What I'm Loving Right Now

Today I thought I'd share a quick post about what I'm loving right now! These are all so random and loved for different reasons, but just like I would share this stuff with my BFFs, I wanted to share it with y'all!

What I'm Loving Right Now

one// traceless hair elastics: I was at Ulta recently to get my brows waxed (PSA the Benefit counter at Ulta does an amazing job at taming the brows) so naturally I had to wander around the store. Ulta is like my second kryptonite (right after Target, of course) because I always find too much stuff I "need." I ended up seeing these hair ties (aka elastics aka ponytail holders, will we ever agree on the true name?!) and I've been wanting to try them for a while, so I thought, why not, and threw them in my basket. I'm so glad I did. They kept my hair in a messy bun for almost 24 hours straight, which is a feat in itself. They also aren't too tight when I wear them on my wrist which was a huge bonus. The only issue was that my hair got a little tangled in them when I took them out, so if you have wild, curly hair, I would stray away.

two// amazon firestick: if you follow me on Instagram, you know I'm obsessed with my Amazon Firestick. It was a Christmas gift from my brother and it has truly changed the game. Before the Firestick, my house here in Fort Worth was using an old Apple TV (like, 1st generation Apple TV) that was on its last life. Watching anything on it was a pain because it would always lag or even restart in the middle of something, so we would usually avoid watching anything on it (which I guess, when you think about it, is a good thing but whatever). But now with the Firestick, we can watch Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, you name it, without any issues whatsoever! (You pay for the subscriptions and/or cable provider separately) One of my favorite features is the ability to play Spotify directly through the TV, without having to deal with a Bluetooth speaker or anything! It's so easy!

three// caffeine-free tea: I've always heard of the benefits of tea, especially mint tea, from one of my favorites, Lauryn Evarts, but I've never been a tea gal... until now. I bit the bullet and bought a variety pack of caffeine-free tea from Target on one of my grocery trips and now I'm drinking tea almost every night! I love the mint one, but I recently tried the lemon zinger flavor and it's so yummy!

four// bluetooth headphones: another Christmas gift, this time from my parents! I am so in love with these headphones. I've always been an Apple headphones kinda girl. You know, the ones that literally come with your iPhone? I'd tried bigger headphones like these before and didn't like the way they felt. What I didn't realize was that it's because I was trying the wrong kind. I had always tried on on-ear headphones instead of over-the-ear headphones. The difference is astounding. I can wear these headphones for hours without any discomfort. They're super noise-canceling that someone can be talking in my face and I could have no idea (super great way to ignore people!!). Don't worry, the sound quality is amazing, obviously. I could go on all day about these bad boys, so if you're interested in knowing more, shoot me a comment below and I'll tell ya everything you need to know!

five// l'oreal voluminous base + benefit rollerlash mascara: I (currently) refuse to get lash extensions. I know it's all the rage right now, but for the cost and upkeep required to keep them looking good, I'd rather just spend a few minutes using mascara every day... My favorite technique right now starts with a lash curler, then I apply this L'Oreal Voluminous Base. It comes out white, then dries slowly to clear. I wait about 30 seconds after applying the base, then I go through with the Benefit Rollerlash Mascara and do a couple layers, making sure to get the tips of my lashes to make them look even longer.

I love writing little posts like these! Hopefully I'll have more in the future. I have a few exciting posts planned, and I'm still on track with my blogging goal I mentioned in this post! Whoohoo! In the meantime, head over to Instagram and follow me here!

Target Sugarfix Sale

I know I just did a sale post for the giant Old Navy sale, but I couldn't not post about this awesome sale Target is having! Sugarfix is one of my favorite Target brands and right now, all of it is 20% off! Many of you probably know, Baublebar and also probably know that it's not totally in the college girl's budget. However, Sugarfix is also a Baublebar brand, meaning it's the same great style, but an awesome price.

These adorable ball drop earrings could not be more perfect for spring. I think the pink would be so cute for Valentine's Day, but they also come in black/white, cobalt, light blue, teal, mint, white, fuschia and a black/white/fuschia mix!

Tassel Drop Earrings $12.99 $10.39
I love a good tassel earring! Gives me major Audrey Hepburn a la Breakfast at Tiffany's vibes! These tassels would be so perf with a simple white top this spring! They also come in cobalt and light pink!

Tassel Hoop Earrings $12.99 $10.39
These unique hoops are so cool! I can totally see these perfectly in Mexico paired with a big white maxi, relaxing on the beach! Now I'm wishing I had a margarita... (They also come in cobalt and mint!)

