Recently Reading (August 2016)

During August I took advantage of the last few weeks of summer and read quite a bit. I am only one week into classes and I already miss having free time to sit down with a good book! Here's what I read during my last few weeks of summer:

This was one that I got off a list of must read mysteries off of Pinterest I think? I knew pretty much nothing about it, and I hadn't read anything by Agatha Christie before. But I enjoyed it and recommend if you enjoy mysteries too. 

This was a quick read that I picked up because I had read Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour and liked it. This one wasn't quite as good in my opinion, but I read it in a day and it was pretty good. It was a bit of a heavier read since the story occurs after the main character's best friend commits suicide, and while the story is centered around that it isn't too sad. 

If you like books that are on the dystopian side/ occur more in the future, then this might be one you will like. In the beginning it seemed similar to the left behind books, because Vivian Apple wakes up one day and supposedly the rapture has occurred. But from there it gets more complicated and interesting, and you will have to read it yourself to see what happens!

This is a book that you have probably heard of before, but I was not disappointed by it even after all the hype. After the main character disappears, you get to see the following events from her mother's perspective and her kidnappers perspective. If you enjoyed Gone Girl, I would recommend trying this one out too! 

Cartwheel was another mystery that I picked up, but I did not enjoy it as much as others. It felt fairly predictable to me, which made it feel like a slower read. Lily, the main character, is thought to have murdered her roommate. This would make an interesting story, except I never really connected with Lily or liked her, so even by the end I really didn't care if Lily did it or not. Which is what leads me to say that I didn't enjoy it too much. 

What books did you read and love this summer? Let me know in the comments!
xo, Scarlett


How To Make Your Hunter Boots Look Brand New

Before I went back to school, I decided I needed to clean my Hunters and make them look a bit better. After a year and a half they were starting to look a bit dull from the blooming. I have some of the Hunter boots cleaning spray, but after neglecting to clean them for months, they were pretty bad. The spray was helping, but it was taking a long time and it didn't seem to be getting all the white from the blooming off. So naturally I turned to Pinterest to see what else I could do. I found that olive oil seemed to be something that had worked for many people, so I tested it out. And guess what? It actually works!


-olive oil
-old rag/ t shirt

It is super easy and just takes a little bit of time. First you need to wipe down your boots with water to get any dirt off. Then you pour a tiny bit of olive oil into a dish and then dip your rag in it. Next you should rub the oil onto your boots in small circular motions. I recommend starting out with a little and using a bit more oil if needed. And it isn't a big deal if you get too much oil on the boots because it will absorb into them.

Just remember never to put cleaner or oil of any kind on the bottom of your boots or else it could make them slippery.

Here you can see the difference. I haven't done the boot on the left yet, and as you can see it looks a little dusty and has the white film over the red. But the one on the right looks clean and shiny after it has been cleaned with the oil!

How do you keep your boots clean? Share in the comments!
xo, Scarlett


7 Things To Do At The Beginning Of Each Month

With September quickly approaching, I wanted to share some things you could do at the beginning of the month to help your days go smoother and turn September into a great month!

update your planner-
Write in all upcoming assignments, events, etc at the beginning of the month  so you don't forget anything. Ideally everything will already be written in, but take a few moments to look it over and remind yourself of what is coming up!

monthly to do list-
Sometimes you know you want to do something in the upcoming weeks, like a specific project or cleaning out a specific drawer. But you don't necessarily want to write it on your daily to do list. Try making a master to do list of bigger/ more broad projects that you want to accomplish this month and try to do one or two things off of it every week.

make plans with friends and family-
How many times have you said "we need to get together soon!" to someone but then failed to follow through? It happens. Life gets in the way and catching up with friends can get pushed to the back burner. But if you make plans at the beginning of the month you will be way more likely to follow through and keep up with all of your friends! Plus making plans to hangout with a good friend on a Tuesday night can give you something to look forward to at the beginning of the week.

upload and delete photos off your phone-
I am so guilty of going months and months without uploading pictures and deleting them. But if you go through and upload at the beginning of each month then you won't lose a years worth of memories if something happens to your phone!

make note of upcoming birthdays-
We all know that feeling of looking at the calendar and realizing someone's birthday is the next day. But by looking at the beginning of the month, you can plan ahead and purchase cards and gifts accordingly.

wash towels/ change sheets-
In an ideal world these would be washed every week or two. But it is so easy to lose track of when you last washed them until they start to smell a little funky. So instead of letting that happen, be sure to wash them at the beginning of every month, and maybe a time or two in between if you think of it!

clear one day on your calendar-
One problem with planning out your whole month is that you can get burned out if you plan too much in. Be sure to set aside a day, even a Saturday, where you can sleep in, read a book, or just watch movies all day. It is so important to do stuff you love and set aside time to just relax.

