Happy Birthday, Mom

Today, April 29th, is one of my favorite people in the world’s birthday. She deserves all of the recognition in the world for her selflessness and endless support she gives me. I wanted to write my blog post about you today because I wanted to (attempt) to put into words how much you mean to me.

I’m not even really sure where to start. To be honest, I’ve always considered myself a Daddy’s girl, and still think I am, but these past few years we have gotten SO much closer and I am so happy about it. We never were not close I just feel like it was amplified when I left and I love it. We talk every day and we talk about what’s happening in our lives only three and a half hours away from each other. You are going to Target and buying groceries and I’m just getting back from a long day of classes. These calls are such a great part of my day and I look forward to them.

You have taught me many things growing up but these are a few things that have stuck out above the rest. Some of these are bigger and some are small but they are all important.

Always be willing to help others, even when they don’t ask, and especially when you don’t want to

I have always applied this to things like “unloading the dishwasher without being asked” but I have witnessed it on a much bigger scale these last few years. For example, tomorrow you are driving my car up here to Chicago so I can pack up all of my stuff and drive myself home on Saturday. When someone asks you to pick them up or take them to the airport, do it! They asked you for a reason. Small things that make this biggest difference. You are so selfless and are always doing things to help others before yourself. I am so appreciative that you have taught me this.

Always write thank you notes

Although this may have been one of my least favorite things you made me do, I understand why. I always put it off for as long as I possibly could. After birthdays, my first communion, graduation. There were just so many people! But you would hound me every day until I got those thank you notes out in the mailbox. It always is a nice feeling knowing what you did or gave didn’t go unnoticed. It is also nice to just thank them for coming and showing appreciation that they took the time.

The importance of family dinners

I swear this is why our family is so close. Growing up, with the exception of late night games and practices, you always made us sit down at the table for a family dinner. Every night. We would talk about our day, we would pray for the people who couldn’t be with us, and we would eat our meal. I didn’t think anything of it until I was older and started going over to other people’s houses for dinner and they didn’t always do this. I think it totally had an impact on my view of family and I can’t wait to carry this over to my family in the future.

Don’t let what is out of your control ruin your day

This one has been HUGE for me, especially since being in college. I am a big worrier and so are you. But you have always instilled this in me and I am working on it every day to stop caring about what is not in my control. It’s not easy and takes a lot of practice but I am working on it. I have made so many days so much worse than they need to be because I got so worked up about something that wasn’t in my control. You are the best person to talk to when I am freaking out about something like this and you quickly put me back in my place. Thank you.

Nobody owes you anything 

You and Dad have drilled this in ours heads for as long as I can remember. Bringing up stories about what it was like to grow up with Grandpa Kleck and Grandpa Jonas. Oh I believe it, I promise. Teaching us to work for what we want and earn everything we have has brought on a set of personal goals and values in which I now live my life. I am so thankful you have taught us this. It is so crucial to understand and I am working harder and harder every day to prove it to myself and to you.

Always make your bed

This is a little one, and I definitely don’t always do it, but I always think about when I don’t do it. You have told me time and time again about the importance of making my bed first thing in the morning and I totally agree with you. I’ve even written about it in past blog posts. It’s a little thing that makes all the difference.

How to be the hostess with the mostest

This is something you do so well and make look so easy. You spend days preparing and cleaning the house, making appetizers, and setting out everything until it looks just right. You have the perfect balance of interacting with guests while still having everything run smoothly. The guests are always priority, making sure they have what the need to have a good time and enjoy themselves. I have definitely inherited the love of entertaining from you and can’t wait to host my own parties and get togethers.

Thank you for teaching me these things, I know there are so many more but these are the few that stuck out to me.

I can’t wait to Facetime you today and wish you the happiest of birthdays!
Love you Mama!!!

