Beginning of the End

Woah! Y'all! Tomorrow is New Year's Eve!

Last year, I made this list of things to try: (the things I did are in red)

Be social on the weekends again.* 
Find my way back to the gym occasionally.** 
Teach myself to play guitar. 
Learn French. 
Travel to a place I’ve never been. Play golf again. 
Make a trip to New York City again. 
Go to Disney World.
Read my bible more.
Learn to flirt properly with boys.*
Have a first kiss.
Learn to play the piano.
Get a (part-time) job.
Put a smidge more effort into getting ready in the mornings.
Wake up earlier. **
Eat more colorfully.
Change my mindset about exercise.**
Stop complaining about everything.
Be happier.
Smile at strangers.
Laugh more often.
Read more books.
Be more organized. 
Stop biting my nails. 
Find a path that makes me happy. 
Speak up.

*up for debate
**thanks, rowing

I managed to check off quite a few of these (the beauty of a long list is that you can miss a few and still feel good about yourself). Be on the lookout for an new list in the new year! Let me know if you add any of these to your own resolution lists for 2015! 

Rather than post a ton of pictures that y'all have probably already seen, I'll just post this selfie from my twentieth birthday (one of my favorite memories of 2014). 

Currently Obsessing Over...

If you know me at all, then you know I'm always obsessing over something. This weekend, the list is short but full: 

1.) Into The Woods 

I saw Into The Woods (solo!) the day after Christmas and the songs are still stuck in my head. I was obsessed with the musical a few years ago when I saw it on Netflix, and seeing it on the big screen was pretty neat. Disney did an amazing job with the production. Definitely worth the price of the ticket. 10/10, would recommend

The emotions I had listening to this song again... if you're a crier, you may want to bring a tissue or two. 

2.) Reading for Fun

I finished Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar last night and read right through E. Lockhart's We Were Liars today. 

My thoughts: 

The Bell Jar: Oh my goodness! There is a reason they call this one a classic. I was so disappointed to find out that this was Sylvia's only novel. Her writing style was my favorite kind to read. I was a little freaked out with how much I identified with Esther. I truly felt that our minds work the same way and it was so refreshing to know that someone else has felt the same things I'm feeling right now. 
Also, for the first time ever, I actually read this book slowly. I wanted to savor every bit of it, and I have a feeling I'll be buying my own copy so that I can reread my favorite passages. 

We Were Liars: I LOVE books like this one. Without spoiling it, it's a bit difficult to describe. It was about a girl who had an accident one summer and couldn't remember exactly what had happened. It was a page-turner and I finished it in one day! I kind of called the ending, but I was still surprised with it. Goosebumps guaranteed. 

3.) Fordham's Summer in the City Program

It's true, I obsessed about this last year, too. I cried, begged, and pleaded with my parents to let me go last summer, and when they finally agreed, I chickened out and got my deposit back.

But this year is different. I tell my roommate about it at least three times a week, I dream in New York, I've updated my resume, and I've visited the application page at least twelve times since it opened.

Except this year, my parents are more unrelenting than last year. My mom refuses to listen to any of my solid arguments (she accused me of trying to ruin Christmas when I brought it up earlier last week). I hate that it gets them so upset, but I know it's what I want need to do.

If anyone has advice on how to convince them that I'll be safe even though they'll be more than ten minutes away? I'm fairly certain I'll have to cut this umbilical cord with a chainsaw before we see the end of this. 

Christmas Wrap-Up

The stockings are empty, the presents are unwrapped, and I'm already back at my apartment (three nights home are long enough). Even though the Catholic Christmas season runs until January, I'm already a little gloomy thinking about throwing away our tree (and sweeping up all those needles).

Here are some festive pictures to keep you in the holiday spirit, even if, like me, you're stuck in seventy-degree weather.

At my festive apartment 

Stockings by the fireplace at home

A very Essie Christmas morning

The "Selfie Stick" was a big hit with the family

I hope you all had a very happy holiday season! 

P.S. How adorable is my Paw?

P.P.S. Most of these pictures are from my new Instagram! Follow along here :)

Toodlebelle Instagram!

Hey there! So kind of you to stop by the blog again! Remember when I said I'd get back to blogging? Well I mean it this time! The blog world is so pretty at Christmastime, as is my Instagram feed.