What do you do at the beginning of each month to prepare for the upcoming weeks? Share in the comments below!
xo, Scarlett


Recently Reading (July 2016)

Summer is always such a great time to catch up on my to-read list. Luckily this summer I have been able to read through some great books, so I wanted to share what I have read since my last recently reading post!

This book is one that I wouldn't normally pick up, but I had read good things about it. I tend to prefer one longer stories over essays and short stories, but I still thought it was a pretty good book overall!

This one I picked up from the library because it sounded interesting, but I haven't heard anyone else talk about it. By the time I got around to reading it, I didn't remember what it was about. This made it a lot better because at first it just seems like a normal book, but then things start happening...
It's not as good as some mysteries I have read, but it is worth trying!

I picked this book up because I saw it on some book list I found on Pinterest and it looked kind of interesting. I am trying to read more nonfiction, so I tried it out. It took me a while to get through, but it was a pretty good book! It definitely gave me an interesting perspective into other lives. 

I REALLY liked this book. Another mystery, but I liked how it was different than other mysteries I have read and liked. This one began with you knowing something happened and someone was murdered at the beginning, but then it rewinds 6 months or so and the rest of the book starts as you read your way up to the night of the murder. I have nothing bad to say about this book, and will definitely be trying others by Liane Moriarty soon! I have read The Husband's Secret and What Alice Forgot (mentioned in this post!) before, so I can tell now that I enjoy this author!

Another one of my favorites from this post. I read this entire book in 2 days, and the whole book flows really well and didn't really have boring parts. If you like books that are set in the 1950's and include a non-gruesome mystery, this one is for you. It also shows that even the wealthiest and most beautiful girl in the city can have painful secrets. I had never heard of this author before, but again I will be looking into her other books.

This book is another nonfiction book that follows a rowing team in their quest to get to the Olympics and win in 1936. It was a little slow at first, but even during the slower parts it was still interesting. It took me about 2 weeks to read, but once I had past the first 100 pages it picked up a lot. I also really liked reading this right before the 2016 Olympics began!

What books have you read and loved recently? I always LOVE getting your recommendations, so give me some in the comments below!
xo, Scarlett


How To Plan The Best Girls Trip

If you are in high school or starting college, you might be thinking of taking a trip with you and some of your BFFs. Typically I usually have traveled with adults/parents/chaperones and haven't had to think too much about the details. Last summer I went on a spontaneous trip to St. Louis with a few friends, but this summer a few good friends and I decided we needed to plan a good and memorable trip. It took a while to get all the details together, but planning ahead of time can save money and sanity.

-decide when you can all go-
Initially my friends had wanted to do a road trip to a state or place none of us had ever visited before. But quickly we found out that between all of our work schedules, we would only 1 day. Since we looked ahead and planned weeks in advance, we gave ourself time to find a time that worked for everyone.

-decide how much money each person wants to spend-
Some people are willing to spend thousands, while others want to keep it around $100. This will affect where you can go because you all need to agree on what you want to spend. Since we had already decided on a day trip, the money affected where we could go and what we could do while we were there. It also might just mean the penny pinchers need to choose to not buy anything at a bakery or buy something cheap while others are purchasing expensive cakes. It will be different for every group, so make sure to discuss this beforehand.

-pick a place-
Once we found out how long we had and how much money we wanted to spend, a day trip to Chicago made the most sense to us. It would be fun to go there together even though we had all been there separately. See the recap of that trip here! If you decide on someplace that will require spending the time, you will obviously need to plan where you are staying ahead of time as well.

-decide on transportation-
Once we decided on Chicago, our big decision was whether we would take the train or drive. Driving ended up being a LOT cheaper than 5 train tickets there are back, so we went with that option since someone from our group was willing to drive. Of course we all chipped in on gas cost!
-pick a route-
What is the best route to drive to your destination? Is there a route that avoids some or all tolls? Where will you park once you get there? These are all important things that we researched ahead of time to save time and money on our trip.

-decide on attractions-
Since we went to Chicago, that obviously has endless options. While I was adamant about visiting the Sprinkles ATM while we were there, we ended up deciding on a different bakery since it was on the way back from The Sky Deck. You don't have to pick everything ahead of time, such as we spontaneously took a water taxi from Navy Pier to The Sears Tower because we wanted to and it wasn't too expensive! But by buying our tickets for The Sky Deck online ahead of time, we were able to save a lot of time by skipping lines and even saved money!

-enjoy the trip-
It will go by so quickly, so make sure you are soaking in the fun while you are there! Take pictures, but also be present and enjoy quality time with your friends.

Is there anything else you would recommend while planning a trip? Share in the comments!
xo, Scarlett


6 Unusual Things Your Dorm Room NEEDS

While it is hard to believe August is already here, I wanted to embrace back to school season and share some things that you might not think to bring to your dorm, but might end up needing.

-white noise machine- 
My roommate and I just kept a fan on every night which drowns out some of the noise from outside and the hallway! If you aren't a fan of fans (haha couldn't resist) then investing in a white noise machine could be a good idea!

