LA: What I wore + Discount Codes

Hi guys,

Sorry, this post is so late. Life has been a little crazy lately. When I started this blog I mentioned that I love clothes and fashion. It is something I want to talk about more here and on my Instagram. In LA I strove to channel a kind of LA cool girl vibe while also keeping part of my personal style involved. 

UCLA Exploring look:

This is one of my favorite outfits I put together.


LA Look! Shop it here!


You can shop this look here  

I’m loving off the shoulder tops and this is definitely my favorite I’ve found because it is thick enough not to show too much and stays up really well. It is from Brandy Melville, which while problematic on the inclusivity front, does have cute basics if you are small. They also have a very LA aesthetic so it seemed like a good choice for wandering around the UCLA Campus. 

The necklaces are from my absolute favorite jewelry brand, Stargaze jewelry. They sell lots of great minimalist pieces that are great for layering. They also currently have an under $10 section with a ton of cute picks. I also recommend following them on insta for all your dainty jewelry gazing needs.

The best part though is that I have a discount code to share with you! Use code Paige15 at checkout to get 15% off your purchase! 

Malibu look:

Shop the look here

This look was a fun beach day pick. The tank is also from Brandy Melville. I also love the hat in this picture, despite the fact that I’m not a Dodgers fan (go Astros!). For me, this seems like a better choice than a souvenir t-shirt. It is super cute, trendy and I know I will wear it again. Plus it helps protect your face from the sun.

Cute + Sun Protection = Win!

The towel is from Sand Cloud. I particularly love them because 10% of their proceeds go to Marine Conservation. My best friend studies Marine Biology so I get tons of lectures on the importance of keeping our oceans clean. Save the fishies guys and check out their insta here.

The necklaces are again from Stargaze Jewelry. Use code Paige15 at checkout for 15% off. 

Swimwear Malibu:

Shop the look here!

In Malibu, we eventually decided to brave the cold waters of the Pacific. I had fun pretending to be a bikini model. The bikini top is from LA Hearts (the name was fitting) and the bottoms are from H&M.  Personally, I like to have a steady rotation of black bikini bottoms. They match everything. Usually, I buy from Target or PINK for black bottoms. Plus right now is a good time to try and pick up summer staples for low prices. Sales for the win!

The large horn necklace is the only piece that isn’t from Stargaze Jewelry. It is from Luxe Goddess . Luxe Goddess is an Etsy store that sells cute jewelry and also essential oil roller balls such as Destress, Energize and Deep Sleep. I haven’t gotten to try these yet but I hope I will soon! If you would like to purchase something from them use code Tori25 for 25% off your purchase. I love supporting small businesses! Also you can check out their insta here!

Santa Monica Swimwear:

In Santa Monica, I decided I would get some use out of my infamous red (yes that one) Sun Co swimsuit. After all, it is the Pamela Swimsuit and Baywatch was about the beaches of LA County right? The truth is though this is the first and the last time that I will wear this swimsuit. You will notice that in the pictures under the pier I am wearing a different suit. That is because I immediately changed out of the Sunny Co suit. It is super cute and sexy when you position yourself right. However don’t try to bend over, or sit down. You will flash the whole beach! Honestly, I am just glad I got this suit for free (well $7.95 shipping plus $1 for Alzheimer’s). That is the one redeeming factor of Sunny Co. They donate a dollar of every sale to Alzheimer’s research. As multiple members of my family have had this awful disease I do appreciate this gesture a lot.

After changing in the icky Santa Monica Bathroom we wandered under the pier. I was surrounded by professional bikini and lingerie models doing photo shoots. I felt awkward as I wandered around a bit and tried to look sexy. Unfortunately for us all, I am not a professional bikini model but I do love this swimsuit. It is from last year’s Victoria’s Secret Swim collection. I was so sad when they decided to end their swim line! Luckily we still have PINK swim and they have really cute choices too, including one pieces.

Santa Monica Pier dress:

Shop the look here!