I created a Toodlebelle Instagram account a while back ago, but finally decided to link it to the blog and start posting to it today (I think my friends were starting to get tired of pictures of my coffee and other blogger-style shenanigans)!

If you'd like to follow along, I'm begging, please, you can follow through this link! or by clicking the cute yellow button up in the top right corner!

Yes, it's a little empty right now, but I'm sure it won't be for long! 

Happy Holidays! 

I'm Back!

To say that this past semester has been a little tough would be a gross understatement. Not only finding time to study, but managing what little time I did have proved to be too much for me. My GPA reflects my regret.

I've been out of the blogging world (read: no writing on my blog, no reading other blogs) for over a month and I'm so ready for this next month of winter break.

On the agenda: a little bit of babysitting, some shopping, baking, and a whole lot of reading.

Who remembers when I made my reading wish list for winter break? Well now it's time to get started!

These are the beauties I've already picked up from the library. 

And now, since I've been away for a while, I thought I'd share some pictures that have been collecting dust on my Instagram profile for the past month and a half. 

* the leaves on this tree are now almost completely gone *

* taken before the unseasonably cold homecoming football game #geauxColonels *

* taken on an unseasonably cold and rainy day, which is my favorite kind * 

* A rare family photo taken on Thanksgiving day *
** I don't think anyone actually likes that painting on the mantel**

Here's to hoping this holiday season is filled with lots of cocoa, books, and more blogging!


I've been anxiously awaiting the release of Taylor Swift's newest album, 1989, and yesterday was finally the day to pick it up from Target (I had to get the deluxe version, obviously). 

After listening to a few of the songs, I was inspired to stop and pick up red lipstick, too.

Even though this album is quite different than her earlier ones, I was definitely NOT disappointed by it. I've been a Taylor Swift fan f o r e v e r (since 6th grade, same thing right?), and I've been to five of her concerts. My friends and I spent so many sleepovers dreaming up plans to meet her when we were in high school. 

As for 1989, I'm loving pretty much all of it. Some of my favorite songs: Blank Space, Style, Bad Blood, and two of the bonus tracks New Romantics and You Are In Love. 

(I actually got really emotional listening to You Are In Love, like big happy tears while driving. It's Lena Dunham's wedding song which makes it even more amazing, if that's even possible. "One night, he wakes Strange look on his face. Pauses, then says You're my best friend" I. Died.) 

Of course I realize not everyone is a Swiftie, but I think the haters should give this new album a chance. It's so different from anything she's ever done. I love that you can tell in her lyrics how at peace she is with her life right now. She's not really angry with any ex-lovers, or sad about anything. It's like she's finally realized she can just be single and happy in New York City (living my dream). 


P.S. Please enjoy this picture from my 2nd TSwift concert (that one time she actually touched my hand!) and the last time I wore these cowboy boots. 
circa 2010

Books I Can't Wait to Read

I'm anxiously awaiting winter break, not only because school work keeps piling up, but because I felt like I haven't read for fun in so long! 

I'm in a Harry Potter literature class right now, and even though I love the series, I almost always find a reason to put it off when reading is required . I'm doing really well in the class, though, so I guess reading through them almost every Christmas break since the fifth grade was a good idea. 

I know I'll be spending Thanksgiving week studying for finals, but when December rolls around, I'll be in my happy place. 

Bonus Books that didn't make the graphic: 

I'm counting down the days until I'll be able to spend whole days curled up in my window seat reading with big cups of cappuccino or cocoa!

Are there any other books I should add to my list? 

Fall Wishlist

With my birthday money stashed safely in my savings account, the chances of me having any of these by winter break are slim to none… But a girl can still dream, right? 

The purses can both be (tastefully) monogrammed, and that doesn't soften the blow at all. 

Santa? Are you reading? 

Rowing Update

It's been over full month since the Nicholls State University rowing club was officially established, and we're finally getting into the swing of things! 

Waking up for morning practice is definitely the hardest part (although getting other people there is a close second). But 6:30 am practices mean sunrises… really beautiful ones. 

Hopefully we'll have enough people that stick with it to get one of our old 8s out on the water.

