a few times before but had never been to Grand Canyon. I was so excited to visit my first national park, and this one totally did not disappoint. Seriously – we had the best experience ever!

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OMG a photo of me?! On my blog?! This is a historic moment. I rarely post photos of myself but oddly enough this post has two. TWO! Give me some credit for that, ok?!

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How amazing is that? If you haven’t seen the Canyon, you must go. I feel soooo lucky I got to experience it. It’s seriously the coolest thing ever.

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 Soooo by the way, guys, I baaaaasically hiked the Grand Canyon.

Well… maybe half a mile of it. My cousin, brother, and I hiked just a little bit of the first trail. Was I sweating my butt off by the time we got back up??? You know it. But honestly it would be soooo cool to go down there and actually hike and camp there. On my bucket list! Someday…

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OK, so right as we were getting ready to leave, a thunderstorm starting to come in faster from the other side of the canyon. (SO COOL, RIGHT?!) We had seen the clouds and heard some thunder a bit earlier that day, but it didn’t really seem like it was going to pass over us. Well, IT DID! We were planning on taking sunset photos but we weren’t sure if the clouds would clear up. We drove around and stopped at various points but found the absolute PERFECT place to stop. As soon as we got there the rain started to slow down and the sun began to set.

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And, BOOM. Basically the most perfect sunset ever. The weather that day was crazy and I basically experienced it all: hot & sunny, cold & rainy! It was kind of hard to capture the amazing-ness of it, so these photos will have to do.

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Oh, yeah. THERE WAS ALSO A DOUBLE RAINBOW. AHHHH!! 

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When you realize you made it out of the Grand Canyon without falling in… #yaasssss #iDidIt #proud 

LOL. So there’s part one of my Arizona trip! More to come this week. I had the best time ever and am super excited to share more. Happy Friday! 

The last few weeks in photos and words

I’m fiiiiiiinally sharing a ton of photos from the last few weeks! My summer has been pretty busy and I found some time to sit down and import all these photos onto my computer and post them on here for you all to see!

Oh, one more thing! I updated the look of my site a bit! I hope you like it. I was getting quite tired of the last look. I hope to switch to my own self-hosted site someday, but for now this will do. 🙂

Let’s start at the beginning of the summer…

Just a few days after I ended school, my mom, brother, and I took a trip to Upstate New York to visit one of my mom’s friends who has a house up there. I had only ever been to the city, so going upstate was so nice. It is beautiful!!

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I mean… come on!! Also, here’s a little photo tip: if you’re taking a photo through the car window and there’s a little bit of a glare, you can hide it by using one of the effects in the app A Color Story.  (There are probably other apps that have these effects, but this one is my absolute favorite!) This photo had a horrible glare, but now you can’t even tell it was ever there!

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We took an unexpected trip to Woodstock, NY later that day. I had never been and I totally want to go back… there is so much to do! These aqua benches make me love it even more.

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For dinner we went to a restaurant called Shindig. It was super cute and my sandwich was delicious! I can’t remember what it was called… something with veggies in the title! 🙂

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LOOK AT THAT TILE! So pretty.

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On the ride back we saw a deer! Well, the night before we saw multiple deer BUT this one just stopped and kind of stared at our car for a while. The photo is sorta blurry, but isn’t it so cute?!?!

That little trip was a great start to my summer and I had a BLAST! Here is a little assortment of random photos from the next few weeks…

Mmmmm. Farmer’s market strawberries!

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Six Flags!

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Beach day! It was Fourth of July weekend so it was crazy busy. We got shaved ice afterwards, too. Mine was peach and blueberry!

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Fourth of July! One of my all-time favorite holidays.

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Strawberry shortcake!

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We went to Whole Foods and I found the mochi bar! AHH! I had seen it all over the internet and it was amazing. I just love mochi.

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The hydrangeas are finally blooming. These are my favorite flower!

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We celebrated my brother’s birthday last Saturday. We got pizza at Pepe’s and saw a basketball game that night. Happy birthday, Milo!

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The next day my mom and I went to the antique store. I got a new vintage camera to add to my collection and I am so excited!

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I’ve been at camp for the last two weeks but I keep myself busy when I get home by doing crafts! Weaving and embroidery have been my thing lately.

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Made this one for my cousin!

Ahhhh. It feels SO GOOD to finally get all of these photos up. Next Monday I leave for a trip I am super excited about! Follow my Instagram so you can see just where I’ll be going! Can’t wait to share more of my adventures with you all… have a great week.

Summer is here!



Hi guys!

It’s been a while! A month, to be exact. Last time I wrote on here was May 20 and today is June 20.

