An Extra $1000

Hi y’all,

Since I’m blogging every day in June, I wanted some of my posts to be about me so you can get to know the girl behind the blog. Today’s post is one of those: What would I do with $1000 extra dollars?

I did this post a while ago about what I’ve spent during a month in quarantine. That was such a fun post because it really helped me realize what I was spending money on. I have also realized that I don’t always stay in my budget. I actually was well beneath it in May; however, because I paid for school I technically wasn’t. I don’t factor in school to my normal budget because I only pay for it 3 times a year. I do factor in my $800 a month that I put in a separate account to make sure that I have that money. I also cannot create a concrete goal for my education savings in Mint (the app that I use to help with budgeting) because I do pay for it 3 times a year. I am going to attempt to do it by semester just to see how that works out, but we will see. I wish there was a way to have micro savings goals in the app.

I also really started thinking about this same question with the stimulus check came out for COVID-19. Obviously, most people got $1200. I put mine straight toward my housing fund because at the moment I don’t have rent or another bill to put it toward.

Well, I thought I would actually have a super concrete answer to this question. However, I don’t. I’ve been super focused on budgeting and staying within my budget (which is a pretty big deal for me). I essentially have a little over $800 a month that I can budget out for things besides my house fund and school. This obviously doesn’t leave me with a lot of extra spending money. However, I also normally have a second job that helps buffer that $800.

When I think about how I would best use $1000, reasonably, my brain tells me to put it toward my school fund. That means that I don’t have to be as aggressive in my savings per month.

I could also put it toward my house fund and give me some buffer months. My goal was originally December 2022, however, at my current rate I’ll reach my goal in September 2022. That is, as long as my current financial situation stays the same. I always try to save a few extra hundred dollars each month in this fund to help me reach my goal faster. I also know that when I’m not paying for grad school anymore, I’ll be able to put even more money toward that fund.

I don’t think I would put it toward spending money, just because my education and house fund are that important to me.

What would you do with $1000 extra dollars?



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PSA: Protect Your Skin

Hi y’all,

Happy Summer!

Now that it’s getting hotter (and more humid, thanks Virginia), which means it’s time to head out on the water. Public pools, lakes, etc. are closed in my area all summer thanks to the Coronavirus; however, rivers, lakes, and the ocean are all still open! It’s also harder to get in an indoor workout since so many gyms are closed if you struggle with motivation to workout at home.

One thing I bought last year that I’m so glad I did was a UPF swim shirt. I wore it multiple times while out fishing on the river and did not get sunburned on my arms, chest or back! I put on sunscreen all over before the river, but left the swim shirt on all day and it worked like a dream. I wasn’t hot either which I was expecting. I also bought a swim skirt that is adorable, practical, and covers more than the normal bikini bottom. For bikini tops, I purchased more high neck ones so they covered more skin there, too.

Now, my favorite sunscreen is Neutrogena Beach Defense (the one that comes in the yellow container). I wore it all last summer- including Field Day at school. 5/5 recommend.

BeachBum is more expensive, but I’ve heard really good things about their sunscreen. It is also environmentally friendly which is a huge plus.

If you do get sunburned, it is super important that you moisturize your skin after! Buy aloe and a good lotion to help ease the pain and help hydrate your skin. Be aggressive about it! I find that I get the best results when I put on aloe about 3 times a day, and use lotion twice a day.

I also break out the baseball hats every summer. My face is known for getting sunburned, so I try to add extra protection by wearing a hat.

Use self-tanner. I’m going to be trying out the Isle of Paradise tanning drops soon (they’re coming!), but I highly recommend staying out of the sun as much as possible. Laying out in the sun is horrible for your skin because we don’t apply sunscreen as much as we should. Stay away from tanning beds as well, The spray tan option is a better alternative if you need a quick fix.

Overall, the best way to protect your skin is to stay out of the sun; obviously we all want to do outside activities, but we need to be safe and protect our skin!



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grad school, lifestyle

How to Finish Grad School Debt Free

Hi y’all,

A millennial that is debt free? No way! Or wait, yes way!

As we’ve all noticed, the stock market, job market, and overall finances are not the most stable. However, I want you all to know that you can go to grad school debt free!

If you’ve heard the statement “don’t go to grad school unless it’s paid for” you are obviously in a traditional science field. Most grad students rarely receive 100% funding by the university or some other federal or state program. For instance, education students rarely get free money (aka grants and scholarships).

