August Faves

The month of August has always exemplified one specific image to me:  a door closing, and another door opening.  It's both an end to something that most of us dearly love (I'm talking about you, summer) and the start of something that students and non-students alike have pretty mixed feelings about.  Usually the thought of August makes me a little anxious, and when it finally arrives it can be somewhat overwhelming--but this August seemed very different.  For the first time in a long time, I hit the ground running during those first few weeks of this month;  although I'm pretty tired and pretty busy, I couldn't feel happier.  This August was the best I've had in several years, so picking my favorites from this month was an absolute delight, to say the least.

Prep For A Day

1. My Agenda:  I can wholeheartedly say that I would be a disaster without my agenda. Each day has several blank lines allotted to it (even Saturday and Sunday!), which is a huge bonus for any busy student with a pretty involved daily schedule.  Practicality aside, this planner is about aesthetically pleasing as a planner can be--cue the blush pink and the gold accents, please!

2. The Great Gatsby:  If you're a junior or a senior in high school, you might be sick of this novel and its characters, but I'm actually starting to appreciate the story a little more now that I've had a chance to discuss it in my English class.  And if you haven't read this American classic, take this as the perfect opportunity to go pick it up (or at least watch Leonardo DiCaprio in his famous rendition of Jay Gatsby).

3. Vital Source Bookshelf App:  Because one of the classes I'm taking is online, and it also requires an e-textbook, I've had to think of creative ways to "carry" my class materials with me.  This app is a handy tool for accessing any types of scholastic books and journals that you may need in any of your classes, all from the screen of your phone or tablet.

4. Steve Madden "Donddi" Sandals:  Last but certainly not least, these classic sandals have quickly become a staple in my wardrobe.  They not only can be paired with anything but also come in several lovely colors.  Best of all, they're only sixty dollars! 

August:  it's the "Sunday of summer," the end to long summer days and nights.  But it's also the beginning to so much more--and I hope that you are just as excited as I am for what lies ahead!

Any faves from this month that you'd like to share?

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Being A Prep For A Week: 8/21/16 -- 8/27/16

I'm back, back, back again (and better than ever)!  Things on the blog have a been a bit slower recently, but as I transition into a new daily grind, my posting schedule will become less irregular.
In terms of my junior year, I think things are going pretty well--better than expected, even.  I've started putting my agenda to good use, and several exciting opportunities have already presented themselves.  During the upcoming week I'll begin to experience actual AP-level assessments and classwork in all of my classes, so fingers crossed that everything will go well!
Prep For A Day

Now, on to some of my favorite links from the past week:
A post featuring some of the most wonderful tips for high school sophomores (or any students, really)...
I cannot stop jamming out to this song--it's an oldie, but it's a goodie.
I've found the most beautiful, wanderlust-fulfilling Instagram account ever--and to top it all off, food is included!
My parents just started the Keto Diet (and so have I, to a certain extent);  it's actually one of the most interesting diets out there.  I thought this article did a great job of explaining exactly how it works.
Did you catch my Q&A&Q post (featuring questions for you!) or my post about graphic tees?
Who else is excited to wear things like this as the seasons change?

As exciting things begin popping up in the world, it's important to remember one thing: "Working hard for something we don't care about is called stress.  Working hard for something we love is called passion."

How was your week?


A Miscellaneous Q&A&Q

As the lyrics of that famous musical ballad (bonus points if you know which one) propose, today I'm "getting to hope you like me" and my responses to a few miscellaneous questions.  Several days ago, I asked you to ask me questions on my Instagram in the hopes of answering any burning inquiries you may have had about me, myself, and I--but this post isn't just about me.  One of the best parts about the blogging world is being able to form instant connections with people of many different backgrounds and opinions--and I'd love to know about yours.  Keep reading to discover a set of questions that I have for you!
Prep For A Day

1. How do you grow your blog and Instagram?
Three words:  consistency is key.  If you want a viable chance of having a larger audience and following, you have to put in the extra time and effort to produce posts persistently.  You certainly don't have to post on your blog or social media daily, but try to avoid huge lapses between posts so your readers are more likely to feel engaged by your content.

2. How do you come up with blog topics?  Do you have certain posts reserved for the blog only and Instagram only, or do you like to integrate them together?
My inspiration for blog posts almost always comes from other bloggers or experiences in my own life;  once I have a vague idea of what I want to write about, I begin sorting my ideas into organized topics that I can feature on the blog.  As for the differences between my blog and Instagram posts, I try to have a visible connection between what I post on this website and what I share on social media, especially the photos I share on Instagram. However, I also try to keep my Instagram posts a bit more lighthearted and informal (they are just snapshots, after all) while I tend to save more serious topics for the blog.