XOXO Anna

Foodie Finds: Kanela Breakfast Club

Happy Sunday!! The Wicker Park area is such an awesome place to be, full of so many unique restaurants and small boutiques. I had been to this part of Chicago a couple of times, so when I found out Kanela Breakfast Club was there I got even MORE excited.

Holy yum!!! I have seen this place on countless blogs and instagram accounts about “Must Have Breakfast Spots in Chicago” so I figured it was about time I went and tried it out. This super relaxed and rustic setting was perfect for a chill Saturday morning. I always struggle with what to order because I am eternally conflicted between sweet and savory. Why can’t I just have both?! My sweet tooth took over and I ultimately went with the Kanela french toast. This was so so delish with a sweet lemon creme and apricot jam. I would totally recommend this meal but I do think I am going to order more on the savory side next time because I am #indecisive!! (maybe the breakfast sandwich??) just to see what that’s like.

I was also super surprised that there was no wait!! We called ahead to see the approximate wait time and they said it doesn’t typically pick up until 11-12 on Saturdays. We got there around 9:45, so while there were definitely still people there, we beat the brunch rush. The food came out quickly and we were done with our meal within an hour so we could go shop around!

Definitely try out this sweet spot in Wicker Park if you are a breakfast junkie like me. For sure the best meal of the day.

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XOXO Anna

9 Things I do to Stay Organized in College

College is one huge, big, insane mixture of all the highs and all the lows. There is so much stress but also so much joy that comes along with being a college student. You are finally on your own and able to do your own thing, but at the same time YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN DOING YOUR OWN THING. WHAT. When it comes to fitting it all in, staying involved, making money, and being social, it can definitely take some planning. Staying organized is super important as the crazy busy student that you are. Here are some of my tips for ways to stay organized in college:

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Create Daily To-Do Lists

This one is the most basic but SO effective for me. I make multiple lists a day with anything from homework assignments in my planner, to a grocery list, to chores I need to do around my apartment. I like seeing it all laid out in front of me so I know exactly what I need to do and by when. I will add due dates or write them out according to importance so I know what needs to get done first. Checking things off the list is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world I swear!!!! Makes you feel so good and accomplished.

Balance Work & Play

This is crucial in staying on top of your stuff! When it’s crunch time get down to work but make sure you are scheduling in time for things you enjoy. You never want to get so overwhelmed that you can’t complete what you need to. So take breaks and hang out with friends, read a book, or curl up with a blanket and binge-watch your favorite tv show. It’s all about balance.

Stick to a Schedule

This is such an important way of how I live my daily life. As nice as it is sometimes, I can’t function without a schedule. My body craves routine and I honestly struggle without it. Plan out your day and stick to your to-list. Your classes are scheduled which leaves you with a certain amount of hours in the day to accomplish everything else that you need to get done. Personally I think following the same strict schedule day in and day out can be repetitive, but having a general guideline can definitely be useful and help you stay on track.

Create Incentives

If you’re finding it difficult to focus, think about something you want, or would like to do, and promise yourself that you’ll grant yourself whatever it is once your work is complete. For example, don’t start the next season of the Office (for the 7th time) on Netflix until you’ve handed in your Lit paper on Friday. Or, if you’ve just gotten yourself through a particularly exhausting week, take a breath before jumping into your next string of assignments. Do something for yourself as a reward for your hard work.

Get Enough Sleep

I feel like I am constantly saying this but sleep is SO important. My body relies so much on sleep and how productive I am the next day is heavily dependent on the amount of sleep I got the night before. Whether it is going to bed earlier, sleeping in an extra hour, or a nap it all adds up. I do so much better when I am well rested, and what is better than a nice two hour nap after classes???

Don’t Take on Too Much

It is so easy in college to take on too much at once. You are told you need to do well in all your classes, land an internship, be social, get involved in leadership roles, join clubs, and stay healthy all at once. I have fallen into this too many times to count and the pressure to do it all can take a mental and physical toll on your body. So test some different things out and figure out how much you can handle so you can see what works for you.

