You Deserve This

0079cda9c0b99c18c44841921c0185f3Being back at school for my spring and final semester definitely has me feeling a lot of mixed emotions. I am sad one minute, happy the other, stressed another, I cannot keep it together.

So many things go into this final semester. The job search begins, which is my top priority at the moment. But above all, its the ending of one chapter, and the beginning of another. This is the moment where I truly need to figure out who I want to be and where I want to end up. What the hell do I know? I am just a twenty something college student who likes to watch cat videos on youtube in her spare time.

I am so torn between staying young forever or truly figuring out who I am by growing up. Your college memories will probably be the best times of your life, and I am not sure I truly want to leave. I mean, I know I have to. But the thought of leaving my friends and not having a set specific schedule anymore is really tough for me. These girls have been there for me since freshman year when we came in so terrified, and we have gone through it all together.

Heartbreaks

Failed tests

Family problems

Bad decisions

We have all been there for each other, no matter what stupid decision or drama that has tried to stop us. So why leave? I am not sure I want this chapter to end. Or this next chapter to begin.

Who do I want to be?

Will I like my job?

Will I even have a job?

These thoughts are all running through my head, as I am sure they are running through every other seniors head as well.

I take my walk to class every day, and I just think to myself. “I am really lucky to be here. At this school. Surrounded by these people.”

I am lucky.

But its not luck.

I got myself to this point, obviously with some help along the way, but I wanted this.

What I am saying is, although it may be hard to leave, I deserve to succeed. I deserve to finish this chapter, and begin writing the next.

And above all, I deserve to be happy, no matter where I am, or who I am with. And I will continue to remember that no matter where I end up.

2015 Prints

Lately I have been obsessing over prints. Graphic prints, animal prints, anything you can imagine, I love it all. Anything you can use to spice up an outfit, whether it be a jacket, some shoes, or the smallest headband. Instead of being so matchy matchy, you can ad some flare to your outfits for this 2015 new year (which is so weird btw…2015. W0W)

Floral:

Like all other years, floral has always been a huge hit, whether it be on the runway, the stage, or everyday life. Everyone loves the way they feel when they are wearing some beautiful floral. It seems as though florals are here for good, and I am not mad at all. They are feminine but bold at the same time, and they accentuate the many different personalities of a successful woman! It might be that floral prints will stop being a trend, and start to be the real deal in the fashion world. It has been a “trend” for a very long time and maybe, just maybe, it will stay around for the long run.

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Animal:

Animal prints were covered previously in this blog, and they will continue to be a trend this Spring, but what you will mostly notice is that the animalistic colors will not only be confined to the boundaries of black and white, but be opened up to bright pinks, blues, and greens! Bright hues are again going to be a trend.

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Geometric:

Geometric prints have always been a standout for me. Although I have not gotten around to the perfect geometric print for myself, I always see a variety of ages rocking the bright colored prints all over their wardrobe. This year, different geometric prints are being designed in a perfect clash of bright and dark colors. Specifically, the most appealing prints will be in the black and white tones for those who want to stay true to their color hues.  These prints will become more popular on handbags and shoes.

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Black and White:

I have continued to stay inside my comfort zone with colors for a very long time. You can always see me wearing all black, and sometimes jumping out with a hint of color, but never too much. So, it makes me very happy to know that this 2015, black and white patterns are making their way back onto the drawing board. You will see black and white colors on pants with a variety of different patterns, ranging from polka dots to black and white florals. Another anticipated hit within black and white colors will be stripes on jackets and even on shoes. I am so excited to see how these prints will spice up my wardrobe!

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     Cannot wait to see all these different prints strutting down the street this coming Spring!

2014 MUSIC LOVE

This year has been a great year for many of the singers and songwriters out there. So many infectious songs have been created that either make you cry, scream, or want to kiss someone. They create a whirlwind of emotions, each having a reason for hitting you a certain way. Each year, certain songs have really stood out to me, and to end this year on a good note I have compiled five of my favorites.

1. Chandelier- Sia has one of the most powerful voices I have ever heard, because of how unique it sounds. Sia is always in and out of the pop records but she remains to stay true to her style of music and continues to always draw people in with her lyrics and crazy cool style.

2. Shake It Off- Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has had such a wonderful year, having each of her songs becoming hits and her new album being unstoppable. I usually am not that much of a fan of Swift, but her music has really come a long way and she has grown into a very influential women this 2o14 year.