This dress is technically a cover-up and that is how I am wearing it in the picture. Truthfully though it is thick enough to function as a regular dress. Also, it is on sale right now so grab it quick!

Alright, that about sums it up, I had another shirt I wanted to show you but unfortunately I spilled ramen on it before I could take a picture. Typical hahaha! The ramen was worth it though so I’m not even sorry.

Wishing you love and fashionable days,





Thoughts on Stigma and National Suicide Prevention Month

It’s important to discuss hard feelings. Shirt: Kinship Goods
This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. It’s a topic that literally hits close to home.
My county has the highest suicide rate in the state of Texas, my town is at the epicenter of it, unfortunately. In the midst of a beautiful affluent suburb dark shadows loom. 
When I was in high school we lost one student to suicide and another to overdose, and that was just in my grade. Since then things have gotten worse as many more students from area high schools and many recent graduates have also died by suicide.
The community, however, is finally beginning to wake up to the mental health crisis among its teens and young adults. Churches and schools are partnering together to try to bring this issue more out into the open.
While progress is certainly being made here and around the world in ending the stigma of mental health we still have a long way to go. Each of us has to confront the attitudes we hold towards mental health conditions and make sure that we ourselves are not part of the problem. The truth is that many people who contribute to the stigma, do so without realizing it. Those people should not be condemned but instead, we should try to reach out and explain the importance of mental health.
I realize that while now I like to consider myself an advocate for mental health when I was younger I too held many misconceptions about it.
My sophomore of high school, the student who died by suicide was in one of my classes. I didn’t know him really but with the shock of his death, I felt that going to his funeral would be a sign of respect. The funeral was well attended. During the funeral, people spoke about his interests and talents. The screen showed a slideshow detailing his short life. He was only 15.
Rather than granting me more understanding I found that at the time it made me angry. Here was a kid who had an entire life before him, with a family who loved him. The pictures of his families trips to Disney, Halloweens, Christmases and birthdays all seem to tell a story of a happy life. I couldn’t understand why he would do this “to his family and friends.” It wasn’t really until several years later when I found myself in the midst of a crippling depression that I began to understand.
People who die by suicide do not do it to harm other people. They are so desperate to escape a level of misery few understand that they lose hope in any other option.
Personally, for me, the depression didn’t really come with thoughts of suicide for the most part. Shortly after I started an antidepressant medication for the first time, however, I found out I failed a class. As a very serious student, this was an absolute humiliation. In that moment it felt as though my life was basically over, as ridiculous as that sounds now. While those thoughts were short lived, interrupted by a caring friend, having them was terrifying. It is hard to explain what it feels like to have thoughts you have no control over that interrupt and take over everything. For me, they only lasted a few minutes but there are many people who live with these kinds of thoughts constantly.
In the time I’ve been talking more openly about my mental health I have had more than a few friends confess to me their own struggles with mental health. Several of those friends have even made a suicide attempt.
The thought still makes me angry. This anger though is redirected at the ugly monsters of mental health conditions rather than the person who is suffering with them. People suffering from mental health conditions or thoughts of suicide deserve our love, support, and help. The more we normalize this discussion the more likely people are to seek help when they need it.
This September, national suicide prevention month I urge you to examine your attitudes surrounding mental health and suicide. I also would encourage you to read about mental health conditions. Bettering your understanding can help defeat stigma. Also don’t be afraid to talk about these issues with your friends and family. Ask them about their thoughts and feelings. Listen to people when they speak about these issues. Both my lived experiences and hearing the experiences of my friends has helped me to better understand mental health.
shirt: Kinship Goods
Before I sign off I will also say that if you need help please reach out. Please call 18002738255. You are valuable and the world needs you. Please stay.
With love,

LA: Where I went and What I did

Today is going to be a simple travel post. I have a lot of deep posts in the pipeline at the moment but I want this blog to be a good mix of tough stuff and fun light posts. As I promised in my first post this blog is definitely not all about cancer! Cancer is a part of my life but so is traveling and eating good food and dressing cute. This is the travel portion of my LA post. Stay tuned and subscribe for LA food and outfit posts.

