Senior Year Part One Reflection

I’m now halfway through my senior year, with one more semester to get through before entering the real world and paying off student loans until I’m 40.

Really though, this past semester challenged me in many ways, and I’m definitely a different person coming out on the other side. I feel like this semester was a journey in itself, the first half of an adventure that will come to a close at my college graduation on the other side of this year.

Continue reading Senior Year Part One Reflection

Rocksbox Review

Before a week ago, I had been wondering about Rocksbox for a few weeks – it’s a jewelry rental service that lets you try out jewelry for $21 a month.

So I finally decided to try it out. I would get my first box free, so I figured why not.

It’s pretty fun – you get to pick out pieces of jewelry on their website and add it to your wish list, and then all you have to do is wait for your box to be sent to you.

Since I love getting things in the mail and jewelry, it’s a win-win. The only downside is having to mail back all of the pieces. You can buy them, but since it’s all designer jewelry, they’re on the pricier side. You get $21 of “shine credit” to apply to a piece of jewelry every month, and if you buy the whole set you get $10 off.

My favorite thing about Rocksbox is getting to try out different jewelry trends without actually having to commit to buying anything. In my first box, I got a pair of pink tassel earrings that I love, but also probably wouldn’t wear more than a few times (and will probably forget about in a few months).

Also, I’m a sucker for cute packaging, and Rocksbox scores a 10/10 for that. It just made me even more excited when opening the box (plus it had a nice, somewhat personalized note). The three pieces I received were a pair of cactus earrings and matching necklace from Kate Spade, which I was probably way too excited about because I love cacti, and pink tassel earrings from Perry Street.

Also, both the cactus earrings and necklace are on sale at Macy’s.

All in all, if you are a jewelry lover, I would definitely give Rocksbox a try.

Check out the photos below to see what I got last week.

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Advice for Couples in a Long Term Relationship

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I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost four years – we started dating our junior year of high school. Every relationship is a learning process. But long term relationships, especially during the really formative years of your life, can be difficult to maintain if you’re not putting the effort in.

My boyfriend, Tanner, and I always say that we got lucky to have found each other so young, but at the same time, it can be a little scary too. There’s a lot of uncertainty that comes with being in a committed relationship during the young adult years – the future is completely undefined for both of you, and you’re both trying to grow personally and professionally.

I’ve compiled a list of long term relationship tips – every one of these were things I learned along the way.

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Don’t forget to be spontaneous. This one is from Tanner himself, and he’s 100 percent right. It’s too easy to fall into a set schedule, and sometimes you need to pull away from that. It keeps things light and fun, just remember that sometimes you need to go with the flow, if you need to plan out everyday like I do.

Ask how their day went. This should be instinct, really. And when they tell you, actively listen.

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Make time for each other, even when you’re schedule is full. Just 15 minutes together or making sure to walk to class together can make a big difference. You have to make time to see the important people in your life, not wait and see if there will be time to see those people at some point.

No matter how comfortable you are with each other, always be respectful. Always. There’s a difference between teasing each other and being downright disrespectful.

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Give compliments. This is a big one. Giving your significant other compliments is something you should want to do anyway, because you love them and want them to feel good about themselves. Giving your boyfriend/girlfriend a compliment should not feel forced!

Just because you’re young, doesn’t mean it’s not real. Tanner and I always got mixed reactions when we told people we were going to the same college together, which, by the way, was not planned at all. I understand we have a lot of life to live, and that there’s so much we don’t understand yet, but we’re going to learn and experience it all together, which I think is pretty great. Never let people undermine your relationship.

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Just because you’re in a committed relationship, doesn’t mean you are dependent on the other person. I’ve heard so many people say that you have to be alone to really get to know yourself and grow. First of all, that is not true at all! I am so different now than I was in high school, or even a year ago, and so is Tanner. Getting to grow together has been such a privilege, and something I wouldn’t change for the world. Being in a committed relationship hasn’t stopped me from pursuing whatever I want to do, and it shouldn’t stop anyone from chasing their dreams.

Remember that while relationships take more work than people realize, being with someone should be somewhat easy. Being in a relationship takes effort, but hanging out with your significant other shouldn’t be tiring or an annoyance. If you’ve been dating for a long time, things like cuddling or talking shouldn’t be forced. The two of you being together should be a natural thing.

There is no perfect relationship. The best thing you can do is have faith that everything will work out in the end.

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Why Girl in Pursuit?

For a month, I thought of many different names to rebrand my blog with. For more than a year, my blog was titled “Journey,” but I knew I was going to want to change it eventually.

When summer rolled around, I knew it was the perfect time to start rebranding and changing my website around. I thought of so many names, but none of them quite fit what I was going for. Eventually, I thought of the name “In Pursuit.”

When explaining the name change to my mom, she said it sounded incomplete, like you were waiting for the other part of the name to show up. She was right, and I added “girl” to the front.

I have always thought of myself as ambitious, a big dreamer, so “Girl in Pursuit” fit what I was trying to convey perfectly. So many of us are in pursuit of something, and I want to help guide others on their journey for whatever they are looking for. I want to help make the world a better place, be an advocate for what I believe in and inspire others.