I am very fortunate. I am 100% debt free at this point in my life. For undergrad I was gifted a Virginia 529 plan, so my in-state public school tuition was paid for. My parents graciously paid for housing. I also had a stipend every semester for the President’s Leadership Program at my university. However, for grad school I am on my own as far as paying for it.

UVA offers an educator’s discount, which I am eligible for, and that is currently my only form of “financial aid”. Instead of taking out loans, I save a minimum of $800 a month out of every paycheck. It costs me about $2400 just in tuition and fees each semester (or $1200 per class-I take two classes each term). By splitting it up into $800 increments I’m able to take a reasonable amount of money out of each month’s paycheck.

Now, there is the option to potentially receive work study (be a TA or some other university provided job), receive a variety of grants, and scholarships. Grants and scholarships are money you do not have to pay back; however, you may have to pay taxes on them. Federal grants and work study eligibility are based on income through your FAFSA report. By the time you’re in grad school, your parents’ income does not affect you! You are filing your taxes as an individual instead of a dependent. Now, if you have any stocks, rental properties, etc. that are yours, you still have to claims those on your FAFSA and will end up affecting you.

If you are a member of a sorority, check within your individual sorority, your individual sorority’s local alumnae chapter, and a local panhellenic or pan-hellenic alumnae associations to find out if they offer scholarships. These might be hard to come by, so do not count on this as guaranteed money until you have received notification that you are the recipient.

You can also check to see if your department at your university offers scholarships that are application based and do not come based on information from the FAFSA. This is when it helps to have a great relationship with some of the professors in the department because they will be able to help as mentors for you during the application process.

If you’re in education, you might qualify for the TEACH grant. This is essentially a grant that pays off your student loans. You must be teaching in a low-economic or some other “disadvantaged” school. There are other qualifications like your class ranking from high school, and SAT/ACT score.

What are you in/planning on going to grad school for?  Let me know in the comments and we can chat!



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Weekly Catch Up 6.6.20 + Erin McDermott Jewelry Haul

Happy first week of June!

This past week, I started reading for one of my summer classes (Children’s Lit), cleaned out my bathroom, and did a lot of workouts.

Workouts This Week

This week my friend, Lili, and I decided to do Morning Meltdown 100, so we’ve done workouts 1-4, and #5 is today’s. I’ve also been taking daily walks (sometimes two depending on how hot it is).

Blog Posts this week

My 5 Year Plan

Book Delivery

Fitness Update

My opinion on the future of the Bachelor Franchise

Must Have Skin Care Products


Items from Erin McDermott’s Sample Sale. If you saw this vlog you know that I love Erin’s jewelry options. She does a few sample sales throughout the year, and I was so excited for this one, I even ended up buying something that I normally wouldn’t! This is what I purchased from her sale:

Aurora Bracelet

Erin McDermott’s Aurora Bracelet in Gold.

Love Knot Studs (in silver)

Erin McDermott’s Love Knot Stud earrings in Silver

Kelsey Headband (link not available)

Erin McDermott’s Kelsey Headband in White (woven headband).

Cream Resin Hairclip (link not available)

Erin McDermott’s white resin hairclip

Anna June Necklace

Erin McDermott’s Anna June Necklace in blue, cream, pink and gold.

The Anna June necklace is a definition reach for me. Erin kept wearing it on her instagram stories the day before the sale, and I knew I needed it. The blue/green beads are more of a pale blue on mine. Erin encourages playing around with jewelry so I’m excited to wear this one and step out of my comfort zone.

I am also totally willing to mix and match metals. I went ahead and paired the Aurora Bracelet with my apple watch that’s silver so y’all could see what it would look like with different metals.

Upcoming This Week

I have some introductory things to do for my Summer term classes, and I’m continuing to read for them before classes really start the week after. I also plan on donating some unused items I found in my bathroom to the local Shelter for Help in Emergency.

What did y’all do this week?



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Favorite Skincare Products

Hi y’all,

With everyone wearing masks, it’s time to talk about skincare. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but your face has probably been breaking out recently. We’re all under added stress, are wearing face masks out in public. Masks that you are reusing need to be washed frequently (like after every wash) but that isn’t always realistic. This leads to an increase in bacteria and…acne.

I found Tula skincare a while ago, and love it. This is not sponsored in any way, they don’t even know I’m writing this post. I love it. Like, I don’t think I’ll ever try another brand. For the most part, it’s pretty affordable because each container lasts forever!

I just got some new products in, and I’m going to share them but I won’t review the new ones since I haven’t had time to try them out for an extended period of time.

