New Summer Series | Personal Growth

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Hello & welcome back!

People can change a lot over the summer. Some people grow taller, get a tan, dye their hair, get their ears pierced…there’s almost always some kind of physical change. (I’m praying to grow taller. It doesn’t seem to be working.) But people can also change a lot emotionally and mentally.

That’s my goal for the summer: positive personal growth. I’ve been working on becoming more confident and not caring about what others think. Well, today, I’m really excited to announce my new summer series: it’s all about personal growth! I’ll be doing posts on gaining confidence, loving yourself, and feeling good all the time! And so much more, of course. Obviously.

I really hope this series will be fun for all of you, and hopefully, it will be a way for us bloggers to become closer, since we’re all one big family! Remember, real queens fix each other’s crowns.

My hope for this series: at the end of every post, you will walk away feeling positive and inspired. I hope that this series will help you with personal growth, and that you will get something out of every post.

Give yourself a big hug right now. You are amazing, you are beautiful, you are strong. Thank you so much for reading, have a fantastic day, God Bless every single one of you!

Any thoughts on the series? What kinds of posts would you specifically like to see in the series?

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The “Dream” Life | Thoughts

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Hello & welcome back! I’m currently writing this post on vacation in Cape Cod. We just arrived here yesterday, and will be here for a week, so stay tuned for more posts on our vacation.

Today I just wanted to share some thoughts that I’ve been having lately. A few weeks ago, I was having a hard day, one of those days we all go through. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right, and I just kept feeling like I wasn’t good enough. I kept comparing myself to my friends, kept comparing myself to other bloggers, I just kept comparing myself to everything.

We all go through these days, so I’m certainly not special on this, but I think we can all agree that these kinds of days are completely awful.

I’ve always loved myself. Not in an egotistical way, but in a kind way. I’ve been raised to love the way I look and my personality, and not to compare myself to others. Because if we can’t love ourselves, how are we supposed to love others to our fullest ability? So, I don’t usually go through these kind of days, which is why this was so hard.

I was scrolling through Pinterest and looking at all the nice outfits people had, all the nice homes people had, all the vacations people were going on…it was just cluttering my mind. It was horrible. So I shut off the laptop and just tried to cheer myself up: working out, listing things I like about myself, etc.

And I found myself thinking: why am I comparing myself to others? Why am I wishing for the “dream” life?

And by the way, what is the dream life? Society tells us that if we have perfect hair, white teeth, beautiful clothing, a beautiful house, and a million other things, our lives will be perfect.

Late that evening, right after the sunset, I stood on my deck and looked out at the yard. A slight drizzle of warm summer rain was falling, crickets were chirping in the distance, and the air smelled like freshly cut grass and flowers.

And as I stood there, I realized this is the dream life. Not the life we see on Pinterest, but this. The dream life, in my opinion, is a life filled with happiness, adventure, and simple things. I don’t need perfect clothing and perfect hair and a perfect house to live the so called “dream” life.

Yesterday I was walking on the beach. The cold waves swept around my ankles, the wind whipped my hair,  and I couldn’t stop smiling. That’s the dream life: those small bursts of happiness. The simple things.

Moral of story: don’t focus on trying to look perfect. Focus on trying to feel perfect. Focus on being happy.

Thank you for reading & I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Have a fantastic day.

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How To Take The Perfect Instagram Photos | Guest Post

Hello & welcome back to another post! Today I have an awesome guest post for you from Taiya, a fellow teen blogger. I found her blog via Pinterest and I totally adore it! Make sure to give her a follow & leave a nice comment at the end of the post! Without further ado, let’s give the spotlight to Taiya…

A while ago, Abigail reached out to me to join my Teen Group Pinterest Board, and I checked out her blog and FELL IN LOVE! It was so refreshing and inspiring to find other teen lifestyle bloggers having great success and a wonderful following on her blog. After we emailed back and forth a few times she asked me to write a guest post for her and I couldn’t be happier to work with her and her wonderful amazing audience (that’s you!)

But before we dive right in, here is a little about me…

  • I live in a small town, Canada, and when I mean small, I mean small, trust me 😉
  • I have been blogging for about a year and a half now, and I couldn’t be happier with how much my blog has grown and changed for the better over these past few months!
  • I may have a slight obsession of shopping for clothes (but what teenage girl doesn’t, right?…)
  • I can never get enough chocolate, like seriously, I could live off chocolate if needed.
  • I love dancing but you’d never catch me in a ballet class; I’m more of a dance-in-the-kitchen-to-the-radio type of dancer if yah feel me.
  • And best of all…I just finished school for the summer! Yippee ☺
  • You can read more about me here.