You never know when it will be someone's birthday, or when you need to send a thank you card. Plus many of your friends will be scattered throughout the country now, and it is so fun to send and receive mail at college!

-first aid kit- 
I put together a box of pills, bandaids, etc. to bring with me and keep in my closet for emergencies. I don't use it often, but when I need some medicine or a bandaid I am thankful I have it.

-sewing kit- 
I personally don't have one of these, but I know one of the girls on my floor did and used it a few times last year. If you are constantly losing buttons or finding holes in your clothes, this might be a good idea!

-drawing supplies-
While you might not need markers and colored pencils for school anymore, it can be a good idea to keep this stuff in your room. If the urge to doodle hits, you will be prepared. It is also great if you need to color signs or anything!

-duct tape-
I had a thing of duct tape with me last year, and I can't tell you how many times it got used. And I honestly don't even think I used it once, but other people seemed to need it pretty often to fix things that had broken!

This was something I didn't bring last year, but I am planning to bring this year. It is way easier to just slip them on to go do laundry or run to the floor kitchen than to find real shoes.

What is one thing you didn't think you would need but ended up wishing you had? Share in the comments!

Also don't forget to checkout my freshman dorm room tour, my letter to future freshmen, and what NOT to bring to college!
xo, Scarlett


19 Things I've Learned In 19 Years

A few days ago I realized that 4 months from today, I am going to be 20. As in, I won't be a teenager anymore. Which is so weird because most days I still feel 14 and most people still think I'm 14, but that's besides the point. Today I decided to put together a little post that includes 19 things I have learned throughout the years.

1. People suck- There are mean and nasty people in the world and by the time you end your teen years you are going to have met quite a few. There are always people who are going to try to walk all over you and people who are rude for absolutely no reason at all. But as long as you don't become one of these people, it will all be okay.

2. People are great- Going against what I just said, not ALL people are horrible. There will be people you barely know who will go way out of their way to help you, just because they are nice. You also will find some amazing friends who will bake you cakes, send you cards, and let you come hangout at their house whenever. These are the people you should surround yourself with and these are the people you should want to be like.

3. Learn to walk away and let go when needed- Put effort into your relationships, but make sure the effort isn't one sided. If you have a friend who never reaches out to you first and is constantly canceling plans last minute, its probably time to move on, or at least take a break from them for a few months.

4. There's always going to be someone who doesn't like peaches- You've probably heard the sang before, and it's true. There will always be people who don't like you, but that's okay. You aren't living to please them. You work hard to make yourself happy and please God.

5. To-do lists are your best friend- seriously. They help you accomplish so much and never forget to do a task or go to a meeting.

6. God is bigger than any of your problems- no matter how bad life seems or how overwhelmed you feel, God is greater and He has your back.

7. Change can be good- I typically hate change, but without change it is impossible to grow. Everything is constantly changing, so might as well embrace it instead of being in denial.

8. Always choose to travel- traveling is great because it gets you out of your comfort zone and gets you to experience new things. Even if you are just traveling an hour away.

9. Say yes to dessert- these days so many people are constantly watching what they eat, but I have yet to regret a delicious piece of cake or ice cream cone.

10. It's okay to relax- pick a day and spend it at home reading a good book and painting your nails. Today's society encourages people to constantly be busy, but it is important to slow down sometimes or else you will become burnt out.

11. Don't compare your life to someone else's social media- just because someone is posting perfect pictures of themselves every day does not mean their life is together. People tend to keep the bad hidden away, so don't be too hard on yourself. You never really know what another person is dealing with.

12. Ask for help when you need it- don't let your pride get in the way if you really need help with something.

13. Don't be the friend who shows up late to everything- we all have that one friend who can't seem to get anywhere one time. Whether it is 5 minutes, 15, or never. And you tend to lose respect and trust in someone like this. So don't be that person.

14. Failure is okay- it shows that you tried something new, and you can now learn from your mistakes and move on.

15. Quality of quantity- I'd rather have 5 nice shirts than 10 cheap shirts that will get worn out after two wears. Along the same lines, I would rather have a few good friends than dozens of fake friends.

16. Be present- don't be engrossed in your phone during a fun outing with friends. You guys know I love taking pictures, but sometimes it is better to just live in the moment and enjoy it. For a happy medium, try taking a picture or two to remember the occasion, but don't spend your whole time snapping away. And ALWAYS edit/post later.

17. Don't depend on others for your happiness- if you let others control your happiness, you will basically never be happy. But if you are in control and choose happiness, then it is a different story.

18. If you want it, work for it- contrary to popular believe, things won't just fall into your lap if you wish hard enough. If you want to get into a certain college or get a certain job, you will have to work for it. Hard work will always pay off though!

19. Have fun- don't spend your whole life working away or watching Netflix alone. Learn to go out and have fun sometimes, because those are the memories you will remember best.

What have you learned so far? Share one thing in the comments below!
xo, Scarlett