New products

The Goodbye Breakouts Level 2 Acne-Fighting Kit: “Our best-selling acne gel just got two new best firneds. When used together, these targeted products help fight and prevent acne, clam the appearance of redness and irritation, and fade the look of past blemish marks. Effective yet gentle and fragrance-free, this kit leave skin looking healthy and glowing. Made for: those looking for major, acne-fighting power”


Keep it clear acne foam cleanser (6.3 fl oz)

Clear it up acne clearing & tone correcting gel (1 oz)

Go away acne spot treatment (0.5 fl oz).

Face Filter Blurring & Moisturizing Primer: “This blurring & moisturizing primer instantly smooths the look of uneven skin tone & redness for a “filter” like finish. Probiotics & superfoods like licorice & chia seeds help balance & nourish skin. As you blend this buildable formula, it releases its special skin-blurring properties or “glow particles” that create the look of sun-kissed, radiant skin tone (watch it happen HERE). Non-comedogenic formula won’t clog pores.”

Tried and True

Rose Glow & Get it Cooling and Brightening Eye Balm: “Our best-selling Eye Balm, now with even more glow-enhancing ingredients. Made with the same probiotics + superfoods you love in our original Eye Balm (think: caffeine, aloe, blueberry & hyaluronic acid), plus the addition of rosehip oil (a plant-based retinol alternative) & hydrating rosewater so you feel instantly energized, awake & ready to glow.

My thoughts: LOVE this. My eyes look so much brighter and I look so much more awake compared to when I don’t use this product.

Purifying Face Cleanser: “a refreshing probiotic gel cleanser that goes deep into pores to remove impurities. Probiotics + superfoods help condition skin without stripping or over-drying”

My thoughts: top notch product. My face always feels so soft after I use this.

*unavailable* Aqua Infusion Oil-Free Gel Cream

Similar to What I Have

Detox in a Jar Exfoliating Treatment Mask: “this clay-based mask gently exfoliates and detoxes, leaving skin noticeably smoother. Antioxidant-rich blueberry extract hydrates and promotes even skin toe”

*I actually have something called “Exfoliating Treatment Mask” but that doesn’t appear on the site under that name so I’m assuming this is the closest thing to what I actually own.

Get Toned Pro-Glycolic 10% Resurfacing Toner: “this alcohol-free glycolic acid toner uses probiotics and beetroot extract to gently exfoliate the skin, leaving it looking smooth, hydrated and more even”.

*I have the original toner they put out, and the original acne fighting toner.



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*disclaimer: all descriptions were taken from


My Thoughts: The Bachelor Franchise

Hi y’all,

As we all know, Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelorette aren’t filming right now. As we saw with Peter’s season, I didn’t like most of the girls. I felt like a lot of the girls were too young or immature for him.

Now, I have not been watching The Bachelor franchise very long. I’ve watched Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, andPeter’s season of The Bachelor.

I did some recaps of Peter’s season, but ended up stopping about halfway through his season. Why? I legitimately couldn’t stand the girls. Sure, I think some of them are great; but it was obvious how many of them did not care about being with Peter. Instead, they were obviously on the show for getting instafamous.

Honestly, that is one of the major issues I have with the franchise. The purpose of the show is to find your forever, not the person for the next 6 months of your life (or less) just to get sponsorships and endorsements. I understand that you spend 8 weeks on the show and you are eliminated people every week. I get that it’s like a bubble, and not quite real world.

Obviously, the selection for Peter’s season was…not desired. These girls are at a different place in their lives than he is. I think they actual intention was to try to save the franchise a bit with picking Peter as the last bachelor, as he was older and more established (permanent job) compared to the younger contestants that have selected previously. Unfortunately, it backfired when they picked girls that were mostly in their early 20s.

Overall, the show is….fake.

The next thing that absolutely kills me: the over dramatization. I’m sorry, they’re clearly being baited the majority of the time. From Hannah’s season, Luke P obviously had some issues during the season. I don’t think that is who he totally is. I’m not saying that he’s better or worse (or that he wasn’t inappropriate), just that we didn’t get the meaning or context behind what he was saying. Apparently when you sign the contract to be on the show you grant ABC the right to call you for up to a year for appearances, etc., and they clearly took advantage of that with Hannah Brown. They had Hannah make appearances on BIP and Peter’s season just to add more drama. It was unnecessary! I would be so conflicted if I kept seeing the person who I had recently spent 4-8 weeks getting to know and making a connection with on the journey. Especially if that person was not with anyone else.

