My 2017 Wrap Up

2017 was quite the year. There were many good things that took place, many incredible memories and friendships began with people I will never forget. At the beginning of this year I was one semester into college in a new city with all new people. I was feeling pretty good but knew there was room for improvement (as there always is). I set goals for myself that were realistic and attainable and I am happy to say most of them were completed. I plan on doing the same things and more in 2018. This will be such an amazing year and I already have such insane and exciting things planned.

Here are some GREAT things that happened in 2017…highlights if you will:

I got initiated into ALPHA CHI OMEGA, the most amazing group of Real Strong Women I know!! This was SUCH a highlight of my year. I have met such incredible women through greek life and am so lucky to have Alpha Chi be my home away from home.

I joined CHAARG, because #health & ALSO met some pretty cool gals I am lucky to call my pals. Through workouts and social events I have gotten to know these girls and let me just tell you they are AWESOME.

AND here are some of my other favorite memories!! These include graduations, birthdays, Hamilton, breakfast dates, college visits, vacations, formals, work events and SO much more! I love these people and couldn’t be more grateful.

2018 I think will be even better! I am excited for the spring semester and meeting all of our new Alpha Chi sisters through recruitment, making so many more Chicago memories with my people, I will be heading to ROME in the summer for 6 weeks, and SO much more!! Get ready for lots of pictures and BLOG POSTS in the weeks to come!!

Happy New Year everyone!!

XOXO Anna

My Christmas Wishlist 2017

Happy Sunday, loves. Christmas is ONE day away!!! The year has come and gone in the blink of an eye yet again. Given that Christmas is SO soon I thought I would share what I am asking for this year. It’s always so hard to come up with what I want on the spot when my mother asks me weeks before. Sooooo one of my favorite *life hacks* is throughout the year whenever I see something I want I make a note in my phone. THEN, when I get asked that question from my family I have things to say! I go over the list and alter anything I need to change. This makes it SO much easier. Another thing I do to make it easier on Santa is I give website links to everything on my list (if it’s sold online) just to make sure they know exactly what I want. And I’ll do the same for you all, as always! So here we go!

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I love traveling and anything that has a part in that is worth it in my book. I am already a huge fan of these suitcases and can’t wait to see how these help me get even more organized! Some may say this is an unnecessary addition but I have heard countless amazing reviews saying they help fit so many more things in your luggage so I’m all for it!!!

White Adidas Ultra Boosts

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Every year around this time I try and get a new pair of tennis shoes. I wear mine a lot so by this time they are usually pretty beat up. I 9/10 times go for black so I decided to take a major risk (dirt wise) and go with the beautiful crisp white! Also have gotten SUCH good reviews and seem very supportive.

Fabletics Leggings

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Leggings are basically what I live in in college so some fresh new leggings are a must. Fabletics has been one of my favorite discoveries this year. They are so flattering and don’t slip like some of my Lulu Lemon ones do. They are a thicker material and come in a great variety of colors. I highly recommend if you are looking for a new legging.

Monogram Pendant Necklace

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I think this is such a fun twist on a simple initial necklace. This oversized letter makes a statement while also keeping its basic style intact. I am so in love with the look of it and need one ASAP.

Blushed Sherpa Coat

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This coat is so adorable and I am in love with the color. I have had a recent obsession with coats and outerwear and this is at the top of my list. Who says winter has to be only blacks and dark greys? The pink is such a fun and unexpected twist in your normal blah overcast wintery day.

What are you asking for for Christmas this year?! I hope you all have the merriest of Christmases and get everything your heart desires. Enjoy the time with family and friends!!

XOXO Anna

Winter 2017 FabFitFun Unboxing

Happy Sunday!! I am SO happy to say I am officially done with the first half of my sophomore year! I am also way happy that when I got home yesterday I came home to my Winter 2017 FabFitFun box! I feel like these boxes just keep getting better and better every time. This box retails at $393!!!! And I got it all for $49.99! If you don’t know what FabFitFun is it is an amazing seasonal subscription box that comes with nearly $400 worth of FULL SIZE products! Here is what is in this year’s winter box!

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BB Dakota Poncho in Black/Charcoal – $70

AHAVA Mineral Hand Cream – $33

DOUCCE Freematic Eyeshadow Pro Palette in Nude – $70

Homemade by Ayesha Curry Ceramic Mug  – $16

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment – $75

Point Studio Aloe Infused Cozy Socks – $19

8 OTHER REASONS Nine Lives Choker in Rose Gold – $58

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray – $29

Nelson j Beverly Hills Moisture Healing Hair Mask in Coconut – $23

TOTAL RETAIL VALUE OF BOX: $393

*Use my link http://xo.fff.me/fom45 for $10 off your first box!!

XOXO Anna

 

Chicago During Christmastime

The winter holidays have always been my favorite time of the year. You get to spend time with family, take time off from school, go shopping, eat lots of yummy food, and just relax. Since moving to Chicago this feeling has only grown. Chicago during Christmas is just incredible and so so so beautiful. Between all of the trees decorated in lights and ornaments on Michigan Avenue and the classic Christkindlmarkt at Daley Plaza, Christmas time is definitely the best time here in the Windy City. So this week I am going to share with the best holiday activities to do in Chicago during the winter season!!!

