College | Lifestyle | Travel

2016 RECAP

By on January 3, 2017

Wow, I cant believe it’s already a new year! 2016 was a big year for me. So many amazing, incredible, once in a lifetime things happened to me and I’m so blessed for it all! Let’s have a recap, shall we?

 

Things that happened in 2016:

  • Turned 20 years old
  • Met Sadie Robertson at her book signing which resulted in the funniest picture EVER
  • The Panthers made it to the Super Bowl (gotta represent the home team!)
  • Graduated with a 2 year degree (at the same time my cousin graduated with hers!)
  • Baby sister turned 16 *cries*

  • Traveled to Nashville for the first time (You can read about it here,here, and here!)
  • Got accepted into my #1 school
  • Road tripped with my mom, sister, and best friend to Atlanta to meet Kian &JC on tour
  • Got Abby hooked on Teen Wolf
  • Took my sister with myself and Abby to soundcheck at the 5SOS concert
  • Went with my family to see Lindsey Stirling perform the next day (read about both concerts here!)

  • Had all four of my wisdom teeth removed
  • Traveled to Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where I check off a life bucket list item of eating at Cafe Du Monde
  • Had the annual family beach trip to Sanibel immediately after

  • FREAKED OUT over the PLL summer finale
  • Got obsessed with a handful of amazing new television shows
  • Celebrated my one year blogiversary!
  • Babysat A TON (and I wouldn’t have had it any other way, love those kiddos!)
  • Traveled back to Atlanta with my dad and sister for Dragon Con (and met some of Hollywood’s finest)

  • Started my first semester at my new school
  • Took a “Children’s Literature” course that was about comic books and superheroes and the homework was to watch the correlating superhero movies (a dream come true in the college world, at least for me)
  • Took a family weekend trip to Boone

  • Baby sister learned to drive (again *cries*)
  • Voted in my first presidential election
  • Best friend got accepted into Hogwarts (delivered by a special anonymous owl *wink wink*)
  • Had a MAGICALLY WONDERFUL time at the happiest place on earth!!! (Magic Kingdom and Epcot!)
  • Developed a new love for Star Wars
  • Started learning Italian (buongiorno!)
  • Made all A’s and B’s
  • Celebrated a wonderful and very merry Christmas at home with my favorite people in the entire world

And just like that, it’s a new year!  A whole new year full of new experiences, new people, new places, new knowledge, new accomplishments. I am QUITE excited about this new year. I feel different about it, different than I ever have. I feel like some big things are going to happen this next year. Maybe not big to other people, but big for me. And I’m ready, ready take this year on head first! Let’s do this 2017!

What is something you are looking forward to in the new year?

xoxo Ariana

P.S.

Helene in Between
This post was part of Helene’s (from heleneinbetween.com) link up party! Thank you so much for hosting this Helene!! It was my first link-up EVER so I already have a New Year’s Resolution checked off  ✔

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

Proud To Be An American

By on November 9, 2016

proud

Last night, history was made. This was the first presidential election I voted in and actually was able to pay attention to, for lack of a better phrase. Unlike other presidential elections (that I can remember), this election had people at each others’ throats like never before.

I am writing this because I have just experienced history. I want to look back in the future and remember this time in my life. I have a few thoughts and reminders to put out there. I am not writing this because of my political views or the opposing ones.

Regardless of Donald Trump being the new President, or even if Hillary Clinton was the President, they are/would be just that. The President. The leader of our country. I was raised to be respectful in general, but to always respect our President, no matter how I felt about the individual.

pexels-photo-28697

Mr. Trump will be our President. Many people are very upset at this. Even I feel the need to take a deep breath. It seems no one was satisfied with our options. Nonetheless, he won. Therefore, I will respect him as the leader of our beautiful nation. I will pray for him every day, just like I would if anybody else had been elected. I will pray that God guides his hand, his mind, and his heart in providing, protecting, and leading the United States of America.

I hate getting on social media and seeing things like “say goodbye to our freedoms” or “See ya later, I’m moving to Canada”. That’s not the patriotic American spirit. Social media has honestly been such a game changer in politics. I totally understand that people are upset, the mood is low, etc. I think everyone just needs a few days to process and regroup. But Americans persevere. We work together and we push through. If you are upset, it’s okay. Keep that hope, that spark alive.

pexels-photo

Think back to how this country began. People who didn’t even know what was on the other side of the ocean filed into ships and sailed for days and days, away from England. They faced adversity straight in the face. They did that to escape restriction. They did that to have the freedoms to believe what they believe and voice their beliefs without consequence. Those people were some of the bravest in history and I have never been more thankful that they risked EVERYTHING for future generations.