Where I went:

I arrived in LA a day early, thanks to Hurricane Harvey, so on Saturday morning we got up and walked around the campus of The University of California Los Angeles. UCLA’s campus is beautiful. I particularly enjoyed the sculpture garden and the wonderful nature that is around the campus.

Me in a tree. Location: UCLA
Location UCA
Interesting trees and architecture mark the UCLA campus. Location: UCLA
Rose Bushes in front of a building on campus. Location: UCLA

Later that day we set off for Malibu. Where we sat under Nobu Malibu and enjoyed their view while still being poor. Malibu was my favorite beach I visited in LA because it was so peaceful. Things were quiet so you could just enjoy the sounds of the waves and the sea breeze.

Location: Malibu, California

The next day we went to a church plant that my friend attends, then spent our afternoon in Santa Monica. I liked the pier, and the beach was nice but it was so crowded. If that is your scene then Santa Monica is for you. If not I suggest driving a few miles north on the Pacific Coast Highways. The pier though is fun and worth visiting.

Under the Pier in Santa Monica
Under the pier in Santa Monica. No filter. Location: Santa Monica Pier, California
Channelling Baywatch in Santa Monica. Location: Santa Monica, California

At the end of the night, we watched the sunset. Despite the hordes of people around us it was impossible not to find yourself filled with a bit of wonder at the beauty of the west coast

Location: Santa Monica, California
Until the sun comes up (or in this case goes down) over Santa Monica Boulevard. Location: Santa Monica, California.
The spots I was seeing after this were totally worth it. Location: Santa Monica, California.

When I returned to Santa Monica for a morning surf lesson it was slightly quieter. I enjoyed getting to actually plunge into the cold waters of the Pacific, thanks to the wetsuit. My surf instructor Matthew was excellent and I would highly recommend the Santa Monica Surfing School.

Inside the Surf Van. Location: Santa Monica, California
Me with my surf board. Not looking cute but definitely feeling accomplished. Location: Santa Monica, California
Surf van lifestyle. Location: Santa Monica, California

After my Surf lesson, I rented a bike from Perry’s Cafe and Beach Rentals. From my spot in Santa Monica, I biked down to Venice Beach. The ride wasn’t long but it was scenic, and the breeze made for a wonderful experience. If you are going to do this though I recommend sunscreen. I kinda failed on that one and am still paying for it as I type this.

Perry’s Cafe and Beach Rentals. Location Santa Monica, California.
My bike. Location: Santa Monica, California

When I got to Venice I stopped a few times to take in the sights. The skate park is like a free show that you can just stop and enjoy for a few minutes.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
Among the skater community, it seems that pant sagging is coming back. Location: Venice Beach, California
The talent of many of the skateboarders at Venice Beach was a sight to behold. Location: Venice Beach, California

Venice also had a Snapchat Spectacles store. As a certified basic girl, I had to stop of course. I definitely loved the spectacles but the price tag was a little hefty for me so I sadly had to pass on them.

The Spectacles vending machine. It is kinda adorable. Location: Venice Beach, California
The Snapchat Spectacles store front with a guest appearance by my rental bike. Location: Venice Beach California

After my stops in Venice, I biked back to Santa Monica Pier to get a bite to eat then turned in my rental bike and went back to my friend’s apartment for a very needed shower.

The next day I was determined to see some art. I discovered that UCLA’s art museum, The Hammer was within walking distance so I set out unsure of what to expect. When I got there I was pleasantly surprised. The atmosphere of the courtyard was an open aired, peaceful, urban oasis. It also contained the coolest chairs I have ever seen (this video isn’t mine but it shows what I am talking about). The architecture of the building was stunning. Unfortunately, they were setting up several new installations so much of the museum was closed. The permanent collection was open though and was amazing.

