Welcome to Pretty Things and Witty Words! I am so excited to finally be able to share my collection of the two and all things few and far between. Say hello to your new favorite blog, created by the everyday girl, for the everyday girl.
Welcome to Pretty Things and Witty Words! I am so excited to finally be able to share my collection of the two and all things few and far between. Say hello to your new favorite blog, created by the everyday girl, for the everyday girl.
Welp. I owe you all an explanation.
I have been MIA for a year.
And where???? did I journey off to you, you might ask.
That’s a good question. I can’t believe that it’s been a whole year since I made my last post. I feel like not even a week has gone by, so it’s crazy to think that I have gone so long without writing a single blog post. Well, that’s not completely true. I did write. A lot. About everything. I just never posted it. And now, I finally have the chance to catch you up with where I’ve been.
Where do I even begin??
For starters, I am about to be a junior in college. Which blows. my. actual. mind. I plan on graduating early which makes me a fake senior? Also fucking bonkers. I met incredible people this year and learned so many things about myself and the world. I’m studying abroad in two weeks for an entire month in London, England (stay tuned for blog posts about that.) Looking back, the whole year was weird. Nothing happened and at the same time, everything happened. But ironically enough, I am exactly back to where I started; Just got back from Florida, preparing to go to Europe. Single. Confused. Working. Waiting. Writing.
I’m dedicating this next chapter of my life to rebuilding myself and working on becoming a better me. A me that does not need anyone or anything to make her feel whole. I am whole on my own, and it’s about time I realized that. I realized this year that timing in life is a fickle thing. People and things come in and out of our lives at the exact time that we need them. It doesn’t always feel that way, but it’s exactly what has happened this year. This year was a lot of patience and waiting and hoping. But time does not wait for anyone. It does not discriminate, it does not care. It will come through your relationships, your career, and tear shit apart. But it does this all for a reason so that we can grow from it. I learned so much about myself through this time. I learned about the kind of love I deserve, and that I will no longer settle or tolerate anything less. I learned that communication is crucial to make anything work. I learned that games are for children and that I am no longer one. I learned that you can do everything right in life and still not get your way. And I learned that healing is an ongoing process that requires taking a leap of faith and admitting that you are not okay. I learned that it’s necessary to be vulnerable sometimes, and allow yourself to get hurt in order in relationships because this is where lessons are born. I learned that you can not compare other people’s experience with your own; everyone’s books are different and no one books chapters are exactly the same.
With the end of this chapter and the start of the next one, it’s important to reflect that my book is not done yet. It will go on. I cannot skip the chapters, or rearrange the order of my book; it will not make sense. I can’t take characters out or force random ones in. I can’t rush through it, skip pages, or try to rip any out as hard as I try because I will never finish the story as it is intended to be finished. Some chapters this year left me sobbing uncontrollably on the kitchen floor in the middle of the night, some left me laughing until my stomach cramped. Some left me yawning, wishing I could just go to the next one, but that ruins all the fun. You see, your book is so unique and every chapter and setting and character is so important to the overall story. Nothing falls into place without any of those things. It is going to end how it’s going to end, regardless of how you try to read it, or how the movie adaptation might change it (still banking on Angelina Jolie playing me.) So with that being said, I am turning the page on this chapter, and saying hello to the next one, arms open to every new storyline I come across along the way. There is so much to be seen, heard, and read.
As the wise Natasha Beddingfield once said, “today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten.”
Earlier this week I was having a conversation with a friend about whether or not I should go on a date that night with a guy I met on a dating app. He was nice, cute, and charming. So what was my excuse not to??
“Idk, I’m tired.”
Huh??? I was confused by this feeling myself, too. But it was really simple.
I was tired of dating. Which made me wonder…why doesn’t anyone talk about how exhausting dating is?? And I’m not talking about being in committed relationships, I’m talking about actual dating; the act of going on dates with numerous guys trying to figure out if you two mesh well.
As I explained it to my friend, “I’m tired of the same dates with the same guys and getting to know their childhoods and families and listening about what sports they played in high school and having to pretend like I’m interested.”