3. Take Me To Church- Hozier

Take Me To Church is such a jaw dropping piece of music, and Hozier is an incredible artist for speaking out through his music. By creating this song, Hozier has taken a stand against homophobia and hatred. He speaks out about his standpoint on love, and how societies and groups of people should not have the right to choose who one can or can not love. This song has sparked a lot of conversations, but in my opinion is going to be one of the most influential songs written in a long time.

4. Blank Space- Taylor Swift

Yet again, T Swift is on my top list of songs. Other than the fact that this song has a great beat and I just want to get up and dance every time it comes on, its written because Taylor Swift is sticking up for herself through her lyrics. Swift has always been the center of attention for her many different relationships, and well, there endings. Many people like to bad mouth Swift for her “backlash” against her previous relationships, but in this sarcastic song, she mocks the media for saying so many harsh things about her, and I envy her for being so cool through it all. GO T SWIFT!

5. All of Me- John Legend

You can never really put into words how much you love someone, but listening to this song has really helped me to realize what goes along with sharing something so amazing. John Legend put it simply, “All of me, loves all of you”. So beautiful.

Hope you all like my list of favorite songs. I could go on forever, but wanted to narrow it down to only 5! What are yours?!

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2015 Design Trends

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Now that we have adjusted to the design trends that are dwindling away, it’s time to upgrade our spaces with just a few items that will have you feeling fresh. It’s safe to say that our living spaces affect the way we present ourselves and how we live out our daily lives. For those of you that have New Years Resolutions, having a space that you love will help you accomplish who you want to be,…

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NEW YEARS EVE OUTFITS!

OH MY GOSH! It is my favorite time of the year. I always love getting dressed up for New Years Eve, because well, SPARKLES! I love love love sparkles, and in my opinion, New Years Eve is the most perfect time to get away with an abundance of them. On your shoes, on your dress, hell, in your hair. I want sparkles everywhere, and I have yet to find the perfect sparkly dress for this wonderful occasion.

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These first two dresses are perfect for if you are heading to an extravagant party in the city with all of your friends, and you are looking to dress to impress. The first is an overload of sparkles, but also seems like the perfect amount! It all has to do with how you are feeling that night. Are you looking to be the center of attention and show off your assets, or are you trying to stay a little on the conservative side but have a little flare? Each of these dresses are perfect for New Years Eve and they allude a certain type of confidence that I find amazing!

16b0f4e1ffc7ce57d26bddae90b5de3ffccfd4447ea25defef4d708f31a4538bThese next to outfits are what you call, FUN AND FLIRTY. Maybe you are just heading over to a friends house to watch the ball drop or you are  going into to town to get a nice meal with your loved ones. Whatever it is, you do it in style. You might not want to go all out with an amazing dress, but you still want to be fun and festive. So with the first outfit, you can pair a fun and flirty skirt with lots of gold sparkles with an oversized sweater. Such a perfect mix if you want to be comfy and cute. The second, which is along the same lines, is a silk top paired with some fun and sparkly skinny pants and a nice winter jacket. Her flats are perfect for being on the town if she plans on walking around a lot and doesn’t want to have her feet crying by the end of the night. I am not a heel person so I always love to find cute dressy flats that can either play up or play down an incredible outfit.

Hope you all find some killer outfits this New Years Eve. I am still in the process, so wish me luck!

2015 Design Trends

Now that we have adjusted to the design trends that are dwindling away, it’s time to upgrade our spaces with just a few items that will have you feeling fresh. It’s safe to say that our living spaces affect the way we present ourselves and how we live out our daily lives. For those of you that have New Years Resolutions, having a space that you love will help you accomplish who you want to be, what you want to change, and keep your resolutions in check the entire year.

Simplicity. The first trend you are going to see is simplicity. I do not mean minimalism. I mean using tone-on-tone throughout the space. In the photo below, you can see the simplicity in the design, yet it doesn’t look “sterile.” Just clean, comforting, warm, and inviting. The designer used a palette of grays while mixing in a few different tones and textures to create interest.

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Bold Color and Pattern Mixing. This is almost the opposite of the first trend but still is considered a big trend this year. Designers and clients are not afraid to use color, and not just create an accent wall, but bold color throughout a space. Some colors trends that you are going to see this year are stunning olive greens, bold cobalt blues, and bright turquoise. Personally, I am a fan of cobalt blue throughout a space. Bold color also goes hand-in-hand with bold pattern mixing. Most spaces that you’ve seen throughout 2014 had a neutral color with a couple patterns thrown in. Get ready to get creative and colorful this year, while still achieving a styled, well put together space.

