It's hard to believe that when I start writing the next post in this series, I will have been in school for nearly a month.  Summer flew by--no, it practically hurtled by.  It's sad to see the bright colors of summer change to the faded hues of fall, but you know the old saying:  "A life that goes on changing goes on living."

I, for once in my life, am somewhat looking forward to the changes that this year should bring, but while summer is still lingering behind, I'll take the opportunity to share a few favorite things of mine from the month of July.

Prep For A Day

1. Calligraphy:  It's no secret that I've always loved calligraphy, but until I purchased a calligraphy pen of my own, I only knew that I loved looking at it.  Now I'm absolutely positive that I love crafting the letters and learning about different fonts as well;  to make a long story short, if you want to pursue an activity that will allow you to embrace your creativity, give calligraphy a try (this book is a good place to start)!

2. My Clarisonic:  If you've never heard of these skincare facial brushes, you need to peruse them.  They are extremely helpful tools--my pores have never felt cleaner.  The brush heads can also be swapped out in order to cater to different skin types, which is a wonderful option for remedying acne and other skin problems.

BEING A PREP FOR A WEEK: 7/24/16 -- 7/30/16

Can you believe that we're about to enter the last week of July?  As you may have noticed, school supply shopping is in session and the college application process has already begun for a lucky number of students.  I myself have been working on a lovely Spanish II class for several hours everyday (I don't think I'm ready to go on that trip to Spain yet) as well as re-reading The Great Gatsby.

As Jordan Baker famously says, "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."  I suppose life does a similar one-eighty in the last week of July!

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Now, on to some of my favorite links from the past week:
This post highlighted so many of the frustrations that I have with blogging--yet it also proved many of the reasons why I continue to pursue it, and why I love it enough to do so...
Seriously considering using this planner for the new year:  gingham, typography, and quotes?  It's a deal!


It's that time of year...when the world's children start scrambling frantically in order to get themselves prepared for a new school year.  Honestly, preparing for junior year has metaphorically hit me like a truck, so that's why I haven't been very active on any blogging platforms lately.

Anyways, one thing I've always liked about going back to school is shopping for school supplies--there's something so very satisfying about crossing every item off of a list:  a literal representation of organization and preparedness. However, it isn't very fun if you can't find what you're looking for or if the only things you can find are, shall we say, not your style.  Of course, that's where I come in.

Prep For A Day

Navy and Gold Backpack -- Purple Transit Backpack -- Mint and Gray Backpack
-- Navy and White Stripe Backpack

BEING A PREP FOR A WEEK: 7/17/16 -- 7/23/16

Another week has passed by, meaning that summer is only a couple weeks short of ending, and my junior year is only beginning--and I still haven't finished that English essay (at least I plowed through the chemistry).

Now all that's left is school supply shopping, which is actually simultaneously one of my favorite and least favorite activities in the world.  I'm curious:  if you're still a school-goer, when are you going back (or are you back already)?  If the date's August 10, we'll have something in common!

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Now, on to some of my favorite links from the past week:
If you're a high school student who's thinking about a career in any sort of science and/ or math field (and you really want your name to be visible to colleges), you should check out STEM Premier!
The ultimate American dream home, according to Pinterest--I must say, they nailed the kitchen...


When I started a blog almost two years ago, I had absolutely no inkling as to what I was getting myself into.  Blogging seemed pretty simple from my reader standpoint--but I couldn't have been more wrong. Now that I'm somewhat a seasoned blogger, I feel more confident about sharing some of the valuable lessons that have presented themselves throughout my experience with this website.

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1. Instant success rarely happens.
Not much time passed before I as an amateur blogger realized that I wasn't going to develop a steady audience overnight.  I wasn't going to gain one thousand Instagram followers in one month.  I wasn't going to become an online sensation in a matter of minutes--but really, does anyone?

2. Quality trumps quantity.
I have always admired bloggers who turn out new content several times a week, especially those who are full-time students like myself.  While it is feasible for them to post so frequently, I simply don't have the time to write that many multi-paragraph posts;  so, rather than trying to throw together several watered-down versions of what I'd truly like to publish, I've been learning to take the extra time to write a lesser amount of more meaningful articles.