Letter Necklace $10.00 $5.00 (save an extra 20% with code SAVEBIG making this just $4.00!) 
Okay people do I even need to convince you to grab this FOUR DOLLAR NECKLACE?! I sure hope not. It's so simple and perfect for layering. Grabbing all three of your initials will only set you back twelve stinkin' bucks so why the heck not?!
Hoop Earrings - $9.99 $7.99
If you've seen many of my instas/OOTDs, you know I love a good, gold hoop earring. It's basically my go-to accessory (tbh I'm not much of a necklace or bracelet girl). I am loving this twist on your classic hoop earring. They look so chic! 

Okay, that's it for today's quick post! Obviously, there are so many other items I didn't post but I wanted to give you lovely people a little peek at the options! This Sugarfix sale is going on from today until February 14th, giving you plenty of time to go grab all of your favorite goodies! You also might've noticed above that all apparel, accessories, and shoes on clearance are an extra 20% off! Use the code SAVEBIG online to snag this deal!

TBH, I might go to Target later today... you know... for some "necessities." (wink wink). If you aren't already a Target REDCard holder, you need one. Like seriously. This is technically an affiliate link but I've been telling everyone about the REDCard way before I was an affiliate. Seriously. Just ask my roommates. 

Alsooooo, y'all need the new Target app. Seriously. This one is not even an affiliate link because I love it that much. I'm planning on doing a post solely about it sometime soon. Let me know in the comments below if you'd read it!

Remember to follow me on Instagram for more updates!

Old Navy Sale Favorites

Y'all there is a huge sale going on at Old Navy right now aka one of my favorite places to shop. Y'all probably know I hate spending more than I need to on clothes (aka why I always shop at Target), which is why I'm so excited about this sale. Not only is there a huge clearance event going on, but when you buy 5+ clearance items, you get an extra 10% off! And today only you get another 20% off your entire order. I'm not a genius but that means you're basically getting them for free, right?! The only bad news is that a lot of the cutest colors and some sizes are already sold out (and I assume will not be restocked because it's a clearance event), so bear with me!

To ease you of browsing pages and pages of deals, I've rounded up my favorites here! Feel free to click and shop away!

Loving this tunic! It's currently on sale for $9.97, originally $22.99! This would look perfect with some leggings and cute sneakers!

Who doesn't need a super soft basic long-sleeve tee?! I'm def in need of a white one, but there are currently seven colors in stock. Some are $12 (originally $19.99) and some are $7.97 (originally $19.99).

Okayyyy this pullover looks so comfy! I know half of the country has not thawed out yet from all of the snow, so go snag this while you can! It was originally $39.99 but now is just $19.97 and also comes in an oatmeal color!

I've seriously been on the hunt for herringbone leggings like these and I was so excited to see them in the sale! Bonus for my tall girlies: they come in tall options! Originally $32.99, these babies are on sale for just $19.97, get them before they're completely sold out!

OMG these booties!! I'm seriously in love. They would be so perfect with skinnies or even a mini skirt. Maybe it's just the Texas in me but these "western" boots are to die for. Originally $44.99, they're now just $27.97 and as of right now, all of the sizes are still in stock! HURRY!! (They also come in black, but those are almost sold out!)

There are a ton of fun sweatshirts on sale, but this one is def my favorite! It was originally $32.99 but is now just $12.97! The other colors/graphics vary in price but they're all such a score!

Raise your hand if you're still attempting to keep up with your New Year's resolutions and workout!! This pullover is the perfect addition when it's still a little nippy outside! It comes in petite, tall and regular sizes and in white, black and navy! Originally $26.99, the white is now just $12.97!

This french terry top has me dreaming of spring break! How perf would this be over a swimsuit to head down to the beach? It's now $19.97, originally $32.99!

I've been totally obsessing over flute-sleeve (is that what the kids are calling them??) dresses and tops lately and this dress is to die for! It would be perfect for a date night or if you're living the #singlelife like me, a fun night out or even for work! So versatile! It was originally $34.99, but is now just $22.97!

Ummmm, yes please! These little ankle boots are so fun! All of the sizes are still in stock and they're on sale from $44.99 to just $29.97! If you're looking for a less dramatic look, they also come in black.

If you're not obsessed with faux fur this season, idk what you're doing but you need this faux fur coat ASAP! It's only slightly discounted to $65.97 but that is still a steal in my book! Don't forget about the extra discounts I mentioned at the top of the post!

