What I Wore: Blazers, J.Crew & Magic Jeans

    Gee wiz this blazer makes me feel powerful so I’m going to put my hands on my hips but I’m Alysse so I can’t be too serious so here is a huge smile!

    So in case you didn’t know I have officially transitioned my mind and my closet to Fall! Besides the beauty of the leaves falling and the crispness of the morning air, my favorite thing about Fall is the various outfit options that are now available!

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    Doing it all & Staying Organized While You Do It: A Lesson from Lysse

    I have to start off by saying OMG I THINK ITS FALL!! I am sitting on my porch swing in yoga pants and a Patagonia listening to leaves swirling in the wind, and gee wiz this is perfect. Okay, back to the featured presentation. If you know me IRL (in real life, thank you Call Your Girlfriend) you know that I can be slightly obnoxious when it comes to organization and planning, especially for school. Going into our 4th week of school and my activities are definitely in full swing and I thought I would share some of my tactics for keeping everything straight!
    Of course we have to start off with my planner. Yes, is Lilly Pulitzer, and no I do not plan on every buying one again. It works just fine, but it is just too thick and takes up too much space in my bag. I carry my planner along with my “life notebook” everywhere I go, and it just too big. Anyways, all my homework assignments go in here, with activities and meetings on the top line. Its pretty simple, everything gets written down, and then it gets highlighted when completed, or dashed through if I didn’t get to it that day. I typically do all my readings for the week on the weekends, which is why Fridays look so tight. Personally, I rather work really hard on the weekends so that during the week I can have time for my many activities or other weekly assignments.

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    My desktop! I keep folders on my desktop to have easy access to all my notes, all the papers I’ve written or are currently writing, as well as way to categorize documents that are specifically for something I am involved with. For example, documents that relate to my major (YSI), or a current research project (YWLP High), or my Personal Brand folder that holds my resumes and cover letters in. The sticky notes have been a new addition to my organization “plan.” Because I do a lot of my work beforehand I use the sticky notes to remind me of what the necessities are for each day. This is just to make sure I don’t spend too much time on something thats due Friday and completely forget about whats due tomorrow.

    The first two pictures mostly focused on the academic side of my organization. The white board in my room is a way to keep track of my activities for the week. It hangs beside my desk in my room and is really helpful because I can wake up in the morning, look to my board and get a reminder of what I have for the day.  (S/O to those trusty command strips)

    This one right here might be my favorite organization tool. I printed off my class schedule, wrote in my work and internship hours, along with other activities that happen weekly, then laminated it. Now, I keep a sharpie with me and simply write in other events I have throughout the week. It is a really nice illustration of what blocks of time I have open, so I can literally “pencil people in” my free time. Then at the end of the week I can take some nail polish remover and start over. If you use any of these four organization recommendations use this one, it is ridiculously helpful.

    Everyone has their own ways of staying organized. I cringe at people who don’t use planners, but I mean you do you. I hope one of these tools could be helpful as you get in the groove of this new year, and I would love to hear y’alls own strategies for staying organized!?


    My Unrealistic Payday Wishlist

    Transitioning from working full time to only few hours a week has been sad for my wallet, to say the least. This past week I turned in my hours and I had a little moment when I only submitted 26 hours on the job compared to the 89 hours I worked last pay period. So while I am getting paid on Friday most of it will be going to bills, since I am an adult now. If I did have some disposable money, this is what I would buy!

    I have almost finished decorating my room (maybe a post on this when it is all done), but I still want to do a few more minor projects. I want to make new curtains for my window and for my french doors, as well as create a cushion for the tv stand that will also serve as a bench. I have no headboard, so I feel like I need some type of art work to hang above my bed. I really love this quote right now, so I just need to find it in the correct size!

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    It is almost fall, so that means I need a new pair of leggings…right? I bought a grey pair of lulu leggings last spring and they are truly magical, so now I really want a pair of black ones.

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    I don’t always want to wear t-shirts with my leggings, and in my head loungy long sleeve shirts are a better alternate. So basically I want long sleeve shirts like this in as many colors as possible!

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    Y’all know me, I couldn’t have a wish list without including anything from J.Crew! A couple years ago I bought a jacket that looked just like this for about $30 from Forever 21. My little sister started asking if she could have it last winter and I’ve decided that this is a perfect time to be a great sister, and at the same time, buy something new for myself. Eventually I will be passing my Forever 21 jacket down to her and I will purchase the lovely field jacket below!
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    So yes, even if my paycheck wasn’t going to bills I still wouldn’t be able to afford everything on my list ( I would barely be able to afford the jacket) but a girl can dream right?! I have been putting some money away all year for a big shopping spree in January this stuff will just have to wait.