Think of all the people who have fought for America one way or another. Think of the people who are out there fighting right now. The LEAST we could do is be respectful and kind to one another, including our new President.

How blessed am I that I get to live, to be born in a country that allows me to have a different opinion??? And that not only is it okay, it is my RIGHT?? I am still so proud to be an American citizen. I would have been just as proud had there been a different outcome. This is my home.

jfk1
image

Please do not harass, threaten, degrade, or even just be plain mean to anyone who has a different opinion, voted differently, or speaks out about their views. It’s extremely hard, ESPECIALLY in modern society and especially today, to voice your political opinions. It’s scary because anybody could comment horrid things to you just because. And there are people who are being outspoken and receiving backlash right this second. It shouldn’t be that way. They should be allowed to have their opinion respected, even when it is disagreed with.

Whatever happens over the next year, the next four years, or the next forty years, the one thing I DO know is that God already has this planned out. He knows how it will end. He knew who would be our president in 2017 from the very beginning. I have faith in Him. I find peace in Him. One day, none of this will matter.

But until then, be kind. Be humble. Have faith. Be uplifting and encouraging to each other. Be respectful. Don’t ruin friendships over this. Don’t lose hope in our country, the very country that has overcome so many hardships when there was almost no hope left.

Everyone take a deep breath, stay positive, and have an amazing day!

xoxo Ariana

 

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America,

and to the Republic for which it stands,

one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

Babysitting Tips

By on October 9, 2016

frisco-2

Do we ever really let go of our kid side? I haven’t yet and I really don’t ever plan to. Personally, I think people who are kids at heart are the happiest! I don’t know, maybe it’s just cause I love kids, maybe it’s because I want to teach and influence little kids, but kids are important! They’re going to be taking care of us one day!

I remember growing up and being put in charge of a baby while their mom did something for a few minutes or playing with the toddlers while the adults talked about adult things. I have always gravitated towards kids! My mom says that she can’t imagine me ever being without kids. It’s true i want 34850947 of them!

KIDDING KIDDING. Calm down, I’m not insane! But I do want 3 or 4 lil munchkins when I grow up.

Anyways, because of my caring nature and my affection for little ones, I’m always picked to babysit. I even work in childcare and nanny/regularly babysit right now! You can actually earn some nice money doing it. However, I was still nervous to babysit kids I had never known before, I had always just watched family members with their parents not to far in case of an emergency. So I tried to look for tips on the internet and couldn’t find much! So today, I’m sharing some of my key tips in babysitting and making it more fun and easier!

Learn Your Kids

This is one that can only really come with time. At first, the kids might not be completely relaxed around you, especially if their used to another babysitter. Learn what makes them tick, learn how they react to conflict, how they are when they’re mad or sad or annoyed. After the first handful of times you watch them, their true colors will start to come out as they get used to you. I’ve been watching the same kids for a year and I’m still learning new things about them as they grow! Be as interested as possible in their interests. Ask them about their day at school, their friends, their weekend plans. For example, one of the kids I watch LOVES being outside so we play basketball. They both love Legos so I help them build Lego sets all the time! It keeps them occupied AND happy.

Be clear on parental instructions

Even though you are watching them, it’s still important for them to follow their parent’s rules. If there are specific foods they’re only allowed to have for special things (like candy or ice cream), if they’re not allowed be on their electronics for more than a set amount of time, etc. Every family is different and it’s important to stick to the things the parents tell you! The parents will also be your best friend. They need you to watch their kids, so they want to help you as much as possible! But they are also trusting you to care for their kids so you have to be trustworthy. You can always shoot them a quick text to ask if you can take them to the park, or pop some popcorn for a movie day!

Keep an eye out for cheap crafts and games in stores

kids-1

You gotta keep things interesting! Kids are so easily bored sometimes and it can be hard to think of new things to do. I try to keep my eyes peeled if I’m ever in craft stores or even Target for cheap little fun activities! If there is a holiday coming up, you can almost always find holiday themed games, crafts, and activities! I bought these cute Thanksgiving crafts for $1 at Michael’s a few weeks back and I’m waiting until after Halloween to do it with them! I also bought some paint, a few stamps and brushes, and a huge art pad from Hobby Lobby probable about 6 months ago and we have reused it multiple times since! They love making pictures and they don’t get it all the time so it’s always special when we do. Just be sure to double check with mom, especially if you are at their house! It can get messy! I always lay down this old plastic table cloth where ever we are going to paint and have a roll (or two!) of paper towels on standby.