My favorite painting here. Van Gogh’s Hospital at Saint-Remy
Interiors at The Hammer. Location: Westwood, California
Claude Monet’s View of Bordighera. Location: Westwood, California
Window at The Hammer. Location: Westwood, California
Entry artwork by the Japanese artist Tabaimo. Location: Westwood, California
Entry artwork by Japanese artist Tabaimo. Location: Westwood, California
The Hammer Museum. Location: Westwood, California
The coolest rocking chairs ever. They spin around and are so much fun. I sat in one for 30 minutes just rocking and spinning. Location: Westwood, California

After leaving the museum, I decided to walk to the nearby botanical gardens.  The Mildred E Mathias Botanical Garden was a nice place to stroll through or to relax out in nature.

Flowers at the botanical garden. Location: Westwood, California
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Flowers at the botanical garden. Location: Westwood, California
Flowers at the botanical garden. Location: Westwood, California
Walking path at the botanical garden. Location: Westwood, California

After going to the botanical garden my friend and I went to dinner and then I had a 5:20 AM flight to catch the next morning back to Houston.

With love,



Surf’s up ​

Me with my surf board. Not looking cute but definitely feeling accomplished. Location: Santa Monica, California

I tend to favor risk. I like risky sports, risky travels, and risky experience in general. That’s not to say I have a death wish. I keep my risk level at a comfortable spot and alway attempt to be as safe as possible. Let it be said here that I do not condone stupid and reckless decisions. Use common sense please people.

The truth is though, that safety and security are an illusion. You can do everything right in life but eventually, life is gonna get you somehow. I know this a little too well. At 19 I was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer and was lucky enough that it was treatable but my teenage invincibility complex was forever shattered. At 20 my flight to London from Houston experienced severe turbulence. There were a few dark moments when I and all the other passengers that day believed that this might be it. We made an emergency landing in Shannon, Ireland and while 18 people were hospitalized (I wasn’t) we all survived. If you want to read about that one click the link below.

These are only two experiences but at 21 I am starting to feel like a cat. I am burning through my nine lives rather quickly but that’s okay. All I can do and all any of us can do really is live in the now and try to have as much fun and help as many people as we possibly can along the way

So do things that scare you. Life is short, and I want to experience all of it. I want to keep crossing items off my bucket list and continue to add new lines to the bottom of it until my hour glass runs out.

The old unmarked van I met my instructor at. I found the sketchiness a bit amusing. Location: Santa Monica, California.

With that in mind, surfing is a sport I’ve always wanted to try. My parents, however, were not a fan of this activity and so I decided to rely on the age old wisdom, tis better to ask forgiveness than permission. I signed up for a surf lesson with a local instructor named Matthew at the Santa Monica surf school, got an Uber and headed there to meet him.

I’ve never been surfing before but I assumed it would be difficult. It certainly was but my instructor was so nice and encouraging. He taught us the fundamentals on the beach then we paddled out to catch some waves.

Sand filled surf van. It was so cliche I had to take a picture. Location: Santa Monica, California

Surfing, like many sports, is a great (even if cliched) metaphor for life. If you are like me, you fall over and over again. You get beat up by the waves that keep coming at you whether you’re ready or not. You have to fight to control your body and face the onslaught. To be successful you have to work with the onslaught. You fall over and over again but have to keep pushing yourself to try again. You feel exhausted and beaten by the powerful forces beyond your control. You feel humbled as you realize your insignificance in the vastness of the ocean and of life. Eventually, you have to take a break and allow yourself to rest so you can go on to surf another wave tomorrow.

It was a positive experience that still managed to remind me of the tough stuff. There was a lot of times I wanted to quit. I am really small and the waves in Santa Monica were big and tough. My limited strength seemed to fail quickly. I was glad I did it though. I want to continue to challenge myself and grow with new experiences. Surfing is one I can say I’ve done now. I am sunburned and know I am going to be sore as can be tomorrow but that’s okay. I did something tough, active, and fun. Despite my lack of talent for the activity I still feel a sense of pride for going for it.