Sometimes I worry that all of my time might just be for nothing, but I'm working to push all those doubts far out of my mind. My glasses aren't completely rose-colored, though, and I know we might not even be ready for the spring season since we're only practicing twice a week… hopefully we'll be able to have a friendly regatta with Tulane, LSU or Northwestern in the spring. 

Some of our most dedicated members! 

Even though the blog posts have been fewer and farther between, I'm trying my best to get back into a blogging routine. I think blogging might be an actual stress reliever for me.

The weather's finally getting cool enough to row in long sleeves! :)

I can't wait to see where the Colonel Crew ends up, but I'm sure it's going to be a fun ride!


October has always been my favorite month. It's when the weather finally starts to crisp up, when pumpkin spice takes over the world, and when my birthday falls. I'm almost always in a good mood for the entire month.

This year, though, October has been a little different. I think it's had something to do with the particular birthday milestone I've just hit.

Last Friday I turned twenty years old.

I know, I know. I've still got plenty of growing up to do before I start paying my own bills and getting a big girl job, but I still spent a good week mourning the loss of my teenage years.

I kept thinking of all the things I still hadn't done (like my failed 20 before 20 list), and I was really sad.

But then I realized that just because I hadn't experienced certain things yet, there wasn't anything wrong with that. I've still got plenty of time.

I'm another year closer to buying my own alcohol and to getting a big-girl job. Even though I'm feeling a bit buried under required reading and studying, I'm finally starting to think this next year will actually be a great one!

So with that said, I'll try to update the blog a little more often. I'm sure there will be plenty of excitement in the coming year!

"Little" Bundle of Joy

Y'all, it's a teensy bit ridiculous that I'm only just blogging about my perfect little Phi Mu sister…

 I've been bragging on my own big since clue week of last year, so it baffles me how this post has been sitting in my drafts folder for so long! I honestly thought I published it last week!

The week leading up to the big reveal was so much less stressful for me this year. Last year, I spent the week worrying about who my big would be. Thoughts like "Will she like me?" "Did she even want me as her little?" filled my mind.

I had so much fun thinking of clues (and then accidentally giving myself away with unfortunately-timed Instagrams and our mutual love of Lilly Pulitzer).

I'm an only child in my family, so having two amazing "sisters" is practically a dream come true. 

I can't wait to see where these next few years take us! 

"Gotta' Send My Love Down to Baton Rouge"

If you follow me on Instagram, chances are you saw that I went to my first LSU game last Saturday! 

My amazing roomie who gave me a ticket and took me to the game! Love you, AC! 

I have to say, it was everything I imagined it would be and then some. Seeing my friends I hadn't seen in months was more exciting than the actual game (which turned out to be a bit of a let down, thanks a lot Mississippi State).

 I may have teared up when I saw some of my "mission friends."

I will admit that by the end of the third quarter, I was thoroughly exhausted from the long day of tailgating in the heat, and was glad when my friends announced they were ready to go home. We knew a comeback was just wishful thinking at that point, and I was happy to beat most of the crowds out of the stadium. 

I also have to say that while the tailgate and game was so much fun, I don't think I could deal with the giant campus and so many people all the time. I had a flashback to senior year when I was dead-set on going to school there. I'm so thankful that my roommate shared her extra ticket with me, and let me tag along with her to the game. Visiting was so much fun, and I hope I can go to another one soon, but I definitely don't regret my decision to go to Nicholls. 

Sara Bareilles Cover-Love

Guess whose life is still super crazy?

But between all of the week's to-dos, I've been listening to this song on repeat (mostly while perfecting the crafts for my little), and it's too perfect not to share with y'all! 

I really wanted to love the song Chandelier by Sia (my minor Dance Moms obsession being the driving force), but I just could not stand the song… Until I heard this Sara Bareilles cover of it. It's pure magic. 

Sara B has been one of my favorite singers for such a long time, too. I saw her live back in junior high and she was phenomenal (No pictures of me from that concert for the blog, though #awkwardphase)

Hippy-trippy photography courtesy of my eighth-grade self.

I'm a sucker for a good cover-song. Have you heard any other great ones lately? 

Being Thankful

Today's post was completely unplanned. In fact, I wasn't supposed to have time to blog at all this morning. If things had gone according to plan, I'd be scurrying out the door soon, on my way to Baton Rouge for my first LSU football game. I'd been looking forward to this for weeks and was so excited to reunite with some of my mission friends! I even bought a new dress for the occasion! 