Still facing snow? This coat will be your new best friend. Or if you're really on top of the game, stock up for next season! You'll be thanking me you did! This beaut is on sale for $39.97 and also comes in white and black!

Velvet doesn't have to just be for winter, people! This velvet top would be so cute for a fun valentines dinner with some skinnies and heels! It's on sale for $9.97 (!!!) and also comes in yellow and wine!

This top is so perfect for spring! Just imagine it with a cute little mini skirt or some skinnies and tennies (LOL that rhyme thoughhhh). It comes in seriously so many colors and is available in regular, tall and petite sizes! Did I mention it's only $14.97?! You need this top (I need this top).

The fact that I actually need to start shopping for work clothes is kind of hitting me.... this top would be perfect though! I love how they styled it with this statement necklace. It's only $19.97!

How comfy does this hoodie look? I have this thing for soft grey sweats... but really who doesn't? Bonus: it's on sale for only $14.97!

Don't worry, y'all, there are plenty of accessories on sale, like this animal print belt! This belt would make any outfit instantly more fun, and it's on sale for $9.97! It also comes in the more classic tan and brown leopard print!

I'm not kidding when I say I only shared a fraction of the sale. There is seriously so much to shop from, y'all! Don't forget, you get an extra 10% off if you buy 5+ items, so fill that cart up! Shop all the women's options here and shop the men's here!

Do you like posts like these? I rarely do them but they're kind of fun! Comment below if you want to see more! (I know of a pretty exciting Target sale coming up that y'all won't want to miss!)

How to Come Back From an Extended Blogging Break

If you look at the dates of my last two published blog posts you’ll notice there was a bit of an, ummmmmmm, gap? Just a little teeney tiny one. Only like five months. Not that bad! Just kidding- that sucks. But it happens. Bloggers are people, too, and people get busy and make mistakes. To be honest, those of you who have read my blog for a while know that this isn’t the first time this has happened. I have this nasty habit of getting busy with school and my internship (how dare she!!) that I put my blog aside for months at a time. Any blogger knows the number one rule is consistency. And clearly I have broken this rule.

I’ve realized that I will never be able to be that blogger that posts every day, or even just M-W-F. At least not yet. I have so many things going on that make that so unrealistic, which is just alright with me. However, this doesn’t mean I can’t post at a consistent interval that works for me! This is why I decided that one of my new year’s resolutions/goals/promises to myself is to post on STS at least once a month. This doesn’t seem like a ton at all, but it’s better than nothing. This also makes the bar extremely low for myself, so if I happen to post two or three times in one month, I’m like hell yeah go Emma! There is one stipulation. I need help from y’all! I need to be held accountable for this, so I need y’all to keep me in line. If I haven’t posted in a while, DM me, email me, whatever and remind me of my goal! This way, I’ll know I have at least a handful of readers counting on me!

So a few weeks ago, when I was trying to get myself back into blogging, I looked for some posts on how other bloggers had done this in the past and found almost nothing. This discouraged me even more because it had me thinking, I guess I’m the only one that slacked at blogging and no one needs tips because they’re better bloggers! Both of these thoughts are totally false, but I was feeding myself lies. These are a few of the reasons why I knew I needed to post about how I came back my extended blogging break!

Browse A While

The first thing I do after every blogging break is slowly easing into the “blog world” by browsing, but not posting. I’ll read some favorite blogs on Bloglovin’, read through my Twitter feed, and if I’m feeling really adventurous, I’ll scope out my Instagram feed. Often times, reading all of these will inspire a post, or inspire me to improve something on my blog. Once I’m inspired there’s no stopping me.

Learn From Others

I know for me, and for many other bloggers, blogging breaks come because you feel like you’re not a good enough blogger or you don’t have enough followers, etc. I’ve found that one way to combat this negative mindset is to go way back on some of my favorite blogs to see that even the bloggers with hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram had to start somewhere. Just the other night, I was scrolling through my favorite blog, Brighton the Day, and decided to try this exercise. I simply changed the URL at the top to /page/100 and hoped it would take me back quite a ways. Of course, Brighton blogs so much that this only took me to about 2015. Not enough. So then I went to /page/200 and made it to 2013. I could tell already that her posts were less professional, she didn’t have a professional photographer and she probably still had a full-time job at that point. I was immediately relieved because, no offense Brighton, but you’ve come a long way. I would highly suggest doing this if you’re constantly comparing yourself to big-time bloggers!