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Juxtaposition. One of my favorite things to do throughout design, is to create juxtaposition in choice of materials and product. Mixing old or classic pieces with new or contemporary pieces create a space that is different. Taking a classic Queen Anne chair and upholstering it with a contemporary fabric or having a contemporary living room with an oil portrait painting, creates an interest that the mind wouldn’t normally pair together. Classic or traditional design styles with a twist of contemporary accents will be a favorite trend of mine this year.

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These were just a few of what 2015 has in store for us. Let me know in the comments below of what you want to hear next! Happy New Year!

Xo,
Jessica Calkins

Get Your Sweater ON!

Lately I have been obsessing over sweater dresses. Because of my longer frame, I always have trouble finding the right length in them, and they always end up being too short for me. This past Christmas, I was finally able to find the perfect sweater dress in the most perfect length. YES PLEASE!

Sweater dress’s are perfect for a day out with your girls, paired with some knee high socks and boots. But if you want to dress the outfit up for a night out on the town, put on some black tights and wear some cute wedged booties. I always love to create many outfits with the same pieces from my closet, that way, I don’t have to spend as much money going out and buying new things. Although, Im still pretty sure that never stops me!

Here are a couple of my favorite looks for a lunch date with the girls or a night out on the town!

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Layering is always perfect when it comes to wearing sweater dresses. This girl paired her sweater dress with an amazing pair of over the knee boots, a warm jacket, and a really cute beanie. This is an amazing outfit for a cute dinner date with your loved one, and drinks later on. I always love the layered look when it comes to such comfortable and simple styles, like the sweater dress.

338b69abe6a4271e33d5ce14d8b5a1adFor more of a casual look, and this is something I would definitely go with, wear a sweater dress with a flannel, either around your waist or, of course, worn. I love this look so much because even though it looks so effortless, and like she just rolled out of bed, the outfit is still so adorable, especially if you wear it with some booties, or vans. I always love these looks the best for a day out with the girls or running errands.

Get your sweater on!

Home for the Holidays

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One of the biggest things I miss about being home is the smell of my house. I am pretty sure my mom has something baking or on the stove at all hours of the day, because that is just who she is. She has a knack for cooking and baking, and someday I hope I am as talented as she is.

My favorite is when I come home and I smell cookies baking in the oven, especially around the holidays.

So for this post, here is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe found on pinterest!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened (use cream cheese in a block or spreadable, don’t use fat-free, light or whipped)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used 1 cup chips and 1 1/4 cups chunks)

DIRECTIONS:

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, cream cheese (measure it by smooshing it into a 1/4-cup measure), sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use an electric hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes).

Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
Add chocolate chips and chunks, and beat momentarily to incorporate, or fold in by hand.

Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping mounds (I made 28). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly with your palm, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter.

Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat or spray with cooking spray and place mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet). Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if slightly undercooked, pale and glossy in the center. Do not bake longer than 10 minutes as cookies will firm up as they cool (The cookies shown in the photos were baked with dough that had been chilled overnight, allowed to come to room temp for 15 minutes, and were baked for 8 minutes, with trays rotated at the 4-minute mark. They have chewy edges with soft, pillowy centers). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

This is not an original recipe, although I wish it was.

ENJOY

Thought Catalog: On Being Happy

f3fa3f36addbfbef6695c23d1313004bEverybody has their morning agenda, and by that, I mean the things that you do without even realizing it. For instance. Every morning when my eyes open from a long night sleep, I click snooze on my phone exactly three times before I realize that I need to be an actual human being and do actual human being things.

I sit up, let me feet dangle over the bed while I gather my surroundings, because lord knows I am still half asleep from my rough night of studying and writing silly papers for silly college. Once my surroundings are a bit in place, I take that first eager yet still a bit hesitant, step. I make my way to the bathroom, tripping over a couple of shoes on the way, and YOWWW, who put those heels there? Once I make it to the bathroom I examine myself in the mirror and shake my head because I forgot to wash my makeup off from the night before AGAIN! Why do I always do this? Laziness at its finest people. I wipe off the mascara and the eyeliner, brush my teeth for two minutes, gargle some mouthwash, and here is where it gets interesting. I put the water in the facet on the coldest it could possibly get. I wait for it to get to maximum coldness so I put the toilet seat down and sit, and wait, and sit and wait. Once I think the water is as cold as possible, I form my hands into a makeshift bowl and go to town. I think I throw water on my face about ten times before the job of waking up is really done. The makeup is gone, the eyes aren’t puffy, and best of all, the color is back in my cheeks. There she is. There is Haley. Then, I make my way back to my room, turn on my curling iron, and while that is heating up, I make a cup of coffee.