Instead, I'm still in my pajamas, sitting in bed eating Eggo waffles with peanut butter and Nutella, and drowning my sorrows in chocolate almond milk. 

Of course, like many of my plans, today's seemed to fall apart. My dad suddenly decided that even though I've made the solo drive into the city before, I am no longer capable. He put his foot down and no amount of reasoning, begging, or tears could sway his decision. 

So now I sit, trying with all my might to be thankful and see a silver lining, when all I want to do is cry. 

It's so much easier to be thankful when everything is going your way, but times when we don't get what we want are when we've got to work that much harder to be grateful for what we already have.

I guess I'm thankful for loving parents, even if they show their love in the most ridiculous, nonsensical ways sometimes. I'm thankful for the friends that won't hate me, even though they went through the trouble of finding me a ticket to the game. I'm thankful for the sorority sisters who are still trying to show me silver linings ("More time to craft for your little!" & "You can come to the Nicholls game, now!").

I'm only letting myself be sad for thirty more minutes, then I'll dry my eyes, get dressed (maybe), and get to work on those crafts! Only 2 more days till Big/Little Week!

Recruitment Recap

Life's still as crazy as ever, but I've been wanting to share this video with y'all for a while.

This is Phi Mu's official 2014 Recruitment Video! I spent most of my free time this summer working on it, and then most of August stressing over the finishing details. Even though it's a little different than how I imagined it, I'm still super proud of it! I couldn't have done it without the help of our amazing chapter advisor. 

The first half is basically the last year summed up and then after the chant is what we did this past summer! 

In case you're curious about the Mardi Gras scenes, we had a big dance party to celebrate our last recruitment practice :) 

This was the video we showed at our Slideshow Night parties! (Remember my "what to wear" post?)

I'm super excited because our big/little week is next week! I can't wait to be a big sister!  ;)

That's What's Up

I was browsing through Spotify the other day when I ran into this song called "That's What's Up" by Lennon and Maisy (originally by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros). I must have listened to it at least 50 times since last week. 

My favorite verse: 
"While I was feeling such a mess, I thought you'd leave me behind. 
While I was being such a wreck, I thought you'd treat me unkind.
But you helped me change my mind."
Now that life's calmed down a little, I've had enough time to think back to the beginning of last semester. I was trying to figure out exactly what was going on last year so I searched through my tumblr archive. Turns out I was crying a lot over how happy I was to be a part of something like Phi Mu. I couldn't believe that so many girls would accept me the way just the way I was, broken and all, and actually wanted to be my friend. (Side note: not much has changed, still just as dumbfounded they still like me. #ConfessionsOfAGirlWithLowSelfEsteem)

But a little more digging reminded me that I was falling into a scary place, even though I was feeling so happy. I know I've mentioned my "eating issues," but I never went into much detail about it. 

It was about this time last year when I realized that my occasional binging and purging was becoming more than occasional. I have Phi Mu to thank for one of my best friends. One morning we got to talking over breakfast in the cafeteria (she was only a new sister and still very much a stranger back then). We were still getting to know each other and she said something like "Fun fact: I'm really big into eating disorder awareness stuff."(obvious paraphrasing). Of course I nearly choked on my scrambled eggs. The thoughts started running through my head: "How does she know? Can she tell? I thought I was being careful. No one knows." 

Well it turns out she had no idea that I was struggling (at least that's what she told me when I eventually told the rest of our sisters at retreat last year). I hadn't kept down a full meal in months, and it was becoming so bad really quickly. It sort of snuck up on me; I would be studying and find myself eating until I couldn't anymore and then would try to undo it. Luckily, I was able to talk with her and stop (for the most part) before it got worse. My poor roommate begged me to see a counselor, but I'm stubborn. Even a year later, I'm still just making progress. I don't know if I'll ever be able to deal with stress in a healthy way. Some days are worse than others, and when I'm really stressed out (read: right now), things start getting dark again.  

I guess the point of this post is to remind everyone that when stress is piling on and big changes are happening (like starting college), these things can creep up.

My biggest problem was thinking "Oh, I'm fine. I'm not that bad." 
Newsflash: If you are having eating issues, chances are, you are definitely not fine. There's nothing "normal" about an eating disorder or disordered eating. It is that bad. If you think you might be in trouble, don't wait until it gets worse.  

