fall essentials

fall is finally here! that means it's time for spiced pumpkin lattes, crunching leaves beneath your boots, watching the early sunset bleed brilliant colors over the newly grown crimson treetops, and more importantly, a newfound sense of direction. school has begun again (sigh) but the influx of work has kind of been balanced out by daily starbucks runs, the we bought a zoo soundtrack on repeat during study hours, and basically just having a good time with both old (maria...) and new friends on the weekends. along with the autumn breeze came a reason to try and buy new things that would kind of push me along through the workload and upcoming midterms (basically so i wouldn't go crazy and lose my mind). so i've decided to share them with you guys!

1. Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes with White Tea ($5.99 at Walgreens or Target)
these wipes are really great for those nights when you're too tired to do through an entire face-cleansing ritual in the bathroom, and just need a quick wipe-down to get rid of make-up and any oily buildup from your day. they smell like actual heaven and they feel much more refreshing than using liquid make-up removers. it is important to remove your make-up every single night, and since some people are too lazy to actually go wash their face, this is the easiest solution i've come across!

2. Tube scarves ($12.95 from H&M)
fall nights can be really harsh especially when you're not prepared. these h&m tube scarves are super soft, easy to wear with any outfit, and i think they're very affordable (speaking as a broke college student). i love them so much that i bought them in two different colors!

3. 14,000 Things to Be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer ($10.98)
i bought this book on a whim during one of my first nights of college, and i am actually in love with it. i decided to get it mainly because i thought it'd be a nice pick-me-up for any bouts of homesickness (although there haven't actually been any of those yet) or when the stress of school finally hits me (probably around midterms/finals week, i assume). although there hasn't been a time where i've needed it, i've found that it's a precious way to end long days and remain positive about life.

4. All The Little Lights by Passenger ($7.99 on iTunes)
so maria and i went to see ed sheeran on september 19th and it was literally the most wonderful night of my life. like i just wish i could relive that concert over and over again because ed was such an incredible performer and i want to hug him because he makes me so happy (get him album + on iTunes for $9.99 you won't regret it, i swear). anyway, one of his opening acts was a british man named mike rosenberg (passenger), and he was so cute with one of the most unique voices i've ever heard. he just stood up there with a guitar and his voice and i'm pretty sure i fell in love?? and when maria and i met him after the show, we got a picture, but it started as a video at first and he was like "don't worry about it, we'll do it again!" and awhhh child merp but yeah his music is really pretty and reminds me of the autumn time so you guys should all listen to it forever...

5. Bamboo Sweater Cuff Lace Up Ankle Bootie ($28.90 on Urbanog)
the actual shoes i got are not pictured because i got them at a little shop on newbury st called bobbles & lace for $50 but they're on the site up there for only $28.90 (just my luck lol) plus! that site has a bunch of other great boots for really cheap that are wonderful for fall. boots like these over skinny jeans or leggings or tights are easy to wear in the morning, comfortable to walk long distances in, and they keep you warm when the weather gets a bit more chilly. i honestly think it's worth your time to invest in some, because you will thank the gods when fall suddenly hits and you have nice sweater-cuff boots to keep your shivering ankles warm.

6. SWEATERS! SWEATERS! SWEATERS! (prices varies on H&M)
this is the most obvious fall staple but i do have to specifically recommend h&m sweaters to you all. mainly because they are so affordable and so comfortable but also because they are perfect for wearing to far-away classes, at the study lounge, in the dining hall, anywhere basically. and remember: cardigans are your absolute best friend in the fall. best way to keep wearing your summer tanks/camis when the colder weather hits :-)

maria actually showed this planner to me first (thanks girl) and it has been the biggest blessing in my college life. it's so easy to organize daily schedules, write nice to-do lists, memos, and it looks really cute and compact. i'm actually buying some washi tape from etsy to use in the planner, y'know, to make it look a little more precious. so yeah, get one, you'll become 1,000,000x more productive!

so i hope you guys go out and get some of these things to get you through the blistery months ahead! i would also recommend getting many packages of pepperidge farm's soft-baked montauk milk chocolate cookies because they are fucking delicious.

♥ pratibha 


an encounter

from tuesday through thursday i slept in a retreat house with all these amazing people you see here. we laughed, cried, played games, shared stories, and encountered Christ together. it was seriously one of the best experiences of my life. it feels so good to know that i'm not alone and to finally be at peace with myself. i've realized that there are some things in life that are out of my control, and that I just need to have a little faith that everything will work out the way it needs to. even if you're not religious, i strongly recommend going on a retreat at least once in your life. it's an amazing way to just forget about all your problems in the real world, connect with others, and find peace within yourself. i've been all about positivity lately, and this retreat was truly a confirmation of what i've been thinking these past few weeks. i've realized that even though it may hurt to remove aspects of my life that have been with me for a long time, it's worth it in the end if it gets me one step closer to attaining peace and happiness within myself. this encounter came at the best time for me, and i'm so glad i was able to get the most out of the experience. i've never been happier. 

i hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 
♥ alex


being a senior

hello everybody! friday night was my school's back to school
dance, and i think it was one of the funnest nights of my life. i hadn't really felt like a senior until that night. my class is known
for having poor school spirit, so the teachers and administration favor the juniors over us. we decided to get together as a class friday night and prove them wrong. we all made shirts like the
one you see here and went to the dance and had an amazing time together. at one point we danced in a huge circle to "we are young" and it was such a nice moment to be a part of.

i truly feel like a senior now. before friday night it just felt like senior year was a continuation of junior year. i have pretty much the same workload, the same people in my classes, some of the same teachers, and the same feelings of stress and "oh-my-god-i-can't-do-this-anymore." but friday made me feel proud to be in my senior class, and i'm so proud of everyone that came to the dance because it was such an amazing display of class unity.

friday night also made me realize who and what was truly important in my life. i've been surrounding myself with negativity for so long i forgot how great it felt to just have a good,
wholesome time with good friends and good music. i'm definitely going to try and live a more positive life now with the people that matter most to me, and i won't let school or others bring me
down like they used to. it's crazy how much can change in a day.

♥ alex


pumpkin snickerdoodles!

what's warm and chewy and tastes just like fall?

these cookies.

i wanted to bake something with pumpkin since it's just starting to get chilly around here and i couldn't think of a better way to welcome the changing seasons than with baked goods!

i used this recipe from annie's eats with some slight modifications (we melted the butter, switched the ratios of granulated and brown sugar, and added an extra egg yolk) to make them extra chewy, and they turned out SO well. i will seriously have to restrain myself from eating them all so my friends can get a chance to experience the deliciousness.

we didn't even start baking until almost midnight, but my dorm just installed TVs in all of our kitchens so we stayed entertained by watching the mummy returns and judging its special effects. twas a precious night in. :)

i hope you're all having a lovely beginning of autumn full of yummy pumpkin-y noms!

♥ maria 


tips for the incoming college freshman

so college life has finally arrived for me! these past two weeks (it doesn't even seem like that long since i've been in boston wow) have been so incredibly crazy but also very very exciting and although i always feel tired, i wouldn't never want to go back home to my old life for anything. i mean, i've never been away from my family for this long so i don't really know how i'm supposed to feel, but as bad as it may seem, i don't think i've been feeling homesick at all. which is good, i guess (not to be sad) but it's still a little strange for me to be this okay with leaving. i just love boston so much because of how friendly and welcoming the people are and how many things there are to do here. everyday honestly just reaffirms how happy i am to have made the decision to come to this university and i feel so lucky to just be here.

onto the college life...i met both my roommates as soon as i moved in which was great because it gave us a lot of time to bond before we actually had to get to classes (pictured on the right: emilie and abby are two very precious peaches and i don't think i could have gotten two better roomies tbh). we all took part in this week-long volunteering program called fysop (abby and i were in homeless and housing together) and it was very cute because each group had three leaders who were also like…our mentors to the way of college...yup so we just volunteered around at homeless shelters, project 8 housing, and donation centers for children, and basically got to know some other freshman and make friends before we were thrown into the confusion of classes and work. the past two weeks have kind of been a whirlwind of failed frat parties, successful frat parties, a childish gambino concert, a series of math classes, reading the brief wondrous life of oscar wao (which, by the way, is a great book and you should all read it...), meeting up with maria, and meeting tons of lovely human beings. it’s taken some time for me to get adjusted to it all so i definitely don’t think i know everything yet but i thought i would make a short list of tips for you to follow in case you’re in the same messy freshman situation as i am J

  • people are very very very friendly and nice to you, so now is not the time to be a cynical human being! be friendly back.  i was very closed off whenever i moved to new schools and states, first in the 8th grade to atlanta and then again in the 11th grade to wisconsin. those were definitely mistakes i learned from this time around. so don’t close yourself off, especially at the very beginning. if you are a very introverted person naturally, try and make time for both quiet time and socializing time. i’m not asking you to go a frat party every night or even at all! but maybe just watching a tv show/movie with somebody new or grabbing a meal at the dining hall could be the start of a beautiful friendship 
  • give everybody a chance. i must admit that when i first saw my roommate emilie on facebook and talked to her for awhile, i thought she was going to be somebody who partied a lot and who wouldn’t talk to me but it turns out that she’s actually super friendly and inclusive and has a goofy side to her that not many people know about (also, she is a hilarious drunk so…)
  • make an effort to get along with your roommates. it’s important that you guys are good friends if you’re going to be living together for a year! take a roommate outing to a movie or a restaurant (we’ve eaten many meals in the dining hall together/gone to a couple of frat parties/went shopping on newbury street). it’s just a good way to get to know each other outside of your room. and i love my roommates so much like honestly i don't know how i got so lucky!
  •  try new things. i was wary about getting involved with new and unfamiliar clubs but you quickly get over that fear when you realize just how many things there are to do! and just how people don’t give a fuck about if you do them or not. boston is such an open place for opinions, ideas, expression, and opportunity.
  • have fuuun! school is definitely very important so i suggest scheduling specific hours for studying each night just to make sure you actually work and that you don’t get caught up in the sometimes overwhelming social aspect of college. but you should also make time for new friends. hanging out in your room 24/7 might not be the best way to have an enjoyable four years.
               ♥ pratibha

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