Alright, enough about me, let’s get into the photography! In this guest post I am showing you my top tips and tricks on how to take better photos, and how to get those picture-perfect Instagram pics!

#1. Keep an Eye on The Background

When taking photos, you always want to be aware of what’s in the backdrop. A cluttered room or random people in the background could definitely ruin a good picture. If you are trying to take the perfect selfie in your bedroom, I recommend checking what’s in the shot behind you. Do you have some laundry on the floor (guilty), or could you close your closet doors so it’s less messy looking? (also, guilty) Whatever it is, try to keep your background nice, clean, and minimal.

#2. Natural Lighting

When taking photos, natural light is your best friend, I promise you. Artificial light usually looks “fake” on iPhone photos and destroys the quality. When taking blog photos in my room I always try to take them mid-afternoon when the sun is shining, open my blinds, and turn off the light. For me personally, natural light is always the best way to go for the best results.

#3. Try Out Different Angles

I don’t know about you, but photos with a unique angle is always wayyy cooler than a boring straight-on shot, especially for outfit photos. A shot from the left or right side always looks awesome. So, play around with it, try close in, far out, maybe from the left side, or right side. try it out and see what you like best for that particular shot. ☺

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#4. Act Natural

When posing for pictures, I know this sounds obvious, but act natural. Easier said than done, I know, but trust me when I say over-posed photos looks fake and staged. Try natural positions and remember to keep your shoulders relaxed. Using objects around you as props also helps. I love this picture not only because of the photos but the way she is effortlessly sitting on the steps in a natural pose.

#5. Take Advantage of Street Art

If you live in a city, street art is your best friend. Colorful walls on the side of buildings or pretty street art is not only trendy, but definitely Insta-worthy! Often when I’m walking around downtown in cities I see gorgeous walls that would be the perfect backdrop for an Insta pic, so grab a friend and take a couple shots! Here are some examples: 

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A post shared by Tara Michelle (@imtaramichelle) on

 #6. Use Filters, Sparingly

I’m all about those filters, but you definitely don’t want to go overboard. I use VSCO Cam (free app) to edit all my pictures and I LOVE their free filters. Now I would recommend avoiding those bright pink filters you used back in 2010, yeah, you know what I’m talking about, enough said, LOL. I prefer filters that are bright, crisp, and clean looking. I like to use A6, A4, and HB2 (from VSCO Cam). I will also sometimes veer off the filter path and just manually edit the photo myself. If I do that route, I usually adjust brightness, contrast, and saturation.

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#7. Take OOTD Shots From A Lower Angle

If you are going for that perfect OOTD Insta, ask your photographer to crouch down a little. If you are coming from a lower of an angle, it will elongate your legs and make you look taller 😉 And who doesn’t want that?

#8. Use The Rule Of Thirds

If you haven’t heard of the rule of thirds before, don’t worry! There are tons of helpful YouTube Videos on the rule of thirds for beginners. The rule of thirds is basically a photography trick that enhances your photos and makes them more appealing to the eye. You just line the subject of your photo on a “third” line to make an interesting shot. See the first photo below? Boringgg, it’s just a plain ol’ straight on shot. The second one, taken using a “third line”, is much more interesting to the eye.

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Well, girl. That’s it for this post, I really hope these tips and tricks helped you step up your photography game a little! It would mean the world to me if you popped on over to my blog and checked it out. Thanks a ton for reading, you rock ❤

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How To Always Have A Good Day

Okay, maybe always is a bit far-fetched. Naturally, there are always going to be things that we can’t control that make our day bad. But if you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, there’s always some things you can do to make your day better! So, in today’s post, I’m going to be sharing a few tips that I have found help me to have a good day.