Even the thought of having to sit through another paid-for dinner and having to sit through getting to know the guy made me yawn.
I did more research on this, however, after wondering if maybe I was just incredibly ungrateful or incredibly unlucky. Thankfully, I found that I was not either and that Duke University even did a whole ass study on why people feel this way. A researcher in the study found that people spent an average of 5.2 hours per week browsing through profiles, and then an additional 6.7 hours per week sending online dating messages. That’s 12 hours a week, on average, spent trying to score a date that lasts approximately 1.8 hours.
Yeah. You read that right. As simple and convenient as dating apps seemed, they were kind of a pain in the ass. I spent a majority of this summer experimenting on said apps and serial dating my matches that all ended the same way…..fizzling out. So you can now see why I dreaded the idea of having to do it all over again only for it to end two weeks later with one of us ghosting the other. Now, you could argue that with the right person it won’t feel like a job and that I will want to genuinely meet and date this person. And I hate to disagree but here’s where you’re wrong. In order to figure out if they’re the right person….I have to go on a date with them…..and another and another and probably another just to triple check that they’re not a psycho killer.
All of those dates are a time commitment and a shit ton of energy that I could put into bettering myself. Like taking a spin class, or getting a blowout, or learning a new language.
Carrie Bradshaw made dating look so easy, so fun. But where was the exhaustion and the confusion and the self-doubt that accompanies dating a handful of guys?
Perhaps this seems like a negative way of looking at dating, but it was a harsh side effect of a series of failed flings in the digital age.
I’m off of these apps for now, as they were a waste of time, energy, and mobile data, but I still wonder if this exhaustion will ever go away. When will swiping right ever amount to something more? Are all of these tiring dates just leading up to something good? I guess only time and Tinder will tell.
Leave your thoughts below! Any similar experiences? Tinder/Bumble success stories? I’d love to hear from you!
This past week I was lucky enough to fly down to Ft. Lauderdale, FL with family to get away from the gloom doom that has taken over Columbus. Though a short trip, I had some much deserved R&R and fun since much of the summer so far has been consumed by work and summer classes.
Needless to say, I had the best time and wanted to document some of my favorite parts on the blog.
We arrived Sunday (aka Father’s Day) morning at the W Hotel, a gorgeous spot right on the beach. Our room had a BOMB view so of course, my sister and I made full use of the balcony for daily photo shoots. We then met up with my cousins for lunch (and dranks) at the pool. I was worried that the restaurants wouldn’t have options that catered to my meat-free/ dairy-free trial diet, so I was shocked when most of the options on the menu were vegan-friendly (and delicious.) For dinner, we went to Cafe Ibiza, a cute restaurant with live music, on the Las Olas strip, where I devoured ahi tuna steaks and a margarita the size of my head.
On Monday we spent a majority of the day pool and beachside, accompanied by yummy drinks and lunch at El Vez, a trendy Mexican eatery in our hotel with very Insta worthy murals. In the evening we Ubered into town to eat at Seasons 52, an American bistro connected to the Galleria Shopping Center.
On Tuesday we got an early start to our day, heading to the gym with my mom and sister and Starbucks afterward for a quick breakfast before we headed off to the beach. After our daily siesta (and photoshoot) at the pool on our fancy cabana bed, we went to the beach to watch the sunset before heading to a hibachi sushi bar for dinner. A quintessential Florida day.
Wednesday was sadly our last full day in Ft. Laudy, but our schedule was luckily jampacked with just enough fun and relaxation to end the trip. Beach in the morning until we were pruney from the ocean, then we napped and had one last yummy lunch at the pool before heading off to celebrate the end of our trip with bubbly and rosé on our balcony like the bougie people we are. For the last supper, we ate at Casablanca, a homestyle restaurant on the Las Olas strip.
Overall, this trip was amazing and the perfect break from the busy year I’ve had. I’m so thankful I can call Fort Lauderdale my second home, and I can’t wait to be back soon.
Stay tuned for my next adventure!