Be as patient as possible

It’s not always rainbows and sunshine. Kids are difficult. Just like us, they have bad days and good days. They have mood swings. The difference is we are old enough to understand why we are in a bad mood and they aren’t. Which adds to their frustration. Try to be understanding. Try to be patient. Of course, I mean this within reason. Sometimes they just push back to see what you’ll do. Choose your reaction carefully. Don’t yell and scream. They definitely won’t listen, you’ll just scare them. Just be patient, try to calm them if they’re upset, diffuse the sibling fight, or whatever the issue is. Keeping patience is key! I’m not saying it always is easy, but if I feel my patience slipping, I just take a deep breath and reassess. This brings me to my next tip.

Stand your ground

While being patient, it’s also important to realize that when they do something wrong, you have to do something. It might be a good idea to talk to the parents to see how they want you to handle it if things get out of hand. Don’t be scared! They know how their kids are and they know stuff just happens sometimes. I always start with a warning like “Don’t do that”. Inevitable, they won’t listen but at least you warned them. If they keep doing what I said not to, I say “I asked you nicely not to do that. Please do not do it again or you’ll come sit with me for five minutes” or some variation of that. Take away time from their tablets. If they flat out do not listen, I often play the “Okay I’ll have a talk with mom” card. It usually works to get them to stop. I hate to say that but sometimes you do what you have to do. But also, don’t be afraid to ACTUALLY tell mom. If you’re telling them, for example, not to ride their scooted or whatever into the road for their safety, and they aren’t listening, you need to tell her. They could get seriously hurt. While you are not their teacher or parent, you are the authority figure for the time you’re there and they need to listen. Most times, parents will help you out on this because they want you to watch their kids! Just use good judgement on what warrants sitting out for a few minutes, getting tablet time taken away, and actually having to tell mom.

Keep them occupied

THIS TIP could be the most important. Well maybe not most, but it’s such a HUGE tip. Keeping them occupied = less boredom = less chance of a meltdown = less stress for you. If you don’t really have anything happening, the kids can get rowdy with each other, they can get delirious and crazy, etc. My kids that I watch love to eat when they’re bored, which is during that time that mom is almost back home to start dinner, so I try not to let them eat (unless its healthy, like an apple). They’re tired from school and now they’re bored, with nothing to do, and I won’t let them have all the food they want (which is almost always cookies, chips, and candy, all at the same time). Thus, we have a meltdown and they’re upset with me. BUT if I keep them occupied, like letting them look at themselves with the funny filters on Snapchat, they’re occupied, happy and laughing, happy with me, and their mom comes home to good moods as opposed to bad ones.

Try to be quick on your feet

This will come in handy in a lot of situations. Coming up with a game, a Plan B, anything really. Look on Pinterest to see what kind of games you can play with little supplies! Also look for stuff to do on rainy days. One time, it rained a whole week and we were stuck inside. We had a movie day, played hide and seek in the dark, played bowling with cups and ping pong balls and got really creative! One day, one of them just couldn’t be satisfied with anything we had to play so I made up a lonnnnng scavenger hunt list of things like the letter B, six shoes, the color purple, etc. that I knew was in the house and if he found them all I let him have a marshmallow! This was a big hit (he told his parents about it) so I have that as a backup boredom plan!

Utilize your resources

img_0254ids-2

This is dependent on the family you are babysitting for but I drive my kids around all the time. We’ve been the the park, a snow cone place, many fast food places with a playground, one park with a splash pad and a train we rode, the pool, the movies, etc.!  A lot of those things we did in the summer and we had to find more things to do! But if it’s okay with their parents and you can drive, see if you can find new and kid safe/ kid friendly places to go! Bonus if it’s educational! My dad is a paramedic so he told me to bring the kids down to the station and we walked through the whole facility and they got to sit in all the different ambulances which they LOVED! They had such a fun time and got to learn and see hands on what paramedics do for people! They even got stickers, some coloring books, and little paramedic badges! So just be creative and use what you have and the people you know!

Be silly and have fun

This is actually the most important tip I have for you. Don’t you remember your babysitters when you were little? I mostly was watched by my grandparents but I had a couple of sitters. I remember them always playing with me or letting me help them do something for them. They made me feel important and not like I was annoying them. Strive to be the “cool” babysitter. Be the babysitter that lets them have a marshmallow for a prize, the one who has random dance parties, comes up with cool new games and places to go. Be a kid at heart. You want these kids to grow up and look back at how lucky they were to have you as a babysitter or nanny!

 

I hope these tips have helped you and made you more excited about babysitting! It’s definitely hard work and not easy (anyone who says it’s easy must have perfect children) but in the end it’s worth it! Its so worth it to see the smiles on their faces! Do you have any special tips or tricks to babysitting? I would love to see what y’all have to say!

xoxo Ariana

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

Autumn Thoughts

By on October 2, 2016

img_8274

Leaves. Crisp air. Cold mornings with a little bit of sun in the afternoon still keeping it warm. Yummy baked goods. The fan favorite pumpkin spice latte. Cozy sweaters. Warm scented candles. Blankets. Fuzzy socks. Family. Holidays. Pumpkins. Apples. Boots. Scarves. Apple cider.