3. What are you currently reading?
An even better question would be, "What am I not reading?"  Jokes aside, I have stacks of books that are just itching to be read--for now, I'm working on Sisi:  Empress On Her Own, Proof of Heaven, Miracles, Pet Sematary an AP Chemistry exam prep guide, a statistics textbook...

4. What are some destinations that you'd like to visit?
If I could go anywhere in Europe, I would consider my wanderlust fulfilled.  I'd love to explore all of Italy, England, and France, as well as parts of Ireland and Scotland, the Mykonos area of Greece, and parts of Austria and Hungary.  I've always thought that visiting Thailand would be an amazing experience as well.  Honestly, if you handed me a plane ticket to an international destination, I'd probably take it, simply to experience a new culture and learn about its history.

5. What is on your bucket list?
I haven't ever written out a hard copy of a bucket list, but here are few things that I've always dreamed about doing:
a. Visiting Audrey Hepburn's home in Switzerland
b. Singing at the Palais Garnier in France
c. Becoming fluent in at least three different languages
d. Visiting and studying at the first veterinary school ever founded
e. Owning a home that has an enormous library and a dedicated wall gallery in every room

6. What are some of your favorite quotes?
I featured several of my all-time favorites in a post from June;  however, I think it's pretty safe to say that I find new quotes that I love nearly every single day.  A few of my recent favorites are:  "Nothing can seem extraordinary until you have discovered the ordinary.";  "Falling in love with God is such a beautiful thing.";  and, "Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible."

7. What is your dream job?
Practically ever since I discovered what an animal was, I've wanted to become a veterinarian.  Even as I've grown older, I've never really felt myself drifting towards any other profession.  Ideally, I would be helping both humans and animals on a daily basis during my dream job--perhaps even making some groundbreaking discoveries about different zooneses or the links between animal and human diseases.

8. What is your favorite movie? 
Once again, it's pretty impossible for me to settle on just one movie (selecting a college should be a breeze), but a few of my favorite films are SabrinaPygmalion, Little Women (starring Katharine Hepburn), Jane Eyre (the 1983 and 2004 versions are the best), Anastasia (starring Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brynner), and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.  As you can see, I'm pretty predictable:  if it's a romantic movie and it was made before 1970, I'll love it.

Now it's your turn!  Here's your own Q&A for perusal (and I'd love to see your answers in the comments):
1. What is your favorite season and why?
2. Where do you envision yourself in ten years?
3. What are you extremely passionate about?

Thank you to everyone who submitted a question, and thank you, lovely reader, for allowing me to share a slice of my world with you.


Graphic Tees Galore

If someone had told my fourteen-year-old self that my future self would love wearing graphic tees, my former self would have laughed incredulously.  Needless to say, my perception on that article of clothing has changed quite a bit, especially since I've discovered the arts of typography, minimalism, and sarcasm.  In all seriousness, a graphic t-shirt is the ideal cross between an athletic tee and a nicer shirt, with a bit of fun and whimsy thrown in; it's practically perfect in every way.

Prep For A Day
"Lips & Lashes" Tee -- "Je Ne Sais Quoi" Tee -- "Talk the Talk" Tee -- "Seas the Day" Tee

Trust me when I say that there is a graphic tee out there for everyone.  Whether you peruse Nordstrom or Forever 21 or even Society6 (the mecca of graphic design), you'll find a graphic tee that's perfect for you and your style.  And if you need a jump-start, I've linked several tees down below--happy shopping!

Shop the post (and other favorites):

What is your opinion about graphic tees?


Being A Prep For A Week: 8/7/16 -- 8/13/16

Well, I can officially say that this past week was the "last first week" of my junior year of high school;  it isn't a huge milestone, but it's a checkpoint nonetheless.  Meanwhile, seniors everywhere are tackling the Common Application and college freshmen are tackling move-in day.  It's a bit intimidating to think that I'll be in their positions in several months or so--but I have to make it through junior year first, and that's simultaneously daunting and comforting.  However, I don't think I'll have any problem making it through another year because I'm already enjoying my classes immensely (and I actually know where all of them are located).  If this week is any indication, I think this year is going to be surprisingly good.
Prep For A Day

Now, on to some of my favorite links from the past week:
An interesting read about the best hotel in the world (it's being added to my bucket list)...
I couldn't resist getting this infamous mug when I popped into my nearest Francesca's (and I may or may not have seriously considered getting this graphic tee)...
Who wants to make tiramisu cupcakes with me?
Shelby Revis's Tumblr page has become my absolute favorite place...
If you have never heard of the educational app Duolingo, take this as an opportunity to check it out via its Twitter page (which, I must admit, is rather impressive)!
Did you see my latest post about the ideal back to school outfit?  It's the first outfit post I've done in a very long time, but it certainly won't be the last!

