Tips for Making the Transition to College
At this point in high school, you’re probably starting to think about college. You may be working on applications, scholarships, or have already been accepted to a college. Then you start thinking about your dorm room or apartment, how you are going to pay for all that stuff, your roommates, etc, etc. I was just in that spot a few months ago, so let me give you a few tips on how to manage that stress!
Start Planning Early
It’s easy to say, “Oh, college is still so far away, I don’t have to plan for another few months.” While it’s true you still have a little while, it’s best to start planning early. Start thinking and planning where you want to live- are you going to live at home, in a dorm, or in an apartment? Will you have a meal plan? Some colleges have rules involving staying in dorms and having meal plans, so check with your college to see if you are required to have one or both of those things. Some other things to check is what is included in the dorms, whether you have communal bathrooms or private bathrooms, how close your dorm room is to certain buildings, etc. It’s better to be prepared so when you arrive on campus, you aren’t surprised on much.
Start Saving… NOW!
This is something you may have been doing for years, but for me, I’m a horrible saver. I just want to spend right away, so when it came to getting stuff for my room at college, things were a bit more stressful. I don’t know about you, but I saw all these perfect college dorm rooms on Pinterest, and wanted all the best decor and storage. I had to remember that there are things I have at home that work. Try bringing things from your own room at home to make you feel more comfortable at college. A lot of people like to purchase brand new comforters and/or decor (which is great and fun!), but for me, I wanted things to feel more like they were at my home. I brought the same comforter and a lot of the same decorations I used in my room to make things familiar.
Get in Touch With Your Roommate
Once you have your dorm room or apartment figured out, now would be a great time to get in contact with your roommate(s). Your student housing may give you your roommate’s contact information and name, so contact them! For me, my apartment building only gave me their first and last name, so I went to social media to figure out who they were. It sounds creepy, but they were all grateful I took initiative and contacted them first because they were hesitant to do the same thing! It was helpful to create a group chat with my roommates so we could figure out who was bringing certain things so we could save money and not buy double. When it came to contacting my room roommate, we discussed things like who would bring the shower curtain, who would bring a toothbrush holder, if we wanted to have matching towels or just bring our own, stuff like that. It may also be helpful to discuss with your roommate if you’ll have matching room decor; I know some people like to match or coordinate colors and bedspreads. Plus, it’s great to get to know your roommate before you move in with her! Ask her about her favorite food, some of her pet peeves, what her family is like, etc. Might as well become friends with her when you’ll be living with her for several months. 🙂
Meditate/Take Time for Yourself
All of this may seem daunting, but take some deep breaths! It’ll be okay. NOW is a great time to start planning these things, because the earlier you start planning everything, the easier it will be when it comes down to crunch time. You’ll thank yourself later when you don’t have to plan everything only a couple weeks before move-in day. Planning in small increments over a long period of time will significantly reduce your stress levels. So plan early, but don’t stress! Everything will fall in place and it’ll work out how it’s supposed to. You may want to look up a guided meditation on YouTube if you feel stressed, or even just hang out with your friends to get your mind off things. Do things that genuinely make you happy. Do you like to play sports? Do you like working out to release some stress and endorphins? Maybe you like singing, playing an instrument, or being creative. Whatever it is, try to make time in your day to do something you love.
I hope these tips were helpful and you have a smooth transition to college! It’s a lot of fun!
Fall Fashion Trends
- The color Burgundy is not only one of my favorite colors but a perfect choice for the season leading up to Christmas! The color gives off a nice a cozy vibe. Something you would want to curl up with a cup of tea or cocoa while you watch some movies.
- Metallics are an interesting a fun choice for the fall. Silver metallic boots are the rage this season and definitely add a fun little something to your outfit.It’s a good addition when you want a little bling but not look like you’re going to the Met Gala! Or you’re a tween who just discovered sequence!
- Retro Vibes
- Though Retro Items have been in style forever this season especially takes its nod to the retro styles. Things crop tops and high waisted jeans and shorts. This season many Aesthetically pleasing pictures on media contain a cropped top or sweater paired with high-waisted bottoms! I good way to keep casual but also show off what your mama gave you! I definitely love participating in this trend!
- Oversized tops/sweater
- One of my favorite trends in this fall that never goes out of style is a good oversized sweater! The versatility! You could wear it as a dress, with some shorts, jeans or leggings! The options, graphics, and styles what give it the classic go for cozy casual or cozy chic. It all depends on how you style it!
- I’m not saying you gotta go out and get the expensive velvet! There are plenty of velvet items you can get affordable! Like a pair of velvet booties (Which are very popular right now), You can find them for a good price if you look hard enough! If velvet boots aren’t your thing then maybe a velvet hat? I got a red velvet baseball hat from Forever 21 for 7 dollars! Whenever I wear it out I always get compliments. This trend is the fuzziest by far!