Make Your Bed Everyday

This is a very minuscule task in the big scheme of things but it can kickstart your day right off the bat. I often put this and other smaller tasks at the top of my to-do list so I already have a few things crossed off heading into my day. It makes you feel accomplished and ready to take on the day.

Keep Track of Spending

Money in college is such a hard thing. One minute it’s there and the next it’s gone. There are so many miscellaneous expenses. Being knowledgeable of how much you’re taking in, how much you’re spending (and on what) and how much you need for future things is essential as a college student. Learning to budget is difficult, but it’s a practical skill that you’ll carry with you into adulthood.

Set Goals & Stick to Them

It doesn’t matter how big or small you start, but you need to start thinking about what you want for your future. I’m not necessarily talking career planning; your goals could be about anything. For example, if you know you want to travel, start thinking about potential study abroad options. The sooner you work on this, the better; you don’t want your opportunity to sneak up and pass you by because you were unprepared. Another great thing about planning early is that it gets you excited for what’s to come, and encourages you to work harder to achieve your goals.

Have an incredible Sunday!

XOXO Anna

Alpha Chi Formal

Everyone knows at this point how much I love to dress up. I love fashion and I especially love dresses. So even though going into yesterday I wasn’t super excited about formal (due to the copious amount of homework I am stressing about currently) I ended up having such a good night! Our formal this spring was hosted at the River Roast in downtown Chicago. It was a beautiful venue on the river with the lovely view of the skyline. We took a party bus to our location and stopped at Navy Pier for some pictures. Although it was absolutely freezing we still managed to capture some great memories!

I love these women with my whole heart and always make my time here in Chicago that much better. Alpha Chi, you truly are some real strong women and I am so lucky to call you my sisters. I really do believe I am a better person because of you.

Outfit Links:

Eliza J Floral Dress: This is one of my favorite dresses! It’s fun and springy but still classy and formal. I couldn’t find this exact dress since it was from a couple of years ago so I linked some similar options!

BP. ‘Luminate’ Open Toe Dress Sandal in Blush Patent: I have been wearing these shoes a lot lately and as a result I think I finally may have broken them in! THANK GOODNESS. These shoes, although a blush pink, can totally be worn as a neutral and I love how versatile they are. They can go with anything!

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Happy Sunday,

XOXO Anna

My Easter OOTD

Happy Easter Sunday, everyone! I hope you are spending today with the people you love, whether you celebrate today or not. Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays because of family time and because of my outfits. One of my family’s traditions growing up is that every year my sister and I can pick out a new dress for Easter mass. This is something that I look forward to every year and have loved seeing my style change throughout the years. For some reason I always put in a little extra effort for Easter and it is so much fun. I love taking all of the family pictures and everyone in their pastels and pale springy colors. Here is this year’s outfit:  Everything is linked below!!

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Eliza J Bell Sleeve Lace Dress

This dress is so much fun and such a perfect Easter dress! The pale blush pink along with the lace is so feminine and pretty. The bell sleeve and details on the skirt make for a fun twist on an otherwise simple dress. I also love the v neck so I can accessorize with different necklaces and dainty jewelry.

BP. ‘Luminate’ Open Toe Dress Sandal

I will admit these shoes are not the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn and take quite a while to break in….BUT they do match the dress perfectly and tie the whole look together seamlessly. ALSO they are on sale right now (40% OFF) so check them out if you are interested!!

Mejuri Stellar Necklace

I am a big fan of small dainty jewelry and my absolute favorite everyday necklace is this star necklace from Mejuri. Sadly, this necklace was limited edition so you can’t get this exact one but there are a ton of similar styles on their website!

Urban Outfitters Emma Sunglasses

These are my favorite sunglasses to wear with dresses. They are much more feminine than my black aviators and are a nice added accessory to any outfit.

Happy Sunday,

XOXO Anna