Fall is my favorite time of year. Even though where I live, fall and winter kind of blend together sometimes so really my favorite time of year is basically September to January. Even so, I just LOVE this time of year. I had to go to work this morning at 8 and I had to turn the heater on in the car because it was actually cold and not humid outside. I saw the early morning frost on the grass. Leaves are changing. I can’t really explain it, I’m just so happy at this time of year. The world seems so much more beautiful in fall. (also do you say fall or autumn? I feel like autumn is the really formal way to address fall) I just lit my first fall candle of the season (sweet cinnamon pumpkin from Bath and Body is my absolute favorite.)

My family is going on our annual mountain trip in a couple weeks and I’m getting more excited by the minute. I can’t stand it, I’m so ready and excited. Life is just so different in the fall. I love every second of it.

Whats your favorite part of fall?!

xoxo Ariana

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

10 Ways To Get Ready For Fall

By on September 25, 2016

 

img_2202

Last week, I wrote my goodbye to summer. It is now time to say helloooooo fall! I just love fall. It is the beginning of my favorite time of year! Sweaters, festive candles, changing leaves, cooler weather, cute decorations, Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. All of it. I’m here for all the fall goods.

Here’s 10 ways that I like to get ready for fall and get inspired the festive way!

  • Get out all your fall decor and buy one new addition (because things just get cuter every year, let’s be real)
  • Find a fall scented candle that you genuinely enjoy
  • Go to a pumpkin patch
  • Change out your wardrobe for the fall (according to the weather where you live, it’s still 80 degrees every day where I am! Dress accordingly!)
  • Start researching current fall fashion trends and buy one new outfit that makes you feel good and excited for fall
  • Try a new “fall” nail polish shade
  • Go to a football game (because nothing says fall like some good ole college football!!)
  • Start Christmas shopping NOW! (seriously, start looking for things that would match someone you will be gift shopping for! Sometimes you will find something for a great deal, check someone off the list, and have more time to spend enjoying the holidays rather than searching high and low for the perfect gift!)
  • Reorganize your desk/planner/school supplies/closet etc. Reorganizing helps me feel more prepared and excited for fall and the rest of the year because I don’t feel so scatterbrained or like I’m just keeping moving until the year ends! You would be surprised how much it actually helps!
  • Find at least one new fall recipe to try

 

Y’all. I’m even more excited for fall. I think I’m gonna go burn a pumpkin candle right now and curl up with a blanket, coffee, and finish season one of Quantico (10/10 recommend btw it’s so intense!!). What are YOU most excited for this fall?!

 

xoxo Ariana

 

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

Farewell Summer Of 2016

By on September 19, 2016

2016

Ahhh Summer. You’re such a good ole’ friend to me. We’ve had twenty years of of fun adventures every year, this year being no different.

We had some crazy adventures this year, summer! Let’s take a look back on all the fun we had.

To start, I graduated with my Associates Degree and got accepted into an amazing university where I am currently getting my Bachelor’s Degree!

IMG_9844

We went to Nashville (new place number one) and had an amazing (excruciatingly hot) time!

IMG_0262

We ate great food, saw many sights, and almost drowned in our own sweat (gross) but it was a great way to start the summer!

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 4&5 

img_0026

Abby and I got stuck in what was basically a monsoon at a baseball game and sprinted (read: got completely drenched) with her dog in my arms and we laughed for thirty minutes.

Image-1 (3)

Abby and I also went to Kian and JC’s Don’t Try This At Home Tour and had an amazing weekend!!

My family also stopped in New Orleans before we went on our vacation and it was definitely an experience! (That I blogged about here!)

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

I got to check off a bucket list item of eating at Cafe Du Monde!

IMG_1622

We had an amazing and relaxing vacation in our favorite place in the world, Sanibel.

Add in a couple of concerts between all this traveling! I also took my sister with us to the 5 Seconds of Summer concert the day before seeing her favorite violinist Lindsey Stirling!

IMG_1057

IMG_1295

My dad, sister and I also went to Atlanta for Dragon Con! It was a weekend filled with comic books, tv shows, celebrities, and never wanting to come back to reality. I’m so happy to have this memory with them!

geekout

img_2179

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

img_2178

temp-2016

img_0047

Other cool things that happened over the summer:

  • Absolutely Ariana turned one!
  • Babysat A LOT and had some fun adventures at the pool, the park, the movies,toruing an ambulance, and getting snowcones
  • Got my best friend hooked on Teen Wolf
  • Let’s not even discuss the PLL summer finale
  • Grew as a person and learned some more things about myself
  • Started school at a large university (where my English class turned out to be about comic books and superheroes)!