BUT I HAVE AN EXCUSE!
(Sorry for the screaming, I just feel like that should be in all caps!)

The past month of June I’ve been preparing for finals. I’ve been way too busy with studying to have the time to write on here. But today was my last day of school which means SUMMER! Yay! I am so so so so excited for this summer. I’ve got a buncha stuff planned and I cannot wait to take photos and videos to share on here!

This post is gonna be kinda all over the place. Let me start by telling you about my freshman year of high school which I just completed! (WHAT?!?!?) I know a lot of people hate high school and school in general, but I’m being 100% honest when I say I loved high school this year! I mean, I’ve always really enjoyed school in general, but high school in particular has been great. Maybe that’s just because I’m only a freshman and it wasn’t too hard for me, but if every year is like this year I am not gonna want to leave! (Just kidding – I’ll probably definitely want to leave.) Nevertheless, I am so looking forward to the next three years.

One craaaazy thing happened to me at school this year: I STARTED TO LIKE MATH. Yeah. This is coming from the girl who used to despiiiiiise math. Not even kidding when I say I used to cry over math homework. Yeah. It was bad. Math is probably my favorite subject now, next to art and English. I think the reason was because I had the BEST teacher. I hope I like it next year as much as I did this year! Just saying to anyone who currently hates math now, don’t get caught up in hating it so much. Try as hard as you can because once everything clicks it feels so so good! Really.

To conclude my little talk about school I wanna talk about my friends! I have the best friends and I could not have survived the year without them. I think I’m gonna do a post towards the end of summer with tips for high school, but I’ll do one portion of it now…

I know some people have trouble making friends/don’t want to make friends, but in high school you will not always have every class with a friend! I certainly didn’t. In fact, my math class was the first class I went to on my first day of school, and there was ONE kid from my old school. ONE! I was super shy in the beginning, of course, but you can’t always expect that people will talk to you first. I met one of my close friends in math class just by asking for help on a problem. Seriously, a little conversation goes a loooong way. In all my classes besides math, I probably had about 3 friends that I knew; no best friends in ANY of my classes until second semester!

I totally understand the not wanting to make friends situation. I was like that in the beginning of the year, too. It’s pretty scary to think that your group of friends may all branch out and go their separate ways in high school. I know that some people totally stop talking after they make new friends, but making new friends does NOT mean you’re going to lose your old friends! OK, OK, OK. I’m gonna stop now because I’d like to have at least a little more to talk about in a future post about school! I’m also gonna stop because IT’S SUMMER and I should not even be mentioning the word “school!”

Okay, next on the agenda…
SUMMER PLAYLIST!!! YASSS!!!!
I got way too excited about that.
But come on, who doesn’t love a PLAYLIST?!?!?

 

My personal “song of the summer” is the first song, Big Wave by Jenny And Johnny. Have I mentioned I LOVE Jenny Lewis? Like, a lot. Her music is so so great.

All of these songs are perfect for a pool party, while you’re eating a popsicle on the front porch, or while the wind is blowing through your hair in the car. Basically, it’s PERFECT FOR SUMMER. Pretty proud of this one. Last year’s playlist was great, too. Also, OMG. Look at the difference in the playlists. Here is the playlist from two years ago and here is the playlist from last summer. Two years ago it was literally all pop music. My taste has changed a LOT!! I still love a good catchy pop song, but I’ve discovered much better music over the last two years (in my opinion).

Anyways, to wrap that up, all of these songs just remind me of summer. Most of them have a nostalgic feel to them which y’all know I love, but some are just upbeat and happy summer tunes! Let me know if you give it a listen and what your “song of the summer” is!

Okay, finally! LINKS! Here are some of my favorite things I’ve seen this week….

Julie Blackmon’s photography. She makes those simply beautiful moments look… well, beautiful!

This could not be more accurate.

This cute yellow typewriter.

It’s sold out, but this swimsuit is gorgeous.

These s’mores pops look delicious!!

Fleet Foxes and Lorde came out with new albums last week! Yay!

Chelsea Handler posted this on her Instagram and it had me dyyyyying! So funny!

Two of my favorite celebrities in one picture.

Awww, Parks and Rec reunion! #parksforlife

Superstore and This Is Us just announced their fall premiere dates and I couldn’t be more excited. Summer is the best but the one thing I hate is that all my favorite shows are on vacation! That’s what Netflix is for though, right?!

Speaking of Netflix, this is SO COOL.

Obsessed with this article about film color palettes.

Alright that was a LOT. I hope you guys enjoyed this post. I’m so excited for the next few weeks. I can’t wait to share more fun posts with you guys! Happy Summer! Have a great day 😀