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  1. Get sleep Obvious as it may be, you are more likely to have a better day if you wake up feeling refreshed and energized.
  2. Don’t get right on your phone If you grab your phone to check social media, you’ll probably end up spending an hour scrolling through Instagram. Instead, make your bed, wash your face, get some coffee, write out a to-do list…and when you’re all ready for the day, check your phone.
  3. Eat a healthy breakfast Again, I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes, but a healthy breakfast is so important to having a good day.
  4. Wear your favorite outfit It’s a fact: when you take the time to dress up, style your hair, and put on makeup, you probably feel better about yourself then wearing sweats and leaving your hair unwashed. There’s nothing wrong with a good old lazy day, but if you wear a nice outfit, you’re more likely to be productive, choose healthier meals, and feel good about yourself.
  5. Excercise If your day started off on the wrong foot, exercise! It will make you feel more energized and positive.
  6. Be productive I always like to write a mental list for myself of things I need to get done, and I spread it out throughout the day.
  7. Go somewhere Of course, a lazy day filled with Netflix is always fun, but there’s a whole world outside your door. You can watch Netflix later. Go outside, go to the mall, go to the park, go somewhere. Make new memories.
  8. Talk to your friends Whenever I text or email my friends, I almost always leave the conversation feeling more positive. A good friend lifts you up and makes you feel better, instead of leaving you feeling worse about yourself. If you are having a bad day, just talk to your friend, they are sure to lift your spirits.
  9. Pamper yourself At the end of a long, productive day, now it’s time to treat yourself. Turn on Netflix, paint your nails, put on a face mask, take a nice bath…self care is pretty awesome.
  10. Settle down for the evening. Put away your electronics and get ready to hit the hay. I like to write in my journal, read my Bible, and settle down with a book before going to bed.

There you have it! Thank you for reading, and I’ll catch you on the flip side.

Do you do any of these things? What helps you to have a great day?

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My Goal For Summer

Hello & welcome back to another post!

Well, summer is upon us! I was going for a walk around my backyard this morning, and as I was picking some flowers, an idea sparked for today’s post. I got rid of the post that was planned for today, snapped some pictures, and wrote this post. Today I’m going to be sharing with you my goal/mantra for this summer. Of course, I have a million goals: I want to be kinder, make more friends, etc, but I narrowed it down to one main goal.

Ready? Let’s get into the post.

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If I had to sum up last summer in one word, I would say discovery. Last summer, I really learned a lot about myself and my personality. I hope I will continue to learn things about myself as the summer goes on, but I have one main goal for this summer: Personal Growth.

I would love to grow my hair longer while we’re talking about growth…;) But that’s not the kind of growth I’m talking about!

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I want to grow in my interests and beliefs. I want to stop worrying about little things and just relax. I want to grow to be comfortable in my own skin. I want to grow my blog, and make it bigger and better.

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I want to grow and develop my friendships with others. I want to grow to be kinder, stronger, more positive. Though I’m already very emotionally strong (I don’t cry or get affected by things very often), I want to grow to be even more emotionally strong, so that what people think of me doesn’t matter.

I also want to grow in my faith. I want to be even closer to God and read the Bible twice a day. (I’m currently reading it once a day.)

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Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

Colossians 2:6-7


This was a quick post, but I hope you enjoyed. Thank you for reading! I hope that this summer will be a summer filled with growth for all of you. Have a fantastic day, catch ya on the flip side!

What is your main goal for this summer?

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May Wrap-Up + Favorites

May, where did you go? Is it just me, or was May a super quick month? Maybe it’s just me. It’s actually been a great month for me. School ended in the beginning of May for me, so I’ve just been getting ready for summer and hanging out with friends.

In terms of blogging, though, I’ve been failing. Oops. Aside from hitting the big 1K, I’ve only posted a few times, and I’m not very proud of the posts I put out. Luckily I have amazing stuff planned for June, I’m super excited, so stay tuned!

Anyway, into the post!

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My first favorite from this month is Revlon nail polish. I’ve really been enjoying putting aside time for myself to paint my nails and make them look pretty, and for almost every manicure, I’ve used Revlon. I did a review, if you’d like to check it out here’s the link.

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Next we have this adorable flower choker. I bought this in a set with other chokers, and I’ve been obsessed. I’ve worn a choker almost every day since I bought the set. I just love how chokers can make your outfit look more pulled together & chic! Here’s the link to my review on them.

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This bracelet was one of my presents from Christmas, and I’ve been wearing it so much this month. It’s actually hand made (I believe it’s from Africa if I’m remembering correctly), and it has so much personality. I always get a ton of compliments when I wear it. I love wearing this with a casual black dress and sandals.

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– Other Favorites –

-My favorite Netflix show from this month is Lost. I’ve been watching it like crazy. It has so many plot twists and turns that I never see coming, which is part of the fun.