Under The Santa Monica Pier. Location: Santa Monica, California

Whatever it is that you’ve always wanted to do but felt scared to or made excused about the inconvenience I would encourage you to go for it. Do it tomorrow if possible. If not make plans. Don’t let anything stop you from pursuing your dreams.

Encouraging you to take the risk with love,


LA in Pictures

Hurricane Harvey and Reflections on Returning to Houston

(Sorry about the hashtags. I am learning how to use Instagram stories and forgot to save before I added text)

Here are my reflections on Harvey over the past few days. They are a bit scatterbrained but hopefully you can follow my thoughts. I am lucky that my family and our home were safe during the hurricane. So many weren’t as lucky as us.

As Harvey was coming in, I was fortunate to be going out. I felt glad in a way, that I was outsmarting the hurricane, although typing that statement now makes me feel disgusted with myself. It wasn’t really until I got to LA that the real magnitude of what was happening hit me. You can hear predictions and statistics all day long but the ugly truth is, there is nothing like seeing something in action.

See Harvey, I and the world did.

My social media, usually filled with puppies and fashion on Instagram, and politics and cat videos on Facebook, was inundated with videos showing devastation around my city. The rain came pouring down, and there was nothing any of us could do to stop it. All we could do was watch in horror, as streets and homes filled with water. I watched as families and their pets were rescued by boats from their houses, they believed would always keep them safe and dry.

There I sat dry and 1373 miles away, watching catastrophe unfold at home, as the city around me operated business as usual.

In LA I found myself in a bizarre world where simply saying “I’m from Houston” suddenly received responses not dissimilar to the ones I get when I say “I had cancer”. No one ever wants their hometown to be the subject of pity and awkward silences. Suddenly home became a headline, synonymous with utter devastation. I never thought I’d miss the days of people asking me if I rode a horse to school. Now all the Texas stereotypes seem welcome.

It’s frustrating because, I want people to know Houston for it’s achievements not Hurricane Harvey. I want them to see a city that produces energy for the world and has the world’s largest Medical center. The 4th largest city in the US, has been reduced to dirty water and people canoeing down interstates, as the eyes of the nation and the world gaze upon us. It’s a very odd feeling.

Flying in this morning a sense of relief washed over me.The rest of the people on UA 2027 from LAX to IAH seemed to share the feeling. It was nice to be home, even if the landscape of that home is forever altered.

Viewing the remains of Harvey from the air was a unique and sobering perspective.

From the window seat (my favorite) I had a front row seat. I’ve always appreciated the way that rivers shine on a sunny day as you fly overhead. The sunlight glistening off the water creates a fleeting sparkle that almost feels private, as you know that few will have the chance to see this view. Today though the sparkling of the water shined not just in the designated lakes and rivers but in entire forests it had swallowed. The water was mercifully receding but on certain streets and in many backyards it was still showing its circumstantially insidious light reflection. Harvey, like many disasters in our lives, has a way twisting beautiful positive things into darkness and misery.

After take off this morning, I also felt relieved that I could finally get involved in a more tangible way. Sitting in Malibu on the beach was amazing but my heart was hurting for those dealing with catastrophe back home. Now I feel like I can at least do something, rather than watching helplessly a thousand miles away. As I type this I am currently sitting in my church office, fielding calls of both evacuees and potential volunteers. It is only the start of a long road though for this city and I intend to help in anyway I can.

I take comfort though in knowing that Houston will rise again, better and stronger than ever before. The acts of generosity and sacrifice that this storm have brought are the things I hope will be remembered when we look back upon the history of this great city. I also hope they will be remembered when we see our neighbors. I hope that when inevitable trials and disagreements come we will look back to this time of pure love and community. For it is love that will fix Houston and heal the hearts broken by this devastating storm.

With Love and Texas Forever,


Harvey Update

A nicer day in Southeast Texas, when the water was where it is supposed to be  Location: George Mitchell Nature Preserve December 2016

For those of you who don’t know I live in a suburb north of Houston, Texas. My house is fine and my family is safe, but so many around the Houston area have lost everything.