 

Overall, this summer was crazy busy. Actually, I’m now busier than I have ever been in my entire life. I love having stuff to do but also love my “me” time so it’s taking some getting used to.

Summer 2016, you were definitely one for the books. As always, you were fun, crazy, HOT, and a fun adventure. Sadly it is time to say farewell. Until next year summer!

 

Now, bring on the fall!! What adventures did you have over the summer? Share them below in the comments, I would love to hear about them!

xoxo Ariana

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Lifestyle | Travel

Letting My Inner Geek Out

By on September 11, 2016

 

geekout

Geek. A word that is commonly used as a stereotype. For example, geeks are typically deemed as super smart but no common sense or extremely nonathletic or having terrible social skills. The key word in all of this is stereotype. Everybody geeks out about something! History, books, comic books and super heroes, movies, science, musicals, heck you could even geek out about makeup if that’s something you’re really into! Literally everyone geeks out about something. Me? I geek out about quite a few things but I’m proud of it! Most everyone loves the Marvel superhero movies, or The Flash, or oh my gosh STAR WARS! You may even geek out without really realizing but that’s the beauty of it!

Disclaimer: Very excited discussion of The Flash, The 100, and other shows ahead. 

img_2017
Sunrise

Last weekend, I had the prime opportunity to let my inner geek out when I accompanied my sister and my dad to Dragon Con in Atlanta. My sister was given prepaid tickets for the weekend for her birthday and I found out that some of the cast from The 100 were going to be there so naturally that made me more inclined to join them! We woke up at 5:00 AM on Saturday morning and drove four hours down to Atlanta. We missed The 100 panel (but it was okay!) and got caught in downtown traffic a little bit. Even so, once we parked and got through the registration line (which was surprisingly very quick and organized!)

img_2019
The line behind us

We made our way to the Flash/Arrow panel, mainly because my sister loves Carlos Valdes (who plays Cisco Ramon on the The Flash) and I wanted to guarantee that she got to be in the same room as him! My whole family loves all the DC comic shows so we were excited too! The panel also had Violette Beane (Jessie), Teddy Sears (Jay) and Summer Glau (who played Isabel on Arrow). The panel was great, the cast were so nice and funny, and Serena loved every minute of it!

img_2022

img_2021

 

The host of the panel said the cast was going to something called the Walk of Fame, where all the guests had booths set up and you could take pictures, get autographs (pictures and autographs typically cost something though), and have conversations with them! So once we finally figured out where it was, we found Carlos’ booth and got in line. There was an overflow line but we didn’t mind the long wait because seeing my sister so happy, bright-eyed, and excited was more than worth it! (keep in mind though we literally had not eaten since about 7:30 and it was now probably just after 2:00 so we were dragging a bit)

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
Carlos Valdes!

I wish I had the moment on video. I have never seen her happier than this moment! So each guest had a person assigned to their booth to keep the lines moving and in check. They all wore light up antennas so they were easy to spot. We will call them “line movers”. We were just talking to Carlos’ line mover about how this was Serena’s birthday present. Well when we finally got to meet him, He gave her the BIGGEST bear hug, told her happy birthday, and talked to her before taking a picture with her! He was literally the NICEST guy!!

img_2057
Lindsey Morgan!

After that, we milled around the Walk of Fame, saw some of the cast from Legends of Tomorrow at their tables, and I found Lindsey Morgan’s table! She is Raven from The 100 and one of my favorites. She was super nice and beautiful as always! Her booth was next to Sachin Sahel (Jackson) and Jarod Joseph (Miller) and I witnessed a beautiful moment of Sachin asking Jarod to video catching and putting on a Captain America shield that the girl behind me in line made!

img_2050
Sachin Sahel and the Captain America Shield!

img_2052

img_2054

By this time, it was getting late into the afternoon, we were starving and tired, so we just got McDonald’s and went to the hotel. We face-timed mom and then we were all so tired we were in bed and going to sleep by 9:30. Y’ALL. I’m a college student and an adult and I was in bed asleep by 10. What. Also, we only slept for about two hours before the FIRE ALARM went off and everyone evacuated. Only to find out it was a false alarm and there was no fire so yeah, that was fun.

The next morning, we woke up early-ish, went through registration again (my dad and I only got one day passes for each day). It was wayyyyyy less of a crowd than the day before by like a million. (That’s an exaggeration but it works for effect). We went to check out the vendor exhibits, which were basically three floors of people selling everything and anything to do with comics, cartoons, superheroe’s, sci-fi, fantasy, you name it and they probably had it. After shopping around, we found a Dominoes stand. You could have probably heard the angels singing. It was amazing pizza and just what we needed. We also were smart and stopped at a Walgreen’s before we got to downtown and stocked up on snacks and water!