I’m so happy to be home for the summer, as much as I miss my friends back at school and my cute lil college town. I thrive this time of year, but I’m always willing to grow and have new experiences. I have compiled a bucket list of things big and small that I want to do while I still have time before I move back to Athens in the fall. I used to make these every year since middle school on a scrap piece of paper that I would end up forgetting about within the first week. Maybe this list will finally inspire me, and you, to make the most of my summer. Without further ado, here is my summer 2018 goals list:
Travel. I have so many fun adventures planned this summer that I cannot wait to blog about. I’ve been trapped in this small midwestern bubble since July and I just can’t wait to finally get out there again. With that being said, I also want to plan ahead for my travels, which means deciding when and where I’ll be studying abroad and putting together a spring break trip next year with my friends.
Pick up new skills. This summer I want to pick up and learn new skills outside of just my school and work life. I’d love to start taking Pilates classes, kickboxing classes, art classes, hell maybe I’ll even finally learn how to cook (pathetic, I know.) Whatever it is, I just want to get out of my comfort zone and explore new areas of life.
More reading more writing. Now that it’s summer and I have more time on my hands, I hope to read and write more for pleasure. This blog is perfect because it allows me to express myself creatively and publicly so I can stay sharp on my ~journalistic~ skills. I’m going to try to get on a regular blogging schedule while keeping the content fun and exciting. I also need to start reading more than just the “Trends” section of Vogue. With that being said, I am going to splurge at Barnes and Nobles ASAP so if you have good book recommendations, send them my way.
Stay in touch. It’s easy to get inside your head when you have a full schedule like I will this summer. Between work, summer classes, trips, and all of the other things I hope to do, it’s still important to keep in touch with people who you haven’t seen in a minute. I love catching up with friends back home over brunch, and I can’t wait for road trips to visit my besties from OU. Nothing irks me more than when people vow to hang out over the summer and don’t mean it, so this summer, I’m meaning it.
Look ahead. While I want to live in the moment this summer and take everything in as it comes, it’s also important to me that I start planning for the future more. Anyone who knows me knows I loooooove to plan and schedule for the future (to an extent) so this summer I’m going to start looking for internships and more opportunities for my future career. I’m a big networking nut and this summer I’m hoping to expand my social circles. Pretty boring stuff, I know…but connections = internships = Shaina is a happy camper.
Goal setting is such an important part of living an intentional, directed life, in my opinion. Thinking of them and writing them out, however, is half the battle, and I feel like a lot of people don’t even know where to start. I loved making these goals, though, and I hope my little list inspired all of you to set some of your own.
What are some of your summer goals? I’d love to get some new ideas!
Catch you all later; lots of fun and cute content coming soon!
Happy spring ‘yall!
Despite what the weather outside might show, spring has officially sprung. In honor of my favorite season (summer comes to a close second,) I’ve compiled a master list of goodies- from skincare to songs -that I’ve stumbled upon and now want to share with you! Enjoy xo
I recently hopped on the Love Beauty & Planet bandwagon and I have been obsessed ever since!! This brand is cruelty, gluten, paraben, dye, silicone free and it’s vegan and ethically sourced. Not to mention that the recycled bottles are SO CUTE. My favorite product rn is the Argan Oil and Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner, but their other scents are incredible, too. You can buy these at any Target or drugstore chain.
I discovered this super cute brand in the winter when I bought their face scrub (which I also love btw.) This company makes awesome skincare that’s effective and gentle. They have amazing concoctions of fresh and natural ingredients that leave your skin literally glowing. This coconut and cucumber cooling mask is my fav atm bc it’s lightweight, gets rid of redness, smells like an actual spa, and is gentle enough to use overnight! It’s available at any Target or Ulta near you.
This cleanser, which launched THIS WEEK is already one of my favorite products on the planet. It’s thick and creamy, which is perfect after a long day of wearing full coverage makeup when one makeup wipe just won’t do it. While this is definitely on the pricier side, it is so worth it. It smells incredible and feels amazing on your skin. It’s available at any Sephora location or high-end department store, as well as on the Kate Somerville Skincare website.