-My favorite blog of this month is Natalie’s blog (www.natalievinh.com) I’ve seriously been checking her blog every day, her posts are so down to earth and super fun to read. If you haven’t followed her blog, go check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

-This entire month, I’ve been craving dried banana chips and eating them like crazy. I also can’t stop eating chocolate. The addiction is real, people.

-Since school is out and I have even more time to read, I’ve been gobbling up books like crazy and reading them in a day. I’m currently reading Dualed. I can’t tell if I like it so far…I’ll let you know when I finish.


Well, that’s a wrap folks. Thank you for reading, and I’ll catch you on the flip side! Have a splendid day.

What have you been loving this month?

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20 Things You May Not Know About Me

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Heyo & welcome back to another post! I hope you all had a fantastic Memorial Day.

So, I’ve been blogging for years, yet I feel like I still haven’t talked about myself very much. Or maybe I’ve been talking about myself too much. (Oops.) In today’s post, I’m going to be sharing 20 facts about me that you may not know, so you’ll get to know a little more about me.  A lot of bloggers do this and it seemed like a fun post, so here goes!

  1. I’m an actual human being with an actual life. Shocker huh?
  2. I’m Scottish! I live in America, though. My dad has red hair…if only I was born with red hair, but my hair is brown with natural highlights. {insert sad tear}
  3. Most of my wardrobe is neutral colors…I usually wear black because I feel most comfortable in it.
  4. I do track and field, and I’m a little bit obsessed with working out.
  5. I love arm wrestling people and have a mental list of all the people I’ve beaten.
  6. I am obsessed with nature. I love forests and hiking. I used to hate hiking and thought it was gross because of the bugs, but now it’s just peaceful to me.
  7. Rainy days are the best kind of days in my opinion.
  8. I’m a very deep person and have deep thoughts, yet I’m not very emotional and don’t cry often.
  9. I don’t own a phone.
  10. I eat peanut butter out of the jar. And raw brown sugar. And raw cookie dough. And brownie batter. Not sorry.
  11. I go to Cape Cod every year and love the ocean, but it scares me. I have a fear of drowning and sharks, so I’m always scared to swim in the ocean.
  12. I’m pretty short for my age, only 5’3.
  13. I will stand up for anyone or fight for anyone if necessary.
  14. I try to watch the sun set every night. A few nights ago, the sky was the shade of cotton candy, it was so gorgeous. Too bad I didn’t have my camera…
  15. I laugh too much.
  16. If I get my hands on any sour candy or anything with chocolate and peanut butter, I’ll eat it all.
  17. I have really thick hair, so I usually need two or three thick hair ties to hold up my hair. So, I usually end up putting my hair in a dutch braid or a fishtail to get it out of my face.
  18. I’m a horrible dancer (I mean, I do track, what do you want from me?), but I love the feeling of dancing. If any of you are dancers, can you teach me something?
  19. I’m running out of things to say…
  20. I take really long showers. (Don’t we all, though?)

Well, there you have it, some random facts! Have a fantastic day!

What’s something interesting about you? Surprise me!

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My Choker Collection & Review

Hello, welcome back!

I’m sorry I didn’t get a post up on Monday, but I try to stick to “Quality over Quantity”, and I felt that the post I was writing wasn’t very good, so I trashed it and decided not to do a post.

In today’s post, I’m going to be sharing with you my choker collection. Let’s get into the review!

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Chokers are perfect accessories that every girl should own. They add the extra touch to an outfit and can make your outfit look more put together! I’m a little late to the choker trend, but after a while looking at chokers on Pinterest, I hopped on the bandwagon and got my hands on a set of chokers.

I recently bought this set of 9 chokers from Amazon (not all of them are pictured in the photo), and I’m in love. I did my research and this set got amazing reviews, so I couldn’t pass it up. Plus it was only $7 for 9 chokers, which is pretty awesome.

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This choker is my favorite, because it’s simple, but really adds the extra element to an outfit!

You get a really good variety of chokers in the set, like a basic black choker, a tattoo choker, and a yin yang choker. But you also get some creative chokers, like a flower choker and a choker that comes with a necklace. (Pictured above)

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A few people were saying in the reviews that the clasps broke easily. Luckily, the clasps have worked perfectly for me, I haven’t had a problem with them so far. Fingers crossed, though, because these chokers do seem delicate.