After this, we went back to the Walk of Fame because I realllllyyy wanted to meet Bob Morley (Bellamy Blake on The 100). Be prepaerd: slight fangirling ahead. He is just basically, kinda sorta, my favorite character on the show. I got there and was like 3rd in line. I chatted with the other girls and we prepaid for some photos, but Bob took a lunch break so they said if we came back with our post-it receipt, they would let us to the front of the line. We will return to Bob shortly.

img_2073
Falk Hentschel and Casper Crump!

We took a picture with Falk Hentschel (Hawkman) and talked to him for a minute. He was so nice and just as amazing as he is on Legends of Tomorrow! When we went to take our picture, Casper Crump (Vandal Savage) came up behind us and photobombed! We also talked to Eddie McClintock and Allison Scagliotti from Warehouse 13 and they were both really nice too! Eddie was hilarious and gave us all hugs! We also managed to squeeze in line to see Caity Lotz (Sarah Lance) and she was so pretty and kind to us!

img_2080

So I went back to Bob’s table at this time and I was super nervous. My face was already flushed. I made friends again with people in line and they were all so nice! One of the girls in front of me asked him to dress as Harry Potter for a photo and later on I heard that he said that was one of his favorite moments of the weekend! He immediately ran over to the rest of the cast and “cast a spell”!

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Bob Morley!!

Once it was my turn, he asked my name and where I was from. I told him that he was my favorite and how nice it was to meet him. We chatted for a few moments and then he signed my picture, took a picture with me, and he hugged me. It was the most glorious five minutes of my life. He was honestly so so nice and genuine and I made sure to tell him thank you!

After this, we tried to hit another panel but it wrapped three times around the building so we went to a Star Trek show instead. It was fun, I had done and met everyone I wanted to and more! My family was happy, I was happy, and funny enough I actually felt like I was in a dream. None of us really wanted to check back into reality! We stopped at Chili’s on the way home and I fell asleep in the car. The next day was dad’s birthday so the whole weekend served as a double celebration of birthdays! I know in years to come, we will look back on this weekend and never stop smiling about it!

img_2089
Sunset

I had never been to any sort of convention before (of the comic book kind). I was a bit nervous of how much I would actually enjoy because I felt out of my element. But I surprised myself by warming up to everything, talking to people I didn’t even know and also people I admired, and actually had an AMAZING time. Every single guest was so kind and genuine. Everything was pretty organized. It was all about the fans and it was great. This will definitely be one for the books!

Have you ever been to a convention? What’s your favorite superhero? Or what’s your favorite show? What do YOU geek out about?   xoxo Ariana

 

 

 

Continue Reading

College

Tips For A New College Semester

By on August 28, 2016

SPRINGTIMEIts that time again! I don’t know about you, but I always always always loved the “back to school” part of the year! It was always so exciting, new classes, new supplies, seeing friends again and maybe making new ones! I have always loved school (which may or may not have something with now majoring in education).

Lots of you are either starting your first semester ever in college, or maybe even your first semester in high school! I’m putting together some tips that will hopefully make this whole school thing easier because even for those of us who love school, it isn’t a piece of cake.

And if you are still in high school, it’s okay! These can work for you too

  1. RENT until you can’t rent no more

RENT YOUR BOOKS. I have probably paid 1/4 of what all of my textbooks actually cost just by renting them on websites like Amazon or Chegg. I’m in my third year of college and after just transferring to a big university, I TRULY understand how important this is and I would swear by it! Sometimes I buy the book if it might come in handy later (like my psychology book or education books) but you can still (more than likely) find cheaper buying options online than your college bookstore.

2. Stay Organized (as much as possible)

In high school, I never used a planner. I was one of those annoying people that could just keep track of everything in my head and still keep my head above water. I didn’t even think of buying a planner before my first semester in college because I was never able to keep them in use before! Within a month, I had to go buy one because it was suddenly impossible for me to remember everything and keep up. I swear by my planner now. Invest in one that fits your needs, even if it is a bit pricier! There are so many planners out there with different layouts and calendars! Buy one that looks cute so you look forward to writing in it! I have found that if I don’t have cute notebooks, planners, etc., then I’m less likely to open them and do the work! I always feel better about using the product if I like the way it looks!

Also, keep track of all official school documents (along with class work). Any records, billing statements, confirmations, etc. Buy a file or folder (or a box with multiple folders) and keep up with your documents. I cannot tell you the amount of times keeping my records has saved my life later on. If it’s online, don’t print it until you need it but save it as a PDF! I have a file folder on my computer with my school name, and then sub-folders where I keep all sorts of documents! I also organize my classes this way too.