- This trend is always in but it really takes the cake during the season of Halloween and Thanksgiving! Shorter boots (known as Booties) are extremely popular, especially when they are sequined, suede, or a glossy leather look. As for the longer boots, thigh-high velvet boots are super popular right now, they give off and fun and glamorous vibe with just a hint of retro! Those boots are definitely on my wishlist to pick up ASAP!
Celebrating Your Son With Professional Portraits
As a Gilbert photographer and a mother of a fabulous son, I love taking professional portraits of boys! They keep me on my toes, have a very different attitude than girls, and don’t hate professional pictures nearly as much as they’d like you to believe! Bonus: Moms LOVE pictures of their boys!!! We all know how fast they grow, and that transformation from boy to man seems to happen overnight. At 10, they’re still little boys. The next few years bring a lot of changes, physically and emotionally, which is why it is so important to capture these years! Yes, the best camera you have is always the one you have at the time. So yes, your phone is perfect for those every day photos including concerts, games, and other events. Professional photos though, will capture that inner essence of your son, that little boy that has tugged at your heartstrings all these years, that young man who is becoming much more helpful these days and doesn’t even roll his eyes when you ask for help, and your son…as he eventually becomes taller than you. Let’s make this all about him! His likes, his style, his personality. Believe it or not, It’s also a great way to connect with your teens!
Age 13: He still has such a sweet baby face.
At 13 years old, my son hadn’t hit his growth spurt and while some of his friends were nearing 5’8-5’10”, Trevor was still shorter than me and still looked like a boy. He didn’t have a teenage attitude and as much as I’d heard horror stories of the teenage years, we still hadn’t had any issues. I can actually hear his laugh just looking at this picture, which is something any mom would treasure.
Age 14: The growth spurt.
By the time he turned 14, he hadn’t changed a whole lot but I knew it was coming. I remember this photo shoot since again, I made this all about him…and in return I got a cooperative 14 year old and some amazing memories! He suggested we include his Transformers hat that he just got, and I let him wear his typical jean shorts and t-shirts. Since I prefer not to have big logos or characters for most portraits, I simply grabbed a couple of soft t-shirts from Target and he was fine with that.
Sure enough, 6 months later when we had our own family pictures taken, he was in fact taller than me! That will never change. My little boy will now always be taller than me, and it is kind of a shock. We don’t have a lot of boys in our family, so raising one of my own has been very different! I always knew it would happen but it was still a shock! Just a few months earlier he was a 1/2″ shorter than me! I have many families that want to wait until the braces come off. Braces aren’t a big deal to me though. I actually have huge portraits on my walls during these years, even with the braces. After all, that is part of who they are!
Age 15: He’s becoming a young man.
At 15, he was now at the end of his freshman year of high school, and it showed! His baby face was gone and he was turning into a young man. Before this photo shoot, I even took him to get his hair done hoping it would stay. I never realized how much he cared, but that was a really smart idea. Everyone always takes the girls to the salon, but having your son’s hair styled doesn’t take long and really does help it stay!
Age 16: Where did my little boy go?
Then 16 happened and it was like someone hit me over the head with a brick!!! The braces were off and his confidence was on the rise. My once sweet little boy with the face of an angel, still has a heart of gold and will do anything to help me, but both his looks and his actions have matured considerably! So you can see in just 3 short years he has changed and grown so much! I honestly can’t imagine having only a toddler and preschool pictures, and then not having professional portraits taken until his senior pictures!
Not only does it let him know how much I love him, it gives us some great one-on-one time to talk and for me to remind him how much I love him. I get to gush over him, take him to dinner, and just enjoy spending some alone time with him. I know all too soon he’ll be off to college!
These images remind me of all the wonderful things I love about raising a boy and are an important reminder not to miss out on those in between years. We all have tons of pictures of our babies and all the milestones, and then just some not-so-great school pictures, then before you know it, it is time for senior portraits! So always be sure to remember those wonderful childhood years, tween attitudes, and amazing teen years too!
Fun Date Ideas for Teens
High school is such a fun time to meet new people and go on some fun dates! When I was in high school, I mainly went on group dates which was a great way to get to know someone without the pressure of it just being just you and your date. Whether you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, or maybe you just like to date around to get to know people, here are six fun date ideas!
This one is so fun! The idea is to do this with a group of other dates. It could be with one other couple or multiple other couples. Someone prints out a list of items and/or tasks you have to do with your date (when I did this, we did this at a mall, but you could also go to a park or neighborhood) and set a time limit of an hour or so. You have to go around with your date and check off as many things on the list as you can, making sure you take a picture with you two in the picture. Bonus points for coming back with items like a business card or a sample of chocolate! At the end, get together with all the dates, and see how many items you got checked off the list and laugh at the funny pictures! Another fun idea is to bring a small item like a toy doll or dinosaur and make it a rule that the item has to be in all the pictures. (Here’s a website for some more ideas: http://scavenger-hunt.org/20-photo-scavenger-hunt-ideas/)
Another fun group date idea is to have a progressive dinner. This is how it works: each couple has to make a certain dish for dinner at one of their houses. For example, one date might make an appetizer, another date makes the main dish, and another date makes dessert. Each couple makes the food at one of their houses, and when everyone is done, they go to each house to eat each course. This is a fun way to bond and get to know your date, and then eat some yummy food! What’s better than that?