So today I'm thankful. For the friendships I've made in the last year, for the steps that I've taken to become healthier, and for the sisters who stick by my sides in the good times and the bad. It's easy to get distracted by the stress and excitement that comes with the start of a new school year, but I'm trying to keep things in perspective this time around, and that's what's up.

White After Labor Day

One of my favorite post-labor-day quotes came from Lo Bosworth's Instagram (she and LC were my favorites on The Hills): When it's 90 degrees and 100% humidity, you're allowed to wear white after Labor Day. Or any day. ✌️

I couldn't agree more, Lo! In fact, I even wrote about why it's perfectly acceptable to continue wearing your whites in the latest edition of the Nicholls Worth

The exact outfit I wore yesterday (sans sweater because Louisiana's a bit warmer than the 'tucket)

Have you already retired your summer whites for the season even though we're only a week into September? 

New Beginnings + September Goals

There's something about the the beginning of September that just screams "fresh start!"

Yes, the weather in Louisiana is still its unbearable self, but you can definitely tell that the air will soon be taking on a bit of crispiness.

It's the start of football season, the start of our intramurals, the (relative) end of super hot/humid weather, and the beginning of the pumpkin season!

You know I've already gotten my Pumpkin Spice now that I'm a coffee addict drinker. 

Never thought I'd be looking forward to tailgates and football games! 

I can't wait for the temperature to drop a little more so that we can eno without sweating like sinners in church. Aren't my sisters precious? #enosofnicholls

Goals for the month:
- Make it into the rec center at least once or twice weekly
- Continue on with the whole "being open-minded thing"
- Make a new friend in each of my classes
- Improve my articles in the Nicholls Worth each week + better time management
- Hang curtains and pictures in my room
- Keep up with readings for literature class

Things you can look forward to seeing on my Instagram this month:
- Sisterhood Retreat
- Big/Little Reveal
- More rowing (we're finally an official club at Nicholls!)
- Phi Mu's Pink & Black social
- and possibly an LSU tailgate!

Sincere Compliments

In my 19 years of experience, I've noticed that people can sometimes have a hard time with the subject of compliments, both receiving and giving.

Maybe I'm just super vain (lets hope that's not it), but I, like most breathing humans, love getting compliments. In fact, I'd venture to say that most people do, but people don't give enough of them.

How often do you find yourself thinking highly of a friend, or bragging about your awesome friend, but never actually telling this friend what you think?

Why does it seem so much easier to spread gossip and bad energy around when we could be spreading good energy and positive vibes instead?

I've decided that from now on, whenever I catch myself talking someone up, I'm going to make it a point to tell that person. I think others deserve to know when you're thinking of them positively.

We did an activity at one of our sorority retreats this summer where everyone taped a piece of paper on her back and went around writing anonymous compliments. This was definitely a top-ten Phi Mu moment for me. Of course, being the hoarder that I am, I saved my sheet for the dark days.

With that being said, maybe you could make it your goal for the week to give at least one sincere compliment a day? Let's start spreading the good vibes :)

What's your favorite compliment to receive? 

Bid Day 2014: Welcome to Wonderland!

Waking up this morning, slowly but without needing the snooze button (although still rushing around to make it to church on time), I finally felt relaxed after an exhausting two weeks.

Being off of social media for the week meant that all the sorority girls here at Nicholls State blew up Facebook and Instagram with pictures from Bid Day yesterday (myself included). Of course, I had to share some of my favorite pictures from the day on the blog, as well!

It was such an amazing day, full of excitement, smiles, and loads of confetti! (See the video at the end of this post for an idea of just how much confetti)

How adorable are my sisters?!?

I thought the theme of Wonderland was so fitting, especially since we're all a bit mad here ;)

Check out this amazing video our advisor KT put together! 

Recruitment Week

My life has been revolving around sorority recruitment for the last month, and the week is finally here! (I blogged about it last month, too!). I'm so looking forward to my first time as an active member of Phi Mu, and especially meeting the new girls! It feels like I was just in their shoes, anxious and excited like I hope they are, too!

I love words so much, but putting into words how amazing this sisterhood has been to me? It's proving to be pretty challenging. 