3. Recycle (where you can)

As I just said above, I usually always buy a couple notebooks that are cute to inspire me to do my school work! But also, I recycle my old binders and notebooks I didn’t really use. We’re not made of money, especially in college. It’s probably the most financially vulnerable time in our lives. So recycle old school supplies if you can! I usually do this between fall and spring semesters. If there is a binder still in good condition, I’ll just take everything out of it and use it for a class in the spring! But if your notebooks are kind of beat up or you just don’t like them, it’s totally fine to just get new ones!

4. Talk To Your Teachers

Talk to your teachers. Come on, repeat it back to me so I know you heard me. This goes for any grade, any school, ANYWHERE. I was very shy my first year of college, and though I did well, I could have made it easier on myself if I had spoken up. Raise your hand in class, ask other classmates. Everyone is nervous, most everyone is shy, so you are not alone! Make use of your teachers office hours because they are there to HELP you. Nobody becomes a teacher unless they truly care about helping their students learn. Even the scary, strict teachers. If your professor is strict about the way the assignments are done, don’t complain about it and be stubborn, just do it and they’ll give you the grade.

IF you are struggling with a class early in the semester and your grade is going down (which is nothing to be ashamed of), get help. Your teacher maybe can arrange extra credit, give you extra help, or assign you to a tutor. I learned this the hard way. Don’t be stubborn and think you can help yourself all the time. It’s OKAY to get outside help!! They don’t bite!

5. Get Involved

This advice is good for high school and college students. Get involved. Join a club whether it’s intramural sports, a Bible study, or even Quidditch (yes my school has a Quidditch club and so do many others!) Don’t stand on the sidelines and longingly look, just do it! Maybe others who are also nervous and scared will see you do it and follow! Trust me, joining sports teams in high school was my lifeline and I’m still trying to find that in college but I’m much happier trying than if I wasn’t! This is the time in your life where you have the time, the energy, and the opportunity to do all these amazing and fun things! You are going to want to look back on these years and have fond memories! Find things that inspire you, challenge you, and interest you. Use them. Make friends. Make memories. You’ll thank yourself in the years to come!

 

I really hope these tips helped you out or made you slightly more excited about school! I hope everyone had a great back to school week and likes their classes! What’s your favorite part of school? Let me know in the comments! And leave any questions you have!

 

xoxo Ariana

Continue Reading

Lifestyle | Travel

Vacay Recap: NOLA and Florida |2016

By on August 22, 2016

ROADRUNNER

As you guys know, this girl loves a road trip and loves to travel. (Maybe not so much a 12 hour drive less than a week after having wisdom teeth removed but its all good anyways). My dad had a trip to Louisiana so we piled into the car and started our vacation early. After he was done with his business trip, we took a quick overnight trip to New Orleans because why not?! It was eye-opening, fun, hot and humid, and a good little side trip!

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

IMG_1393

Of course the main thing we had to hit up was Cafe Du Monde, the most popular coffee shop in the world! It was wayyyyyy to hot and sticky to drink coffee so we all got ourselves some nice cold drinks and had yummmmmmyyy beignets!! They were honestly the best things ever. If I remember correctly, its the French way to make doughnuts. So amazing.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

IMG_1392

 

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

IMG_9980

IMG_9986

IMG_9983

The next morning we woke up and walked down to see the Mississippi River in the daylight and walk around Jackson Square. There amazing artists out, a lot of live music, you know the good ole’ jazz you come to New Orleans for. It was still really hot for it being like 9:30 in the morning but that’s water under the bridge. I would have loved to take a ferry ride but we sadly didn’t have time for one! Next time I’m there, a ferry ride is on my to-do list!

IMG_1839

IMG_1838IMG_0007

IMG_0004

IMG_0008

IMG_0015

IMG_0033

IMG_0027

IMG_0029

IMG_0048

IMG_0059

IMG_1409

IMG_0072

After that, we were off the Florida and on our way to our piece of paradise, Sanibel Island! Gosh, I love that place. Every time I’m there, I literally never want to leave. I always picture what would happen if I just stayed there. But that being said, I don’t know if I have the guts to do that (yet).

IMG_1480

We stopped at Walmart to get food and got caught in a MASSIVE storm and raced it to the island.