Ok…I have been OBSESSED with facial massages. I know what you’re thinking….I’m sooo extra for this..but hang on. Facial rolling is all the rage rn and it literally requires 2 (fairly cheap) things. 1) Get a facial roller of any sort, I prefer mine with spikes bc it stimulates the skin more, but smooth jade rollers are equally as effective. These are incredibly inexpensive (the E.l.f one is $4!!!) but so worth it. All you do is apply 2) any moisturizer or serum of your choice, and ROLL YOUR FACE. That’s it. Just roll your entire freakin face in an upward motion for 3-5 minutes twice a day. This has been proven to decrease puffiness, increase lymphatic drainage, help with scarring, and stimulate blood flow and circulation in the face. So basically, facial rolling = clearer, healthier, dewier skin. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the kind of skin I want this spring.
I’m a huge playlist girl. I make playlists for events, people, vacations, you name it. I also love to make playlists for the seasons too and I hate to toot my own horn but my spring playlist is the bomb. I won’t link every song- you can follow my Spotify for that ;)- but here are a few songs that have been my ish this spring.
This show has been my guilty pleasure recently. It combines my two favorite things; fashion and crime shows. If you liked The People vs. OJ Simpson/ any other real crime conspiracy shows; you will love this. It’s cray and the acting is amazing, not to mention the whole 90’s in Miami aesthetic of the entire show is incredible. It’s currently streaming on FX every Wednesday night but will probably be on Netflix soon.
Check out my articles for Thread Magazine, a fashion and culture magazine based out of my school, Ohio University. These pieces are my babies and just like any proud mom, I want to show them off to the world.
A few weeks ago, I made a pretty vulnerable post about being in a rut. I was in a really low place and felt miserable. I couldn’t pinpoint the reason, but I just felt like complete crap; mentally, physically, and spiritually. Everything was out of whack and I thought I had literally hit rock bottom, which is why I was so overwhelmed when so many of my friends and even people I don’t know personally reached out to me and told me that they felt the same way.
Fast-forward to present day and I’m finally back on my b.s. I feel like myself again, but it didn’t happen overnight. I had to literally pull myself out of the gutter. I wanted to write this post because I now know I’m not alone, and now that I’m finally okay, I want others to know how I got there.
This isn’t a perfect, step by step, how-to list. Everyone’s situation is different, and while I didn’t follow this list and wake up overnight feeling like a brand new person, a combination of these things combined with patience and taking it easy helped pull me out of my personal hell hole. Now without further ado, here’s how I got my shit together and how to get yours together, too:
This one is obvious, but it took me a while to get my head around. Social media can make you feel like everyone and their mother is having a blast, and not going through any shit. People only put out the best part of their lives so it’s important to realize that everyone has their moments. Blogging about my experience helped me achieve this, but if that’s not your jam you can start by reaching out to your friends and family to let them know how you feel. The key here is to remember that others feel the same way.
“Good vibes only” is my key motto for getting my shit together. Stray away from people and things that radiate bad or weird energy. Surround yourself with good company and experiences that make you smile. Cut negative bullshit (and people!!!) out of your life. If it doesn’t make you happy, let it go. Do activities that make you happy, whether that’s writing (like me,) reading, running, watching Netflix, watching Youtube (also guilty of this….I’m a big vlog girl,) going for long drives, going for long walks, literally whatever it is that makes you happy, do more of that ish.
Being in a rut put a toll on my entire well-being. I got really sick at some point and had to go home. This turned out to be the best thing that had happened to me, in hindsight. I’m lucky to live only 1.5 hours away from my school, which is why I don’t hesitate going back to see my parents if I need to. I used to think I would never go home and that college would make me resilient and strong, but sometimes, you just need your mom. If you can afford or manage to go home for a weekend and see your family, do it. I’m so lucky that I have supportive parents who will come and pick me up the next morning after I call them crying in the middle of the night. It’s okay to come home. It’s okay to admit defeat. This is all part of the process. When you can’t go home, it’s important to just take a day (or two) off. Work with your professors and make time to do absolutely nothing all day. It’s so easy to wear yourself thin, especially in college. We constantly have to juggle 4000 priorities at once and sometimes forget the most important priority- ourselves.