Figure Out What Stopped You Last Time

For me, not only was it the blog comparison that stopped me, but it was actually the pressure of Instagram of all things. I felt inadequate because I didn’t have a photographer boyfriend (I’m taking boyfriend applications here) or a photographer BFF, so the only pictures I had were pretty crappy quality or weren’t relevant to my material. I also felt like I couldn’t keep up with an aesthetic that looked good. Instagram is the ultimate comparison platform but I learned recently that there’s always another solution. I have a new tripod I stole got from my Dad that I can basically place anywhere without the need of a BF (#singlelife am I right people) and I’m planning on buying a “selfie light” like this so that I can take really well-lit pictures no matter the time of day (I always feel like I forget to take pictures during well-lit hours!). I’ve also convinced my BFF to take pictures of me occasionally, so that will also add to my feed! I found ways around my road-block and you can, too!

Rip the Band-Aid Off

If you follow me on Twitter, you saw me tweet that I was pretty insecure about my last post. I didn’t feel like it was the best thing I’d ever written and I knew it wouldn’t get a lot of engagement. However, I knew that if I didn’t just rip the Band-Aid off and post something, I never would. And it totally worked. Look at me now. Posting for the second time in less than five months! Now that’s what I call progress people!!

The blogging world can be the ultimate trigger for comparison. It’s hard. I get it. Especially if you’re wanting to make money from blogging. But being a “good” blogger takes time and practice, much like everything else in life. Breaks don’t mean you’re a bad blogger. Breaks just mean you need to focus on other aspects of your life for the time being. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

If you’re coming back from a break: you can do it. Take your time and keep hustlin’! 

Beginning 2018 in San Francisco

New year... new blogger? Nah, not new, just more motivated. I always get super motivated to get back to blogging when I'm on breaks from school. It's so much easier to focus on blogging when you don't have 5 classes to think about, tests to study for, Greek life... you get it. So here I am. Again. Every time I do this I find it really hard to get back to blogging and it takes time to get the groove again. I've been thinking about writing a post about how to get back into the swing of things after a blogging hiatus, actually. Let me know in the comments below if you'd be interested in reading something like that!

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South

On to the real stuff. For those of you who are in college, you know that Christmas break is awesome for maybe the first week or so, but then it starts to get... old. Last year, my family did a little Kansas City staycation which was a fun little "escape" during the break, but this year we didn't plan anything. I knew I would need to break up my month long vacation by doing something. Luckily for me, my best friend from school lives in the Bay Area in California. Temperatures above freezing? Wine? Besties? Yes please. It didn't take long for me to quickly hit "buy" on a plane ticket and pack my bags.

After getting into Danville, where my bestie Kate lives, late on a Saturday night, we set out the next morning for the big city. We needed to pick up our bestie Emily from a friend's apartment and decided to make a day of it. Luckily, Emily was staying right next to Ghirardelli Square, home to- you guessed it- Ghirardelli Chocolate. Naturally, we had to start our morning out with some of the amazing Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate. I've heard their sundaes are pretty amazing as well, so if you have a sweet tooth, you need to check this place out. We took our hot chocolates to go and walked along the water all the way to Pier 39. This is totally a tourist-y spot but it had some good views of Alcatraz and the bay in general!

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South

After wandering around for a while, we made our way to Union Square to catch a glimpse of the giant Christmas tree before it was taken down for the season. We snapped some pics then attempted to trek to our next spot, but soon realized it was about a 30-minute walk... uphill. No thank you. God Bless Uber! We were craving seafood (which this midwestern girl doesn't get a whole lot of...) so we chose to go to Pier 23 Cafe. This place was seriously adorable. It was a nice enough day so we sat on the insulated patio and even though we couldn't see much, it was still so cute! But enough about the views, let's talk food. My mouth is watering again just writing about it. I'm a big fan of fish & chips so as soon as I saw that on the menu, my mind was made up. I was not disappointed. It was so good, y'all. It was one giant piece of fish with garlic fries and pineapple cole slaw... O. M. G. I want another one right now. My friends got the clam chowder and agreed it was equally as delicious. If you're ever in San Fran, this place is a must.

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South

We then set off with the intention of getting dessert and cute pics at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse aka the "I Got Baked in San Francisco" place, but when we got there, there was a sign on the door that said they were sold out for the day. Sad!