Christkindlmarkt
This year was my first year going and while it was definitely crowded and I would recommend going during the week rather than the weekend, it was so much fun! Seeing all of the vendors selling their incredible ornaments or special German food I loved this experience. I got the classic hot cocoa in the little mug as well as some out of this world apple cider donuts. It was so worth every penny and bracing the cold for a couple hours down here.

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Michigan Avenue
Shopping on the Magnificent Mile has always been one of my favorite parts of Chicago but especially during the winter. Yes the stores are all a lot more packed with people, but it just makes me so happy. Even if you just choose to walk down this gorgeous street and not purchase a thing it is one of the highlights (literally) with all of the lights and decorations on the street. It is truly beautiful, especially at night.

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Ice skating at Millennium Park
This is such a traditional winter activity and so much fun to do in the city!!! While ice skating may not be the easiest thing for a lot of people this is such a fun experience to have with the whole family or a group of friends. I guarantee you will get lots of laughs out of this one. And the best part!! It’s free and completely open to the public!

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The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
I went to this last year and it was super awesome! A parade to kick of the holidays and light up Michigan Ave for the first time each year. There’s fun music and awesome special guests each year! A great event for the whole family.

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Lincoln Park Zoo Lights
These lights are seriously so well done. It’s so pretty and a great low key activity to get away from all the hustle and bustle. It’s a beautiful setting in the zoo and so aesthetically pleasing. It goes from November 28th-January 4th each year!

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Merry almost Christmas everyone!! I hope you get a chance to visit Chicago during the winter because it really is just breathtaking and has so many fun things to do for everyone of all ages!!

Happy Sunday!

XOXO Anna

How to Rock Your Final Exams

It is unfortunately that time of year again for all of us in school. With many of us already taking our exams and some of us having another week or so, I thought it would be appropriate to share some tips on how to study and prepare for your finals while also making sure to take care of yourself in the process. Finals are an incredibly stressful time and it can take a toll on your body mentally and physically. For me, the hardest part is simply just STARTING or rather, knowing WHERE to start. SO here are my 8 or so tips for doing your best!

8 Final Exam Studying Tips

  1. Make a study plan
    The first thing I like to do is make a study plan and get my thoughts together. As I said, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start, especially when you have a lot of material to cover and other exams. I start by just making a really, really simple study outline and map out what I want to do each day of the week to study.
  2. Plan out time to study
    One problem I used to have it this: I’d come up with a great study plan, but then I’d end up just throwing it away because I didn’t manage my time properly. Come up with a plan and STICK TO IT.
  3. Make a Quizlet
    This is truly a life saver for college students. For almost every test where there’s terms involved, I head straight for Quizlet. They also have an app, so it’s perfect if you’re waiting for a class to start, or waiting to go into an appointment because you can just grab you phone and go through a few terms. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, someone has already made a Quizlet for the exact subject (and maybe class!) that you’re studying, so you should always do a quick search first, just in case.
  4. Make physical flashcards
    You can see which terms you’ve missed frequently on Quizlet, so it’s a great idea to take these terms and transfer them onto physical flashcards. There’s something about writing out definitions that tends to make them stick.
  5. Test yourself and test yourself again
    Quizlet and physical flashcards are awesome options for testing yourself. It’s really important to keep doing this rather than just staring at a textbook or staring at your notes.
  6. Study with a friend
    This usually isn’t the first thing I do because I find that I study better alone. A lot of people think studying in groups is really effective, and I don’t disagree, but I do believe that you should reserve time to study by yourself. That being said, studying with a friend is good because you can talk about the terms and ask them questions if you don’t understand something. If you do decide to study with a friend I suggest you sit down with the study guide and go through the terms and discuss them to see what you really know. Talking about the terms out loud helps to drill them into your brain so you don’t forget them when it comes time for the test!
  7. Avoiding distractions
    This one is hard for me. It’s difficult to focus on something you don’t want to do. But while you’re studying, try your best to avoid people/things that are going to distract you. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb, put in headphones if people keep talking to you, and shut off any extra noise (such as a TV).
  8. Get enough sleep
    Particularly the night before the test, make sure to get the right amount of sleep! And do not…DO NOT pull all nighters. But all nighters are just ridiculous. I’ve survived college so far without pulling an all nighter and so have most people I know. If you manage your time effectively, you’ll never have to pull an all nighter. It’s much better to be well rested for the test than falling asleep at your desk because you only slept for an hour.

Bonus Health Tips During Finals

  1. Manage your time well so you don’t become too overwhelmed
  2. Eat good and wholesome foods! You don’ want to be groggy and even more exhausted than you need to be when it comes to sitting down for that 2 hour exam! Fill your diet with things that will sustain you and not leave you hungry or tired. Here is an article I found on the ’12 best brain foods’ for you to eat before an exam!
  3. Fit in a workout if you can!! I know working out is probably the last thing you have on your mind during this time, but it seriously makes a difference. Taking this time for yourself will help you feel more at peace and maybe even forget about everything for a while. We also tend to stay in the same place for a long time when we are studying so it’s nice to have a change of scenery. So if you can swing it, take an hour to go outside or to the gym and get your heart rate up and move!

Good luck to all of my kiddos taking finals, we can do this! We are in the final stretch, LITERALLY. Almost Christmas time. YOU GOT THIS!

XOXO Anna