So the world is quickly transitioning from the dog days of summer to the hustle and bustle of the school year, and as my AP Chemistry teacher says, "It's terrifying at first, but by the end of everything, you'll have learned so much more than you could've ever realized."

How was your week?


Outfit: Back to School

When the first day of school rolls around every year, I find myself back in an age-old conundrum:  deciding what to wear.  After ten years of asking myself the same monotonous outfit questions ("pants or skirt?", "sandals or flats?", "gray or not gray?"), I've finally pegged an outfit that fits nearly every climate, dress code, and style preference.  Best of all, it's a comfortable ensemble, and comfort is always a top priority on the first day back to class. What could be better than style paired with comfort?

Pineapple Tee (old, similar) -- Jeans -- Sandals -- Agenda

Picking out the ideal "first day outfit" isn't as daunting as you think, after all.  Like everything good in life, it's just a happy medium.

What are you wearing for your first day back to school?

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Being A Prep For A Week: 7/31/16 -- 8/6/2016

Welcome back to my little corner of the web, where it's t-minus four days until I start my junior year of high school.  Am I stressed out?  Somewhat.  Am I excited?  Also, somewhat.  Because I am one of my school's Ambassadors, I was actually at my campus for the past three days to assist with schedule pick-ups and freshman orientation, so I don't feel totally estranged from the building.  Everything has slowly fallen into place, and I hope to share more of my junior year experiences here on the blog--but let's not count our chickens before they hatch...
Prep For A Day

Now, on to some of my favorite links from the past week:
This blogger's office space is quite possibly one of the most beautiful rooms I have ever seen...
After weeks of deliberation, I finally found the perfect white sandal (sorry for the suspense, Mom)...
My home board on Pinterest has been privy to some extra activity lately...
If you're a high school junior or senior, be sure to avoid these common mistakes!
Lastly, if you haven't seen one of these "Things Asian Parents Do" videos, take this as an opportunity to go watch!  Although my parents aren't of Asian descent, I think they have a very similar parenting style...

As I proceed towards my junior year and the world around us proceeds towards autumn, we must all remember:  "We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy."

How was your week?


Four Travel Bloggers You'll Love

Sometimes I come down with a mysterious affliction--it comes on suddenly, and it consumes everything I do for every waking moment.  Some call it the "travel bug";  I prefer the term "wanderlust."  I think that everyone, at some undefined point in his or her life, thinks about traveling to a completely new place and seeing completely new things, and I am no exception.  The only problem with daydreaming about all of that traveling is just that:  it's a mere daydream, not a reality.  Most of us can't just hop onto a plane and fly to Paris whenever we so desire (even if Paris is always a good idea) because it just isn't feasible.  So, how do we get rid of that meddlesome malady called wanderlust?  We live vicariously through others' adventures, of course!  And the best place to start is on the website of a seasoned travel blogger.

Prep For A Day

1. Rosie Thomas, The Londoner


Equipped with a sagacious wit and a lovely fashion sense, Rosie of The Londoner is an absolute breath of fresh air.  You'll love reading her charming and amusing stories about her extensive travels (and I mean extensive) just as much as you'll love gazing at her larger-than-life photographs.  If you want a true Londoner's point of view, this is the blog for you!

2. Ashley, History In High Heels


True to the unforgettable title of her blog, Ashley is a historian with a bold, unique style and a passion for traveling, especially in Europe.  Since she was fortunate enough to live in Florence, Italy for several years, she is an expert on the nuances of many European cultures and attractions.  In short, her blog is both a photographic showcase and a brilliant learning center.

3. Julia Engel, Gal Meets Glam


One of the more well-known travel bloggers, Julia Engel and her hugely popular blog, Gal Meets Glam, are a must-stop for anyone suffering from wanderlust.  Her travel shots never fail to be breathtaking, and her travel itineraries are second to none.  If you want to live vicariously through someone's adventures, Julia's blog is a good destination.

4. Carin Olsson, Paris in Four Months


Carin Olsson started her blog after her initial stay in Paris--a trip that lasted four months--prompted a permanent relocation to the City of Lights.  A professional photographer and a well-versed Parisian, Carin shares both her gorgeous photos and insight on her website. She'll definitely convince you that Paris is a wonderful idea (if Audrey hasn't already).

So you and I may not be planning a trip to the French Riviera anytime soon, but at least we have a way to combat our wanderlust.  Until the next flight...

Who are your favorite travel bloggers?