BEING A PREP FOR A WEEK: 7/10/16 -- 7/16/16

Another week has passed by!  Why is it that when I was younger, summer seemed to last an eternity, but now it seems like it lasts for only a few fleeting weeks?  Getting older really isn't all it's cracked up to be.

It was a pretty uneventful week, but I tried to squeeze in some shopping and family time in between the studying and the camera lessons.  Also, I'd been reading books galore in order to prepare for that whopping reading list I posted a few days ago.  A student's summer at its finest, am I right?

Prep For A Day

Now, on to some of my favorite links from the past week:
Just purchased these espadrille wedges (under thirty dollars!) and I'm already in love with them...
I've found what may be the most relaxing, beautiful account on Instagram: @calligraphyvideos...


Nothing could be better than curling up with a good book on a lazy summer day.  After all, "Books are the quietest and most constant of friends."  There's only one problem: with so many books to choose from, how does one make a good choice?  Never fear; that's why I'm here.

I've rounded up twenty of the best summer reads, from every type of fiction to heartwarming memoirs to helpful guides.  All that's left for you to do is grab a chair and a pair of reading glasses--so read on!

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Outliers:  In what I consider to be one of the most fascinating books ever written, Malcolm Gladwell affably debunks the myths that surround the "outliers" in society:  the geniuses, the professional athletes, the billionaires.  From hockey players to technology superstars, this novel really has a topic for everyone.

When Breath Becomes Air:  The brilliant memoir of a neurosurgeon-turned-cancer-patient, this novel gives rise to many of the questions that linger on the surface of humanity:  How does one go on existing, even in the face of death?  What makes a life worth living?  The book is truly unforgettable.

BEING A PREP FOR A WEEK: 7/3/16 -- 7/9/16

The first week of July is slowly fading into the past--sadly, that means summer vacation is coming to a close.  I've been especially reminded of this fact during the past week that was rife with chorus camps and class ring reveals.  However, I'm going to try to enjoy the weeks of summer that I have left while I still have them--wish me luck!

Prep For A Day

Now, on to some of my favorite links from the past week:
Jenna Lyons's favorite pieces from the new J Crew collection--those off-the-shoulder pieces are calling my name...
A blog post that pretty accurately sums up fifteen of the most frustrating situations for bloggers everywhere...


The summer weather provides an easily missed opportunity for exercising and training; I say that the opportunity is "easily missed" because, based upon personal experience, the last thing that many of us want to do is go outside and do physical activities.  However, I've been somewhat forced to participate in physical activities recently, and it's amazing how much a few minutes' worth of exercising can improve your overall mood.

No physical activity is complete without the right equipment--that isn't limited to specialty pieces like treadmills or weights, either.  If you want to exercise, you need to find the right pair of shoes.

Prep For A Day

1. New Balance:  Light, flexible, and stylish, the shoes made by New Balance are perfect for runners and sports players alike.  The newest women's shoe line incorporates lovely color combinations with super lightweight footwear (my pair seems lighter than clouds);  plus, this brand stresses the fact that its are products made here in America. What could be better than that?

2. Asics:  If you want a shoe that's fit for professional athletes, this is the brand for you to shop.  The name ASICS is actually derived from an acronym that translates to "a sound mind in a sound body" and was trademarked by the company's original founder.  These shoes are some of the most comfortable ones on the market, which explains why even Olympic athletes are training in them.

BEING A PREP FOR A WEEK: 6/26/16 -- 7/2/16

Who can believe that Independence Day is only a couple of days away?  This summer really has flown by!

This week was another lovely (and somewhat productive) stream of days, capped off with a visit to my aunt, uncle, and a couple of their friends in Birmingham;  it was absolutely wonderful to see them again. As this weekend rolls around, I'm wishing for other parts of the world to experience a similarly hopeful stream of days (they need them infinitely more than I do).

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Now, on to some of my favorite links from the past week:
Calling all bloggers and businesses:  Instagram will be implementing new business profiles that allow followers to "directly connect" with account owners, among other things.  Who's thinking about getting one?
A dual profile of the hippest neighborhoods in Rome--now all I need is a passport and a plane ticket...