I am very particular about my coffee, as I am sure most everyone is. My mother got me hooked sophomore year of high school, and I have been a goner ever since. And as I sit here writing this, I am thinking to myself, “Why in the hell would you brush your teeth and then drink coffee?” Oh gosh, that just is silly. I really need to rethink my morning rituals.

Like I said, coffee. Drinking coffee. I love Hazelnut creamer, so after the coffee is done brewing I poor the creamer in for exactly three seconds. 1 mississippi 2 mississippi 3 mississippi. And there you have it. A lot of creamer and a little coffee.

I come back upstairs, coffee in hand, and go to my favorite website. Thought Catalog. Oh, how I love this site.

“Launched 1 February 2010, Thought Catalog is a website dedicated to your stories and ideas”

Thought Catalog is a blog site where many different people can put their thoughts into words, and share those words with the world.

It is an amazing idea, and that is why I read it each and every day.

Many of the posts are funny, fun loving, thoughtful, and just downright weird. But many make you think. And that is what I really love.

So today, like many other days, I am skimming through the blogs when I come across a title that stands out to me.

“How to Not Be Terrified of Being Happy”

The author speaks of happiness being this utopia, or this mystical world that  nobody truly understands the concept of. That somehow, some shape or form, we are always trying to do better than we already have. That we cant stop moving or doing more because things will just fall apart, “like a house of cards”.

Instead of being happy for the things that are going well in our lives, many of us worry about when it will be taken from us, like a game of hide and seek.

I have this problem where sometimes I feel like I do not deserve to be happy. That the people around me deserve better. Because of that feeling, I have a lot of anxiety. Anxiety about life, relationships, friendships, family, school. Everything scares me. It doesn’t mean I stop going about my daily routine, but sometimes I think that I don’t take things for what they are. I over think. “Things are amazing now, but that wont last.”

You may get your heart broken.

People may not like you.

You might not get your dream job.

You might upset your loved ones.

But that will pass, and you will once again, be happy.

“Avoiding happiness just so you can avoid the sting of eventually losing it will ruin you.”

Periods of Joy

Periods of Difficulty

Periods of Love

Periods of Heartbreak

I do not think I have ever read something that has hit so close to home for me. You can learn so much from a 500 word blog. I hope that one day I can meet the writer and thank them for opening my eyes to a world that can be full of happiness and love.

So. Morning rituals can be robotic, and boring, and annoying, but this particular morning, it was a great one.

FUUUUURRRRRRREAZINGGGGG

Personally, I am not much a fur lover, I stay warm other ways, but fur has definitely become very popular this fall and winter. From fur vests to fur jackets, fur has become a huge fashion trend for 2014 and upcoming 2015.

If I ever were to wear fur, I am showing you two outfits where it is a little piece of the outfit that really dresses it up. Then I will provide you with an OH HELL NO outfit, that I would never ever EVER wear….ever. Obviously fashion is a freedom of expression, and I envy anybody that can step out of the box and do crazy awesome things with their wardrobe, but I am quite the simpleton and love me some “inside the box” clothing.

Here we go.

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This first outfit is very casual and comfortable. but still brings in a pinch of fur, with the  beautiful scarf that she is wearing. I like that she put her hair up into a soft bun so that the emphasis of her outfit was still on the fur, and she didn’t over do it at all. Overall, great outfit, and if I was feeling super fashionista one day I would definitely wear this. 37d67e963bba9c5452da130d7dd020bfThis next outfit, with the fur vest, has been a huge hit this fall.  Two of my roomies came home the other day with matching fur vests and they were so excited to finally own one! My one roommate, Katie, wore the vest out with a plain long sleep shirt underneath, and she looked great. She paired the outfit perfectly with some sleek riding boots, and the outfit really came together. deab08b872ac6a54909bfd187603ad0aAnd then wow. This is definitely something. This is the highest extreme of fur I have seen in a while. All I am saying is, work it girl!