The day before the storm hit I was able to fly out of Houston to Los Angeles. It was a trip I had planned before the hurricane. One of my best friends recently moved here, after graduating from The University of Georgia. I am getting to stay with him on a not that uncomfortable couch.

Los Angeles is beautiful and I have been having a lot of fun here. Unfortunately, the scenes coming out of my hometown have made it a little bit difficult to stay in the moment and fully enjoy this vacation. I have been writing and taking lots of pictures for the blog while I am here. To post them now though would be quite tone deaf and just feel wrong. I will post about this trip, but not right now.

One of the most distressing videos for me personally was a video of MD Anderson Cancer Center flooding. Part of my treatment was at MD Anderson and they have saved countless lives. The inpatients there and at many other Houston hospitals are being taken care of by the doctors and nurses that have been staying at the hospital round the clock. The entire area around the Texas Medical Center is reported to be impassable. This is the biggest medical center in the world and thousands of people count on these world renowned hospitals for life-saving care.

Here is a link to an article with videos of the flooding in MD Anderson.

Also here is a video of the amazing work Texas Children’s Hospital is doing in the face of this storm.

Right now all I can really do is pray for Houston and the entire Texas coast. I wish I could be there today to do something, although I know that I will have plenty of opportunity to volunteer once the storm clears. Many of my friends have been expressing feelings of helplessness and frustration. I feel the same way.  It is important to remember though, that the most important thing right now is staying safe. Don’t let your desire to help cause you to make dangerous decisions, and create more crises for the already heavily burdened emergency service workers. Safety should be your number one priority. When the storm ends, and it will eventually end, there will be plenty of work to do.

For now, I ask that everyone pray for the city of Houston, the Texas Medical Center, and everyone impacted by this disaster. Texas and Houston are strong. We will rebuild, but the efforts will take everyone working together. That’s shouldn’t be a problem for Texans though

Stay safe and Texas Forever,


Wednesday Wisdom: They’re Just Not That Into You

Dress: Topshop Necklace: Madewell Location: Wynwood Walls Miami, Florida

Have you ever had a friend who made you feel like a burden? A friend who made you feel like you should feel grateful that they took the time out of their day to respond to your text or meet you for coffee? Or a friend who was only there when it was convenient for them. Have you had a friend that’s mostly around when they need something but disappear when you need them?

Spoiler alert: They’re just not that into you.

I think a lot of us fall into this trap. We have a person that we like and consider a friend, or in some cases a potential boyfriend or girlfriend and we will do anything for them. I’m guilty of this for sure. But I am learning that sometimes you need to evaluate who your true friends are in life to protect yourself a little. I have found myself in so many “friendships” or “pseudo relationships” with people who barely cared about me at all. I would do anything for these people but eventually, I had to realize that they would seldom lift a finger for me.

The levels of effort we were putting into our friendships were vastly different. I was there pouring everything I had into them. Making myself available whenever they wanted or needed. They weren’t doing the same, however. I was prioritizing people who barely thought about me at all.

A good example of this was a “friend” I had in high school. I would hear people say negative things about her and I would defend her endlessly. I wouldn’t believe a single one of the rumors because she was my friend and I liked her. It took me until the end of high school to really look at that friendship though. I realized that I was there for her whenever she needed. Any favor, homework, crisis management she needed I was right there. But she wasn’t there for me. We only hung out when she needed something from me. It was never just for fun. Never because she liked me. I was doing everything I could for this girl to try to make her want to be friends with me, and she didn’t care at all.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the only time I’ve done that to myself. Friendships like this can leave you feeling worthless and stupid. I spent so much effort on these people and even the best of me wasn’t good enough. Eventually, you realize you’re either being used or they are friends with you out of pity and you feel miserable. Even worse is the fact that quitting the habit is so hard. You care about this person and you wanted them in your life. Accepting that they don’t want you is difficult and painful. In some cases, you are almost addicted to them. There was a reason why you stuck around through all the garbage before. You cared.

So how do you fix this? It’s not easy. If you think you are strong enough for the clean break do that. But personally, I have found that phasing these people out is the best way to do this.