Here in Arizona, being able to swim or hot tub is a year-round possibility. One idea when it’s hot outside is to have a swim party. Whether it’s just you and your significant other or a group of other dates, grab your suits and bring some snacks and swim! This is a fun idea to just talk with your date, get to know them, and have some fun outside.
On the contrary, another fun idea is to go ice skating. Most cities have an indoor ice skating rink, or if you live in a cooler climate you could find an outdoor rink. Grab your coats, scarves, gloves, and several pairs of socks and have some fun at the rink! Once you get in the groove of skating, you could try having a race with your date or another couple on who can get around the rink the fastest. This is a fun idea because not only do you get some exercise, but if you’re lucky, some hand-holding action may be in order. 😉
A fun activity you may do with friends could be even more fun with a date! Grab some makeup and a blindfold of some sort and do blindfolded makeovers. One person puts the blindfold on, and has to feel around for the makeup and put it on their date’s face! Try to do fun things like winged eyeliner, a perfect contour, or master lip liner. Bonus points for posting before-and-after pictures on social media!
Finally, this cute idea will fill your hearts with joy! Channel your inner child and make a fort in the living room with your date or with a group of dates. While making the fort, maybe you want to talk about some of your favorite
Disney movies are always a good choice!
childhood memories and get to know your date that way. Make the fort good- add a bunch of blankets and pillows to make it cozy. Pop some popcorn, bring some candy, and watch a fun movie with your date!
Dating can be so fun, and a great way to get to know someone. Whether single dating is your thing, or you’re more comfortable with group dates, I hope these ideas gave you some inspiration for your next date!
Looking for a good show to binge on Netflix? Check some of these out!
Ah yes, the instant classic everyone loves! It’s always my go to when I want to binge a good classic. Friends ran from September of 1994 to May of 2004, almost exactly ten years! It’s a fun 90s sitcom that revolves around a group of 6 friends and the adventures (sometimes drama-filled) they go through in life. Not only is it extremely funny, it’s also got deep moments that make you happy for the friends you have (that are basically family). Also, who doesn’t love looking back at the fashion, makeup, and hairstyles that were all the rage in the nineties! It’s got 10 seasons and around 20 episodes each season, perfect for those weekends you don’t want to leave the bed … or the couch! This show is a nostalgic gold mine!
Personally, I’ve binged this show more than I can say! In fact, I’ve got it on right now! Leverage is definitely one of those shows that were gone too soon. It ran from December of 2008 to December of 2012. Leverage is a show about a gang of thieves who turn into good guys and take down corporate villains to help out the citizens they wronged. Every cast member has a specific role to play: a mastermind, a hitter (the muscle), a hacker, a grifter (professional liar), and a professional thief! The show has 5 seasons and each season has around 15 episodes. The show itself is full of excitement, action, and heartfelt moments. I definitely recommend this show it’s witty, exciting and very feel good!
The Good Place
This show is adorable and funny! It’s got some of my favorite actors in it too! This show started just last year and is now starting its second season. It’s centered around a girl (Eleanor) who dies and is accidentally placed in heaven, or as this show calls it “The Good Place”. The show has 13 episodes in this season, it shows what happens when someone is misplaced by the crazy things that happen there. Throughout the first season, Eleanor tries to become a good person to stop the horrible and crazy things that are happening in “The Good Place”. The ending of the season has a crazy plot twist that will make you want to see what happens next! The show is cute, funny and adorable, they also make it appropriate for all ages to enjoy!
My mom is my best friend, which is why I love this show so much! I used to watch it with her all the time. It aired from October 2000 to May 2007. The show stars a single mom (Lorelai Gilmore) and her daughter (Rory Gilmore) and a host of other family and friends. The main idea of the show is about dealing with the changes of life being a single parent and a child of one. It’s a very female positive show with great witty writing and lots of heartfelt advice. It shows the changes women go through in life and how to overcome them. The show has 8 seasons and recently came back for a short ninth season! Each season has This show is a great feel-good series that really makes you happy for your and other friends and family you have. A great one to binge if you want to laugh, feel good, and cry (of happiness and sadness).
This show has everything! Crime, comedy, and love… The show itself is about a group of forensic anthropologist and an FBI agent that teams up with the anthropology to help solve cases. Aside from the usual crimes that happen in crime TV shows this one is different. From their unique and funny interns to the close friendships and relationships that blossom during the show; the main characters themselves are what make the show stand out. They’re all different in their own way and work seamlessly (most of the time) together to bring criminals to justice. The character development is astounding and fun to watch. The show ran from September of 2005 to January of 2017. They’ve got 12 seasons and each season has got around 10 to 20 episodes so there’s a lot to watch! Definitely a good one to binge!