The people they are selecting as contestants are not the average person. The people they are picking are what society has decided are model worthy people. At the end of the day, I can’t see myself as one of them. They end up not being relatable on the tv show. While having good looking people on tv isn’t a bad thing, they aren’t the “normal person next door”.

I think that having the contestants partake in competitions like the magazine shoot, and the Revolve fashion show were also in poor taste. We already know these people are good looking, we don’t need to throw in a model competition. Why are they even trying to win anything? This should be a chance to get to know the lead.

On top of that, the dates aren’t super relatable. Some of the dates could be. Like sightseeing around a new city, just not on horseback. I also don’t know many people who charter a yacht, they might take their own boat out for a date.

Can the franchise change to the point where I would watch it again? I’m not entirely sure. I think that the entire franchise has gotten to the point where everyone who signs up (unless they’re signed up by someone else) has the thoughts of the money, instafame, and everything else that comes after the show.

I think picking Clare as the next Bachelorette (whenever that gets underway) is a nice attempt, but even though a lot of the men originally cast were younger than Clare and aren’t in the same place in their life. I also think that it’s too late. Newer watchers are not familiar with Clare, which makes the buy in a little more difficult for some people. I know bits and pieces of Juan Pablo’s season, but really the only thing I hear is that he was a jerk on the show and I’ve never heard anything about the contestants.

Overall, I don’t even really think it matters who they pick as future leads and contestants, I don’t think I’ll be watching anymore. I can’t convince myself that it’s worth the time when it’s just so unrealistic.



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Fitness, lifestyle

Fitness & Health Update

Hi y’all,

Fitness/health update is here! For those of you that don’t know I try to do some sort of physical activity every day. I crushed my apple watch goals in May. I achieved the May award, and closed my movement ring every day except 5 days of the whole month. One of those days I was 2 calories away from closing it.

Even though I’ve been pretty dedicated with working out. I did a few workouts from 80 Day Obsession, 2 weeks of Barre Blend (both from Beachbody), and I just started Morning Meltdown with my friend, Lili. We’re doing this program together so hopefully we will complete it! Disclaimer: Not a Beachbody coach, I just like the workouts.

I’ve talked about working out in vlogs and this post and here. It’s definitely something I’m putting as a higher priority in my life this summer, as I am focusing on Grad School, without anything else to do until my retail job opens back up.

I can now walk for about 30 minutes straight without being totally out of energy. I’m going to try walking earlier in the day so the Virginia humidity doesn’t make me feel horrible. Where I walk it’s constantly a HIIT workout because there are hills. I also noticed when doing Beachbody workouts I feel like I can do two-a-days without completely dying. I definitely did several two-a-days when I did Barre Blend. 80 Day Obsession workouts are longer (about 45 minutes to an hour each) so I never experimented with those.

Now comes the shocker: absolutely zero results. Nothing has changed.

I realized though that I haven’t been doing certain things. I take two different daily supplements to help with bloating and some other digestive issues I have, and I realized I haven’t been consistently taking them. I also realized that I am pretty much living in a constant state of dehydration. Even though I always have water with me, I rarely-if ever- drink enough water to actually be hydrated.

This month, I’m focusing on staying consistent with workouts and drinking water, along with taking my supplements every day.

What goals do you have for your health and fitness?



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Tips to Finding Happiness

Hi y’all,

If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know I constantly have an ARF (Angry Resting Face). It’s also no secret that upper elementary, middle, and high school were not great times for me. I went to college where hardly anyone from my hometown went to school (and like 5 people including myself from my own high school). I did this on purpose.

I know that I’m very fortunate to have two loving and supportive parents, a pretty good family, a great job, and so much more.

All of that doesn’t guarantee a person happiness, though. Something I’ve noticed about myself in quarantine is that I actually feel happiness. I know this past school year I’ve felt more continuously happy.

Tips to finding happiness

I do not believe there is a 100% foolproof method to become happy. Everyone has their own chemical (aka hormonal) makeup, thus one formula is impossible. However, these are the things that I’ve found that help me find and stay happy.