Make a rule for yourself. Something like “I will only contact them once a month” or “I won’t talk to them/see them unless they make the effort to talk to me.” Put the ball in their court. This allows them to have the chance to miss you. Maybe they will wake up and realize how valuable you are to them. Or maybe you will get to see just how little they care.

This clarity hurts but is helpful in healing. Hopefully, as you slowly phase them out of your life you will begin to crave their presence in your life less and less. It isn’t a perfect solution but cutting these people out of your life who are only bringing you down will help you in the long term.

Right now you are allowing them to define your worth and are left feeling inadequate. You deserve to be loved, cherished, and cared about. You deserve friends who are as enthusiastic about you as you are about them. Don’t let people who don’t appreciate your value make you miserable. If you have a person or people in your life that fit this description give it some serious thought.

You deserve real friendships and real relationships. If they want to talk to you they will. In the meantime focus on loving yourself, growing closer with friends who value you, and making new friends who will love you for who you are, not how you can benefit them. Trust me I’m still rereading my own advice. It isn’t easy but it works!

With love,



What I’m doing instead

Shirt: Urban Outfitters Location: Keene, New York

So yesterday I decided to publicly state that I am not going to college this semester.

It kinda feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders honestly. They say honesty is the best policy and it’s true. It is a relief, to tell the truth.

Part of the reason I was so reluctant to make this decision, however, was trying to figure out an answer to the question “What are you doing?”

Frankly, I don’t have a perfect answer for you but here’s my list of ideas so far. Worst comes to worst this post will help me perfect my listing skills so I can write for Buzzfeed.

  1. Working- I am currently working at J.Crew part-time as an associate and love it. My coworkers are nice, which is great. Also, the discount is my life. I could say I’m doing this to make money and while that is kinda true it’s mostly just to fill my closet with more J.Crew and Madewell. I feel fairly certain I will be blogging about my J.Crew and Madewell addictions very soon. The world holds its breath, I know!
  2. Travelling- If you have known me for a while or have scrolled through my Instagram you will know that I love to travel. In fact, I have studied abroad in twice already and might aim for a third when I return to school. That’s cool right, Mom and Dad? Anyways I definitely plan on using this time to visit my friends around the country. It’ll be like that Big and Rich song “Comin to your City”. I am already booked on a flight to LA this weekend to go see one of my best friends and I am pumped. I will also be trying to return to Georgia at least once to catch a game between the hedges. You can take a girl out of the SEC but you can’t take the SEC out of the girl. Go Dawgs! I will definitely be posting about these trips a lot and may even try to post some travel guides.
  3. Blogging- You’re here so duh. I definitely intend to be trying my hand at blogging and posting regularly. Let me know if there is something you’d like me to write about!
  4. Recreation- And no I don’t mean recreational drugs people. Tomorrow I am scheduled to go horseback riding for the first time in a long time. I can’t wait. I am also going to try and rock climb some by joining a climbing gym here in the Houston area. Other than that I will be looking for other ways to get active in a fun way. I may also try playing the piano again since I was a brat as a child and didn’t practice enough.
  5. Volunteering– I haven’t decided where exactly I will be volunteering but I am exploring several opportunities at the moment. I will definitely update once that is decided. If you have any suggestions let me know!
  6. Getting Healthy- This is the less exciting part. I will be going to doctors appointments and working to get answers and find solutions. My mom wants to go vegan together. I’m not really down for that plan but I do realize I may need to alter my diet depending on the results I receive. I love food so that will be very tough. That is another thing I will be eating! I am hoping I can eat my way to maybe a little extra weight and a little extra energy. I also would like to work out a little to try to gain some flexibility and strength. I could use a lot of improvement in both areas. Tips in this area would definitely be appreciated too!
  7. Learning- You don’t have to be in school to learn. Reading will be something I’m going to try to prioritize. Maybe I will even try to read War and Peace this fall? Has anyone managed that feat? Is it worth the read? I just want to make sure that I keep mentally active so I can stay sharp when I do return to school.
  8. Resting- While I have a lengthy list of things I’d like to do, I am also going to prioritize resting this semester. Resting is important. Self-care can only help both my mental and physical health. I hope I get to do a lot this semester but I am also going to try to be gentler with myself. If I need a break I am going to allow myself to stop and take it. I am not going to beat myself up over a few days spent just relaxing and allowing myself to feel refreshed. We need rest to heal and grow, so I am not going to deny myself of it.