I usually don’t like stuff to be on my neck, but so far so good, because the material that the chokers are made of is super smooth (a few are made out of velvet), and not itchy, which is a plus.

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| Pros |

  • Extremely inexpensive
  • The shipping is super fast
  • The set has a good variety of chokers
  • The chokers are lightweight and not at all itchy

| Cons |

  • The chokers aren’t extremely high quality or extremely well made, but they are inexpensive, so I wasn’t expecting them to be high quality. They aren’t low quality, though, which is good. They’re in-between. 😉
  • The chokers honestly feel delicate to me. Maybe that’s how chokers are supposed to be? Help me out, guys.

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All in all, I’m super happy with this choker set. If you’re looking for some cute chokers, these will work perfectly for you!


Well, that’s it for today, thanks for reading!Catch you on the flip side.

Do you own any chokers? What is your opinion of chokers?

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Trip to Boston + Photography

Hello, how are you?

I had a great weekend (a very exhausting one, at that). I went on a field trip to Boston, and it was tons of fun. I’m usually not a city girl, but Boston has a special place in my heart because I was born there, and lived there for almost a year when I was a baby!

My father went to Harvard for graduate school, so it was really cool to see all the Harvard buildings. I’ve been to Boston more times than I can count, and I just love it. There’s something about the city that has such a vibrant, intelligent energy to it.

If you are reading this from the WordPress Reader, please please please with a thousand cherries on top, view this post from the web. I assure you the photos will look 1000 times better, and will be much higher quality. Thank you!

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It was a cloudy day and raining like crazy, so the photos turned out pretty dark! I took way too many pictures and spent a while sorting through all of them.

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I stumbled across these succulents in front of the florist’s shop and just had to snap some pictures. Unfortunately I didn’t buy any, but they made for great pictures.

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We walked past Lush and I was begging to go in, but we didn’t have time! Maybe that’s a good thing, because I would have spent a ton of money if we ended up going in there.

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This picture is completely blurry, and I apologize for that, but I had to take a picture of the new Midnight Mint Mocha frappucciono. This frap seriously tastes like a thin mint, it’s heavenly. Have you tried it yet?

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Yup, another picture with the half-empty frap.

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All in all, the trip was so much fun. If you think this is the end of the post, though, you’re wrong! Cue the evil laughter, because I have even more pictures for y’all to look at. The next day (Sunday), my family went to a historical event at an old mansion. It was pouring, and I got soaked to the bone, but I did get some fantastic photos so it was a win-win.

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Well, well, well, there you have it. A ton of photos, a ton of fun, and a ton of memories! Thank you for reading and surviving this long post.

What did you do this weekend?

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My Aesthetic #2

Hey, welcome back!

I did a post a while back on my aesthetic and it was pretty popular! So, in today’s post, I’m going to be sharing a little bit more of my aesthetic. Settle back and enjoy.

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All images in collage via

As you can probably tell from the picture, I especially love marble, rose gold, black and white, grey…something about those colors is really pleasing to me. Grey is my all-time favorite color (my second fav being blue) because it’s such a toned down, relaxed color. My wardrobe is honestly filled with neutral colors.

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We can all agree that a good ‘ol bouquet of flowers is aesthetically pleasing, am I right?! I absolutely love pictures of flowers. There’s something about them that makes me feel more positive.

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And of course you can never go wrong with some cute penned out Space drawings! These are all over Pinterest, and I honestly love little drawings like that. In fact, this picture has inspired me for one of my art journal pages! (More on my art journal soon! Stay tuned for a post on that because it’s gonna be super cool.)

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A flatlay with a succulent and clean white marble?! Too good to be true. Flatlays that include an combination of white, succulents, plants, copper gold, and/or marble is so aesthetically pleasing for me.

In conclusion? I really love pictures that are simple but beautiful and don’t have too much going on. I’m all for the unexpected but I also like it when things are perfectly arranged. Every now and then, I love a bold pop of color or a whimsical pastel item!


There you have it! If you want more, be sure to take a peek at my Pinterest. If you have a Pinterest account, leave your username in the comments so we can be friends!

One more thing before you go: I’m tweaking my blog schedule a little bit, and I’ll now be posting only on Mondays and Fridays, staring this week. As soon as Summer begins, my blog schedule will be going back to it’s original!

What do you find aesthetically appealing?

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