  1. Be passionate about what you do on a daily basis. If you don’t like your jobs or your hobby is causing you stress-figure out what is stressful about it, and change it. This year, I got to spend the year teaching Language Arts and Social Studies, two things I’m passionate about. I also started blogging more, and was accepted and started my grad program. Yes, do I do a lot of things that take up time. The key is these things bring me happiness.
  2. Surround yourself with people who love you for you. I don’t play the game of being a fake friend. If I’m in your life it is because I genuinely care about you. I will never be the person who has 50 friends and I’m okay with that because the people I am friends with I dedicate so much more to.
  3. Set attainable goals. For a while, I was setting goals that while attainable, I was not really in control of them. Did I want to be accepted to grad school? Yes. However, I can put the best application before the committee and might not have gotten in. I had no control over what the committee was looking for. What if they had too many applicants for that semester? I’m focused on the goals I control.Tips to finding happiness (1)
  4. Self-care. This one is probably the hardest for me because I do so much all the time. However, by giving myself even 5 minutes a day, I noticed a huge change. I will listen to podcasts in the afternoon coming home from school, I found cycle classes to be enjoyable and started going to them regularly.
  5. Being authentic. I did a whole post about how influencers seem to be upping their unauthentic game. Everything I’ve been doing, whether it is school related, blog related, friendship related, or something else I am being 100% me. Have I also been authentic? Yes. Am I doing more unapologetically now? Yes.



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A Month of Spending | Quarantine

Hi y’all,

I’m sure like everyone else, my town has been relatively shut down for the past months (since March 13th).

I thought it would be fun and interesting to see what I spend in a month when I really wasn’t going anywhere. I pulled up all of my credit card statements (I don’t use cash ever) and took a look. Keep in mind I’m a teacher and in grad school, so my priority is saving money right now.

A Month of Spending in Quarentine

I’m going to try and organize this by date and since I’m doing a month, I figured I’d do it April 18-May 18th.

4/26-Kendra Scott     $82.55 (this is one of their sterling silver bracelets. On sale)

4/28 Hulu + Disney+ $12.99

4/29-Raising Cane’s $9.22 (lunch)

4/29 Loft  $91.24 (clothes)

5/10- Timberlake Pharmacy $5.84 (milkshake)

5/12-Apple $3.99 (book)

5/12- UVA $2400.00 (Summer Semester)

5/15 Lilly Pulitzer $192.07 (this was the date it was posted)

5/15 Erin McDermott Jewelry 44.76

Grand total: $2797.90 (without UVA tuition payment- $442.66)

Obviously, I’m not really driving anywhere so I didn’t have to buy gas this past month. I normally buy gas every week when teaching. Also, I only pay for 3 semesters a year at UVA so I actually break it down and put $800 toward school every month, so I did not really take $2400 out of one monthly paycheck. My UVA semester doesn’t even start until June 8th, but payment was due by the 18th so I made sure it was in early.

I’ve been working recently on saving money, so I wanted to share with you what this looked like.

Do y’all find yourselves saving more since Quarantine/Social Distancing started?



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Weekly Catch Up 5.16

Hi y’all,

I was thinking of ways that I could create a series and make sure y’all got to see some everyday life. This led me to the Weekly Catch Up. It’s essentially a coffee date, but I don’t drink coffee so I wanted it to be a little more realistic to my authentic life.

love and joy

This week I created my last assignments of the 2019-2020 school year! Wooo. I’m definitely going to miss this group of kids, but I still have them next week for two more read alouds and their virtual promotion ceremony. I’ll also get to see some when do belonging pick up (hopefully in June but could be later in the summer!). I also got to chat with one of my former teachers about something for the next school year. When I was in 6th grade we did Writing Workshop and I want to implement it in my classroom next year during our Writing block. Obviously, we don’t quite know what next year will look like yet (if it will be virtual or not) but I want to be prepared no matter what it will look like. Once I get the hang of Writing Workshop, I will definitely do an update post and let y’all know how it’s going.


I filmed a video going up on Tuesday! Y’all I can’t tell you how much I dislike my internet. It took 22 hours to upload the video and it’s only 12 minutes long. I guess most YouTubers have fiber internet where it’s super fast or live in major cities where they have max speed internet. Mine is horrible though.

I wrote out some blog posts:

Mother’s Day

Blogging Accounts You Need to Have

How Influencing Needs to Change

101 in 1001 List

and I also planned my June blog posts. As of right now, all I can say is June is going to have a lot of content going live!

I also went on more walks and started the process of cleaning my room. This has been super nice!

I also started the alumnae association for my sorority in my area. I’m so excited and I was elected as the President! I know it will be a lot of work, but this is something I’m so passionate about because sisterhood is not four years, but for life!

What have y’all be up to? Let’s chat!



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