Ok literally, get your zzz’s in. Aim for at least 6 hours. If this means you have to go to bed early, do it. Sleep is so so important for your mental health, I cannot stress this enough. It’s also important to not get too much sleep, either. I know how important naps are for college students, but keep tabs on how often you find yourself dozing off during the day. Take melatonin gummies or drink sleepy time tea (my favorite kind) if you need to, literally just sleep. It’s so easy to do, but so *slept on* (pun intended.)
As the wise Elle Woods once said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” I know how hard it can be to work out when you’re balls deep in essays, projects, labs, social life stuff, and extracurricular activities, but, hear me out. Treat your physical health as if it’s your grade. I like to pretend working out is a class. Going at least twice a week for an hour is just like a class on my schedule. If I skip class, I sacrifice a bad score on a test. If I skip a workout, I sacrifice my health. I try to break a sweat at least once a day in some form or another. If this means walking to class, dancing to old school Britney Spears in your room, or doing 300 squats while watching Parks n Rec, do it. Sweating each day is so good for you. Think of it as your body detoxing.
Everyone organizes differently, but figure out what works for you and stick with it. I’m a big color coordinator, but you do you. Also, figure out a way to plan and schedule your day. I take my planner with me everywhere and use iCal religiously. As soon as an assignment comes up or some social event for my sorority is announced, I write it down. This helped me out of my rut because I could visually see everything I had to do, instead of it getting jumbled up in my head and making me stressed and confused. This also goes hand in hand with staying clean and organized in your room, or wherever it is that you spend the most time. Cluttered space = cluttered life. Make sure your desk and bed are clean and free of random shit that can mess up your flow.
I am a self care junkie. There’s just something about taking extra time to be nice to myself that makes me feel a lot better both on the outside and inside. Self care can range from a host of things, and while I can’t afford a luxurious spa trip, I do my best to with what I have. It’s all about doing what makes you happy and feel like the badass person you are. It can be as simple as having a “cheat day” and ordering Insomnia Cookies for yourself after a long day of class, reading a new book, trying out a yoga class, having wine night with your girlfriends, or even sleeping in an extra hour. My go-to self care habits are getting a new gel manicure, putting lavender oils in my super cute diffuser, using my favorite face masks, and talking on the phone for hours with my mom. Whatever works for you, do it.
This is my final tip, and if you take away anything from this post, please let it be this. It’s hard with so much tragedy in the news recently that we often take for granted how great it is to even be alive. On our hardest days we usually don’t take the time to realize how lucky we are. Yes, some situations are worse than others so I don’t speak for everyone when I say this, but it’s so so so important to just be grateful. Be grateful for the little things, the big things, literally everything. Don’t wait around for Thanksgiving to feel this way. Tell your loved ones that you love them, and don’t take any day (even the bad ones) for granted. With all the shit going on in this world, we don’t know what tomorrow brings, so just be grateful today, and kick some ass while you still can.
And with that, I’ll bring my list to a close.
Like I mentioned earlier, you can tailor this list to how you choose. I’m so happy I could share these tips with you and I hope that these help you next time you feel down in the dumps.