I am the girl in pursuit of many things: happiness, health, a better environment and, of course, crazy good fashion sense.

I started this blog my freshman year of college because I loved writing and photography and wanted my own outlet where I could be more creative. It has helped me do that and a lot more. I’ve loved being part of the blogging community and learning more about social media.

Rebranding my blog has brought up one constant question when thinking about the future, whether it be long or short term.

What are you in pursuit of?

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Summer Photography Round Up

Here’s a round up of my favorite photos I took this summer. Many, as you can see, are my sister since she is always a willing model!

Most of these were taken in San Antonio and Austin in Texas and the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Seersucker for the Weekend

It’s Monday but I’m already thinking about next weekend’s plans. If not that, I’m thinking back to this past weekend, where my family took a relaxing day trip to St. Joseph’s in Michigan. If you haven’t been, I definitely recommend.

I am passionate about taking mental breaks on the weekends. Saturdays and Sundays are for resting, getting outside and planning the week ahead.

This outfit is now one of my go to looks because 1.) it’s an easy outfit but you still look put together; 2.) it involves a button-down shirt, one of my favorite closet staples.

Also, I love these shorts. I snagged them from Kohl’s at a really good price ($13 I think? Somewhere around there). My bracelet is from none other than Kiel James Patrick, AKA my dream internship. I love the one I ordered, it’s a great addition to my ever-growing bracelet stack.

And if you haven’t yet, go follow me @girlinpursuitblog on Instagram!

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Where to Go When Visiting San Antonio, Texas

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San Antonio is a Texas gem – there’s a ton to do there. I’ve compiled a list of places my family and I went to that I would definitely recommend to anyone heading to San Antonio. We did this all in less than two days too, so fitting this all in a short amount of time is possible!

Pearl District – This was my favorite part of San Antonio, hands down. It’s a nice area, with some beautiful old buildings and a ton of cute shops. There’s also multiple restaurants, so it’s easy to spend hours here.

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Green Vegetarian Cuisine – Located in the Pearl District, this restaurant is so good that my family and I went twice. Their veggie burgers are a must try. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, you’ll love it.

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The Alamo – You can’t not go to the Alamo when you visit San Antonio, especially if you’re interested in history like me. It truly is a cool experience.

San Fernando Cathedral – This cathedral is the oldest church in Texas, dating back to 1738 when it was first being constructed. It is breathtaking, inside and out. The cathedral is a piece of art in itself.

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Riverwalk – Okay, keep in mind that the San Antonio Riverwalk is one of the main tourist spots. It will be incredibly crowded. When I was there, it was hard to enjoy because the paths are narrow and way too many people are trying to squeeze by at once. Which is a shame, because it is pretty. It’s still worth seeing though.

Lick – Probably some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had and it was dairy-free. They have ice cream with dairy also, that I’ve heard is also amazing. If you go, I recommend their Vanilla Berry vegan ice cream (with a waffle cone, of course). Just be ready to wait in line for a little bit! Lick is also located in the Pearl District, close to Green.

Let me know your favorite places to visit in San Antonio in the comments!

More pictures from San Antonio:

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Take a Picture, It Lasts Longer

Photography has been an interest of mine since I was in elementary school and lining up my stuffed animals for a group photo, taken with my mom’s camera.

It wasn’t until college that I really started getting into the technical aspects of it. I paid too much for a digital camera that I still have now, although I use my mom’s DSLR for most photos.

Photography is more frustrating than people think – it can seem easy at first to get good photos – and if you’re observant, and know how to use a camera, it isn’t terribly difficult to get a good photo.

The challenge lies more in getting a photo that is absolutely breathtaking. Which, when you become a photographer, becomes a goal that is constantly hanging over your head. Even if you do happen to get an unforgettable photo, you want to take more.

Photography becomes an obsession, an addiction to creating a lasting story with one image.

Combining photography and fashion, two things I love, for this blog has been a challenge that I love.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want this blog to convey to readers, and it comes down to two simple things: inspiring and helping others.

And with that, here are the photos from one of my recent photo shoots, complete with a t-shirt emblazoned with one of my favorite things, a Polaroid camera.

T-shirt and skirt from Kohl’s, sandals from Nordstrom Rack.

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What to Wear: Summer Date Night

I don’t know about you, but when a date night comes around I think way too much about what I’m going to wear. Staring at my closet for a solid ten minutes without coming up with any solutions is where I usually seem to end up.

For summer, my go-to is a sundress and nice sandals or heels that are easy to walk in. Here’s one dress that I wear often and is perfect for a dinner out. I bought it last year from Hollister, on sale, but here are a few others that are similar from Target, Forever 21and LuLu’s.

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Bracelets from Alex and Ani, purse from Kate Spade Factory.

Photos taken by Maddi Burns.

Packing for College Like a Pro

I remember feeling overwhelmed when faced with packing for my first year of college. You don’t realize how much stuff you actually need for your dorm until you’re in your dorm, frantically looking for the one thing you forgot to bring.

So, I tried to make it easier on all you incoming freshman, or college students who need a clear list to check off when going through the motions, and made two infographics. The first is a general list of what you’ll need in your room, and the second is a complete and general list of clothes college women will need throughout the year.

Continue reading Packing for College Like a Pro