Most of my pledge class on our bid day last year! 

I'm risking major cliches with this post, but the girls in Phi Mu are so much more than friends; they're my sisters

There aren't enough pictures I could post that would ever show all that Phi Mu really is. My sisters are, without a doubt, the most genuine, classy, kind-hearted, loving ladies. They know me better than I know myself sometimes, and love me even though I'm sure that's not so easy some days.

I'm praying that all of the girls going through recruitment this week (or in the near future) have a great experience (I made so many friends before I even received my bid).

My biggest piece of advice for all Potential New Members? Listen to your heart. You'll meet a lot of girls and hear so many facts about each sorority. You'll be asked your hometown, hobbies and major a thousand times, and there will probably be a few awkward moments.  But most importantly, you'll find a group of girls that makes you feel like you belong. Phi Mu felt like home to me, and I hope you find your own home, too.

Recruitment here at Nicholls means a social media-free week for all sorority gals and new members. I'll be back, happy as a clam, on Saturday after bid day! 

Bloom in the Busyness

I moved into my apartment last weekend and have spent most of my hours since then running back and forth between newspaper workshop, recruitment practice, and babysitting. There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day, and I've found myself bursting into tears quite often (both out of happiness and exhaustion!). 

I feel like this flower right now. Stuck between some looming deadlines and buried under work; I'm trying my best to bloom despite the busyness. 

I know I've got my sunshine (energy to keep me going), soil and roots to keep me strong (my amazing friends and sorority sisters), and rain to keep me filled and focused (snacks and water bottles that have filled my Longchamp because I can't find time for meals anymore). 

Things will be fairly quiet around here until the first day of school and recruitment blow over. Hopefully I'll take my own advice to bloom so that people stop telling me I look tired (or stressed or exasperated or at my tipping point. Yep, four different people think I look rough this week… )

How do you deal with stress? 

Apartment Sneak Peek

Hey, y'all! So this week has been OMGsostressful (and it's only Tuesday *insert exasperated emoji*). 

I wish I had more hours in the day; between newspaper workshop, sorority recruitment preparations, and getting ready for school, I couldn't find time to eat until 9pm yesterday! 

I moved into my apartment on Sunday, and it's nowhere near decorated or done, but here are just a few pictures. I'll be sure to post a few more when I finish moving in. 

At least it's clean and comfortable for now. Just wait for later in the semester for fun recipes from our kitchen! (My roommate christened our kitchen last night with some amazing chocolate muffins. Could be the next recipe post :) 

High School Movies

Isn't it strange how some movies and music can make you feel nostalgic about things that may not have even actually happened to you? (I'm looking at you, Lana Del Rey...)

I may not have grown up in the eighties… I've never smoked a cigarette or gotten drunk… Never had a first kiss, let alone a first love... Buuuutttt that's okay. Whenever I feel like I need a good dose of "coming-of-age", I pop up some popcorn and turn on one of these little pieces of cinematic art. 

The graphic says "High School Movies," but I'm just throwing it out there: my high school experience was nothing like any of these movies.

I'd love to pick the brain of someone who had an Oscar-worthy senior year (or at least has some memories that could hold a flame to these movies).

Who knows? Maybe you're reading this and thinking, "I'm going to make my senior year movie-worthy!". I'd say, "Good for you and good luck!"

Good luck to all the kiddos who started school today! 

Say Cheese!

I follow a handful of really awesome fashion bloggers, and I was recently inspired to do an "Outfit of the Day" type of post.

Unfortunately, my little Nikon d40x didn't come with a professional photographer to help me out. I've had it for a few years, but decided to take an afternoon to get to know my camera a little better (as in playing in the backyard with my tripod and all of the camera settings). Here are some of my favorite shots from the day:

Outfit details:
skirt: Forever 21 (old)
shoes: Jack Rogers
watch: Kate Spade
pearl bracelet: vintage
gold baskets bracelet: Nantucket gift shop 
toes: Essie's Bikini So Teeny

I'm actually really proud that I took these all by myself. I've got a lot to learn, but I really liked dappling in photography! 

P.S. I almost titled this post "When Plants Attack".  I was stung by a plant (or more likely an insect on the plant) when I made the mistake of kneeling on it. There may have been tears, ice, and ice cream following this photo shoot.