A little disappointed, we were determined to finish our day in the city on a high note. We wanted to get some good views of the Golden Gate Bridge, which turned into accidentally getting on the bridge... and then eventually ended up at Baker Beach, which has great views of the bridge. It was the perfect spot for a photo op!

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South

We called it a day and headed back to Danville for a little down time. But don't forget- this was New Year's Eve, so the night was still young! All three of us are pretty old souls and didn't find clubbing in the city appealing for ringing in the New Year so we ended up getting dressed up and meeting up with some of Kate's high school friends. It was a very low key night, which was exactly what I wanted!

On the first day of the year, we started our day out with a hike and then packed our bags yet again! This time we set off to beautiful Carmel, CA, a beach town south of the Bay Area. If you haven't been to Carmel, it's a must. It's home to the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course and just about the cutest little town ever. Once we got there we went straight to the beach to catch the sunset while sipping on wine and nomming on some hummus & pretzel chips. So perfect!

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South

That night we went to dinner in town at the cutest little European restaurant, La Bicycelette. We split two pizzas that were absolutely delicious and then headed back to the beach house to watch the series premiere of The Bachelor. I usually end up watching the first three or four episodes of The Bachelor/Bachelorette and then get bored, but I actually kind of... like... Arie? I don't know. What are your thoughts about him?

The next morning we walked into town to get coffee and then headed down to the beach to walk around and enjoy watching the waves. We hung out on a rock just at the edge of the Pebble Beach 18th hole and I'm sorry to report that I did not find a boyfriend...

Once we gave up on boyfriend hunting/wave watching, we headed back to the beach house to pack up/get ready for our next adventure: Big Sur! If you're unfamiliar with Northern California, Big Sur is a big hiking spot that includes ocean views and big forests. It's only about an hour from Carmel so we headed south on the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway (aka Highway 1).

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South

What happened once we actually got there was slightly comical. After paying the parking fee, we got in there and of course, we had no cell service for maps. There were no maps of the park in sight so we just decided to follow a trail sign... which led us to a dead end, then we followed another one that essentially brought us to another dead end. Lesson learned: bring a map next time. We were frustrated and annoyed so we decided to leave and take pictures at the many lookout points next to the highway, ha!

We made our way back to Danville (obviously stopping for some In-N-Out on the way) where we relaxed in the hot tub and talked about our New Year's resolutions.

The next day was Emily's last day and sadly it was a rainy, lazy one. We were able to go get some amazing hot chocolates at Sideboard in downtown Danville, complete with toasted marshmallows and graham cracker rims. So delish! The rest of the day was spent watching Friends, with a short break for lunch from Domenico's Deli. If you're ever in Danville, this place is so yummy!

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South
Fun Fact: This denim jacket is my fave and I found it in the H&M men's section last Spring! I couldn't find the exact one but I've linked similar options below along with the rest of my clothes from this post!

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South

My last day in California was spent the best way I could imagine: drinking wine. We originally had planned to drive out to Napa, but it's about an hour from Danville and the tastings were pretty pricey. We opted for the cheaper and closer, yet just as beautiful, Livermore.

We started out the day at Retzlaff Vineyards, where we were able to taste a blush, two merlots, a cab, a red blend and a port. The 2012 Merlot we tried was my favorite from this winery, but to be completely honest, I have practically zero knowledge of wines so I just base it on taste!

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South

Starting 2018 in San Francisco | Seeking the South

Our next stop was McGrail Vineyards. We tasted a sauv blanc, a red blend, a cab and a cab reserve. I honestly thought they were all pretty tasty and couldn't pick a favorite! This winery was interesting because each of the owner's grandchildren have their names on a bottle! Such a sweet detail.

Just next door was our final stop, 3 Steves Winery. Yes, this winery is named after three men all named Steve. This one had so many tastings- brut, sauv blanc, chardonnay, red blend, cab, another blend, merlot- but they were all delicious! The first red blend, the "Tres Gringos Chilean Blend," was both Kate's and my favorite. We were certainly thankful her mom was our DD after this one!

After a much-needed nap, we decided to have a low-key night that included some P.F. Changs and the new Jumanji movie. Kevin Hart will never not be funny, y'all.

That's about it for my California adventure! There was a lot I still didn't get to do, so I guess I'll have to go back! What are your favorite Northern California spots? Anything big I need to hit next time? Let me know below!

P.S. Shoutout to my new photographer/best friend, Kate! Can't wait to pester you to take pictures all semester!