IMG_0086

IMG_0103

IMG_0198

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

IMG_1597

IMG_1622

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

IMG_0135

IMG_0136

IMG_1588

IMG_0111

IMG_0129

IMG_0113

IMG_1643

IMG_0152

IMG_0150

IMG_0188

IMG_1595

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

IMG_0156

IMG_0162

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

IMG_1687

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

IMG_1830

IMG_1922

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

IMG_1904

IMG_1685

IMG_1960

IMG_1837

IMG_1820

 

We had a very relaxing and enjoyable trip! We had ice cream by the pool, on the beach, homemade pizza (some of the best pizza EVER),found some AMAZING shells (even if we couldn’t keep them all because they were home to a couple of sea critters), got a couple books read, enjoyed some tanning and just being by the ocean. I swear, the ocean is really the best therapy, at least for me. I do my best thinking there, I feel at peace there, and that all my worries and troubles will be okay. Aside from a storm every after noon, it was a fairly sunny trip! It’s Florida, the weather changes just like that, it’s expected. However, one of these storms did make the fire alarm go off in the unit next to ours (no fire, just short circuited!). I wish I could go back but…. until next year!

 

Also, I hope every one has a great back to school week! I start this week and I’m really excited and amped for this semester! Feel free to leave a comment and tell me about your vacation this summer!

xoxo Ariana

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

Summer Concerts| 2016

By on August 14, 2016

For some people, music is the way to the soul. The way inside their brains. You ever hear that when you listen to a person’s favorite song/band/album, you’re discovering their inner thoughts? I like to think that that is somewhat true. It IS partially true for me. Coming in second to books, music really can be a huge gaping window into my soul (hello random lyric tweets). Both of my parents had some musical background and I grew up being involved somehow in music. I was in the school band in elementary school (snare drum, ode to dad), I went to my parents choir/band rehearsals at church and learned the words and music, I played guitar throughout high school, I took music classes in college learning about music history, etc. Music is important to me and while it may not be THE most important thing, it’s something I feel connected to. It’s something I can bond with my dad over. I love it.

Which brings me to the whole point of this post.

Everyone know summer concerts are the best. And I just so happened to attend my two summer concerts back to back.

In the middle of July was the big one, the band I love so so much, the band that only my BFF (Hey Abby, love ya) understands how much I love them (because she does too of course), the band that uses their rugged good looks, Aussie accents, and amazingly wonderful talent to take the world by storm. That’s right. You already know.

5 Seconds of Summer.

Abby and I have now been to both their headlining tours and saw them when they opened for 1D. And we plan to keep going. Because we love them that much. (See last years post here!)

I brought my sister and we also took our other friend, so there were four of us, plus a couple people we met there. We got there at 10 AM (first come first serve) because I surprised my sister for her birthday with soundcheck tickets! Which means we got to sit in while they played a few songs and answered questions from the crowd. They were so kind to the people who asked questions and in such a great mood!

Now. These boys decided to come to North Carolina….in JULY. The middle of July. And it was the week that the highs were hitting 98 degrees. And we were sitting outside, on concrete, with about a couple hundred other girls waiting to go in. Thank the good Lord (seriously) that they had Dippin’ Dots and water (even if it was overpriced)! After they started letting people in and we weren’t just sitting there, the heat wasn’t too bad. After soundcheck we kinda just chilled in the pavilion and got food until it was time for the show.

PS: No camera with detachable lenses were allowed in the venues so all of these pics are from my phone which is why the quality is not so good.

IMG_0869

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

IMG_1307

IMG_0870

IMG_0928

IMG_0887

IMG_0874

IMG_0981

IMG_0986

IMG_1014

IMG_0905

IMG_1048

IMG_1057

IMG_1187

IMG_1127

Then. The NEXT day was my sister’s most looked forward to concert.

You’ve probably never thought a violin concert could be fun huh? Well if you knew Lindsey Stirling, she would definitely change your mind about that.

Now I have a wide range of music I like (oldies, classical, 80s, classic rock, alternative, show tunes, soundtrack, pop, country, etc.). I generally don’t like R&B, rap, club music or techno so much. But I know that it could be somebody’s favorite and the artists are still artists. It’s just not my taste but I have respect for it.

My sister LOVES Lindsey Stirling (YouTube Channel here, check her out!). I had seen her in some of Pentatonix and Peter Hollens’ videos, but now I know a lot more of her music. She uses dance, visual arts, and different genres of music with her violin over it to make these really amazing pieces. Her show turned out to be AMAZING as well.

I wasn’t sure what I expected but I was thoroughly, thoroughly impressed! Her musicians, her dancers, the lights, the visual art, and the dance she used to encompass and really tell different stories was incredible. And, she’s just really personable and funny! Her opener, Carah Faye, is also amazing and super cool so go check her out too!IMG_1199IMG_1209

IMG_1295

 

So that was my two extremely busy days filled with good people, good music, and good vibes. What were your summer concerts or ones you wish you could have attended?

Also, I’m back from vacation (post coming soon) so regular posts will be back soon!

xoxo Ariana

Continue Reading