Much Love,


Taking a Break from College

Top: Madewell Shorts: J.Crew Factory Location: Dallas Museum of Art

I have decided to take a break from college.

When I started college I was the typical over confident “I’m a sophomore by credit hours’ freshman. In fact, I started college with 47 credit hours from AP classes. I planned to graduate in 3 years, then go straight to law school. Preferably a highly ranked one.

Then life happened.

I finished my freshman year, the Spring semester of which I spent studying abroad in Italy. I came home to Texas and worked for the summer. Then as I was getting ready to go back to Georgia, everything fell apart.

“We found a tumor in your abdomen”

Those words changed my life in seconds. Instead of getting to enjoy the fall of my sophomore year; I got to spend fall of 2015 in and out of the hospital where I had 4 surgeries to both remove pancreatic cancer and then repair the damage that removal caused

As soon as January 2016 came, I stubbornly wanted to go back to college and resume my “real” life. I wanted to get back to the plan.

But I was so weak. Cancer had drained me, physically, mentally and emotionally. I returned to campus weighing little over 85 pounds. I had so little energy and had a lot of bad days physically. I found myself frustrated that I couldn’t keep up and be like everyone else. For the first time in my life, my grades were struggling significantly. I was dropping classes like it was hot.

In an act of desperation to try to get my life back to the plan, I applied to the UGA at Oxford program. In my interview with the program director, I told him how I had beat cancer and was back as a student and doing great. I felt like such a fraud. I hadn’t been to any of my classes that week yet there I sat telling him how amazing I was doing.

The UGA at Oxford program ended up being a bit of a saving grace for me. It was extremely challenging academically but I was able to excel. There I gained back confidence in myself and my intellect. I finally felt like I could accomplish big things again.

Unfortunately, January came and back in Georgia; I fell apart again. Everything felt so similar. It was almost claustrophobic, as though I was always on the cusp of reliving my nightmare again. Deja Vu in the worst way.

I started the semester so hopefully, yet along came several difficult to explain health bumps and I began to spiral. Everyday it felt like something new and awful was going to happen. Each doctors appointment and new concerning symptom added to my misery. I found myself in almost the exact same place as the previous spring.  For me, Poor physical health beget exceptionally poor mental health. 

All of the physical issues are still pending. Even tomorrow I am having another CT scan to try to find an explanation for all the symptoms I have been experiencing over the course of this year.

One diagnosis I did manage to get this spring though was clinical depression. I had spent so long trying to force myself to stick to a plan I made at 18, despite the fact that the circumstances of my life had changed so much in those three years. I perpetually felt like a failure when I didn’t meet the high expectations I held myself to. It took a long time before I finally decided to admit that I needed help. I am so glad I did though. While the physical issues are not completely resolved I am in a much better place mentally.

I have decided to give myself a break though. I want to figure out what is going on with my physical health, and what solutions there are to treat it. I also just want to stop making myself miserable by being so overly harsh with my self-assessments. I always felt like if I admitted that I needed help if I admitted I needed a break, or if I admitted that I wasn’t going to graduate on time; I would be a failure. I’ve realized that this narrative in my head is a lie. I am going to be successful. I am going to graduate from college. But if it takes me a little longer that’s okay too. So I’m taking a gap year or gap semester. I’m not really sure right now. I want to focus on myself and my health so that I can accomplish all I am meant to. 

I’m going to be blogging my journey here and also posting fun stuff relating to my various interests. I promise it’s not gonna all be about cancer! Follow along if you’d like.

With Love,