Catch you all later,
Recently, I’ve found myself in a rut. I always do this time of year, and maybe it’s the cold weather, gray skies, and the fact that spring break feels like it’s light-years away. Perhaps it’s a combination of all three. Whatever the reason may be, I just don’t feel like myself, and I hate it. I feel like a gross shell of the fun and productive person I actually am. I feel like I have nothing and no one. I still feel alone while having people around me every day. I’m becoming the person I was afraid I would be in college. The person who goes to class then goes home over and over and over. Social media never makes it any easier, either. All over my feed are girls who are thriving in college, surrounded by people who love them, going out every night and living their best lives. I know it’s just the highlight reel of their lives and that they probably have problems just like everyone else but it just doesn’t feel that way. Those girls look happy, and I don’t. I took for granted how happy I was last semester. I took for granted having people around me all the time because as much as I value my alone time, I am really lonely. This becomes problematic too when I don’t have the energy or desire to actually go out and do fun things because I’ve become accustomed to being in a rut and taking pity on myself. I miss my family, and I contemplate going home every weekend the minute my last class on Friday gets out, which sucks because I love OU. Two short months ago I was so happy to be here, I loved my life and I loved my school. But today I sit in my empty dorm room, watching a show I don’t actually care about in order to distract my mind from the fact that I’m miserable. I don’t know what I’m going to do about feeling this way. I just have to get okay with not being okay. I know that this is temporary and that this rut is a result of things I can’t control. I know that there are people that love me and that in time I will be okay again and have my old life back. But for now, I’m not okay, and that’s okay. I’m not going to pretend I have everything going for me and that my life is perfect because I’m human. We need to talk more about feeling this way, and not glamorizing the wild, lavish fun you’re expected to have in college because I learned the hard way that it’s not always a good time.
If you actually took the time to read this, I appreciate you. In a way, this was just me venting into the abyss of the internet, and it gave me something to do for once. But if there is someone reading, and this helped you in any way, I’ve done my job. Hang in there.
I’ll be the first to admit I looooove watching “What I Eat in a Day” vlogs on Youtube. There’s just something about seeing other people’s diets that sparks my inner foodie, and I know I’m not alone. This post is a snapshot of what I typically ate in a normal day at home while on winter break, and since I go back to school in less than a week, I just wanted to savor these last few decent meals before I have to put up with dining hall food for an entire semester. *Disclaimer* Everyday is different, depending on my schedule and what I have in my fridge, but I normally try to eat healthy while I’m home since I-try not to but usually will- eat unhealthier meals at school.
I always eat breakfast, even if I don’t have time I will grab a granola bar or literally anything because a world without breakfast is a world I don’t want to live in. I actually feel like a zombie if I don’t get something in my system before the day starts. When I’m home I usually eat oatmeal every morning with organic cinnamon and raw unsweetened maple syrup. I also like to top it with fruit like bananas, in this case, to add more nutrients. I also always have my coffee, and of course, warm lemon water.
I’ve been working almost every day that I’ve been on break, so most of my lunches consist of meals I buy and take to go. While it’s easy to cave in and grab the Chick-Fil-A that’s down the street, I try to aim for more healthier options that will hold me over until I can come home and eat dinner. My friend recently introduced me to Core Life Eatery which I have been obsessed with and became a regular customer at during lunch hour. I usually build my own bowl, but they have hundreds of options on their menu that are both healthy and yummy. In my bowl, I usually have kale, purple rice, tofu, edamame, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, chickpeas, feta, and greek yogurt dressing.
Since I’ve been home, a lot of my dinners have been homecooked, which I’m so grateful to have. However, on days when no one feels like cooking, I always utilize leftovers or the Whole Foods hot bar, which I am obsessed with. I’ll load, like, 6 boxes up with random food and I’m set for about a week. For dinner tonight, I had their yummy spicy Asian noodle salad and grilled tofu on the side.
Note, I also always drink my meals down with water or lemon water, as I’m not the biggest fan of juices or sodas. And that’s all, folks! I hope you enjoyed this post, and I’ll see you all later.
Occasionally this time of year I will get the nagging urge to get the hell out of here. Whether that be a remote sunny location off the coast of Hawaii or even a bustling hectic city like New York to remind just why I love boring Ohio so much. I just want to hop on a plane and go somewhere fresh for a change. I also know I’m not alone, which is why I’ve decided to write a post about this. Let’s all rejoice in our desire to travel, shall we? In honor of the new year and my strong want for a vacation, I have compiled a random, not in any order list of the places I would love to hit within the next 5 years whether that’s through studying abroad, family vacations, and everything in between.
I hope my list has inspired you to browse plane tickets mindlessly because I know I will!! Here’s to many travels in the new year for the both of us!!