    Playing an Adult: Morning Edition

    For the past two years of my life I have become accustom to waking up at some ungodly hour of the morning. Allowing myself 13 minutes to: go pee, grab a protein bar, put my hair in a bun, pick up my bags that were nicely packed the night before, and head off to practice (I slept in my practice clothes to allow for more sleeping clothes). Now for the first time in a while, that is no longer my life. I do work at 8am three times a week, and give myself a solid 30 minutes to get ready. But twice a week on Tuesday and Thursdays, I try to be an adult.

    At 7:30am my first alarm goes off, but no no no it is not time yet. I set a 7 minute snooze, grab my stuffed elephant Benjamin (Kenny) and turn back over.


    The quickest 7 minutes of my life just happen and I wake up again to set my 4 minute snooze. During this 4 minutes I try to think of happy, warm cuddly thoughts (I really do this).

    tumblr_myz422dCTM1s77o8jo1_400Alright now I’m awake. Kinda. The next step is coffee. I stumble down the steps in search for the Keurig! ( I just bought 50 Dunkin-Donut K-cups from Costco!) With coffee in hand I open my laptop and stare at the bright screen patiently waiting for it to come on.

    Okay, here is the adult part, I read the news!!! First, I start off reading The Skimm, something everyone should try! If you’re looking for a simple way to stay informed of the current happenings in the world, the skimm is it. Every morning they email you the latest “skim” of the world news and its really entertaining, yet informative! After I have a general sense of what is going on, I move to the New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic to search for other articles I am interested in ( The education articles get most of my attention). I have always been someone who enjoys reading various articles, especially while I have been in college. I actually have another blog post in mind talking about the “love language” my roommates and I share from sending out links to the articles we think the other would find interesting.

    So maybe this really isn’t an “adult” thing, but I definitely feel like there is an element of maturity that comes with this. Or maybe I’m just telling myself that I’m cool. Who knows? Really, I just wanted to experience what it is like to gradually start your day, instead of rushing into it with only 13 minutes. So far, it is has been a lovely experience and I hope to stick to it for many mornings to come.

    This morning I read: The Demise of Private School, How Testosterone Affects Language, and The Skimm’s Guide to OPEC!

    What are your favorite news outlets? Have you read anything good lately?


    An Open Letter to my 3rd year Self

    Dear 3rd year self,

    As you move into your 3rd year of college acknowledge why this year feels different than the years before. Recognize the growth you have made and identify where you still need to improve. Your second year was a marathon, and you were crawling at the end, so don’t put yourself in that position again.

    Work hard in school, and know that you are the queen of time management and will get everything done. Say yes and figure out the details later. It will be worth it. Do well on your first midterm so you don’t have to stress later. Have someone read over your papers and make sure to use commas!

    Plan for your future but don’t take for granted where you are right now. This is a special time and you don’t want to miss out on things because you are too focused on the future.

    Always choose people. But don’t neglect your other obligations.

    Love Jesus and know His grace.

    Don’t feel like you need to go out, because you know there is a 76.4% chance you will end up sitting in the window seal watching everyone else. Sit at home, read, hang out with people who have similar interest. Find museums, art shows, new coffee-shops, movies. Be able to entertain yourself.

    Never stop loving as hard as you do. But protect yourself. Sometimes it is necessary to make decisions with your head instead of just your heart. Don’t let anyone consume who you are and your emotions, because at the end of the day, you are the sun.

    Ain't no rain getting in my way What's broken

    Podcast Party

    Podcast Party: Back To School Style 

    This past weekend I drove home for the last time to pick up some rather large furniture for my new house (updates on that to
    come).  I finished listening to Serial on my last trip home, so I had to find something new for this round. With the help of some quality Buzzfeed articles I found a podcast series called “Call Your Girlfriend.” In effort to not get too bored of one thing, I separated episodes of Call Your Girlfriend by listening to 3 different interviews by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on one of my
    favorite new books “Americanah”, as well a inspirational Ted Talk from a principalIMG_6485 in a tough low income school district, and lastly a NPR interview of Buzz Bissinger, the author of the original Friday Night Lights book.
    I have to be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect with Call Your Girlfriend as it is dubbed the “podcast for long distance best friends.” I was pleasantly surprised with what I got though! The two host are best friends who travel a lot and live far away from each other. Ann Friedman a successful freelance journalist, and Aminatou Sow who founded a tech company called Tech LadyMafia, use some technology that I have not been able to quite understand yet, that allows them to record together even when they are on different continents. Anyways, together they discuss current events, popular articles floating around the web, their own lives, and there is usually a update about the most recent studies regarding menstruation (lols). In the past three days of ease
    dropping on their conversations I have learned some new lingo, including:
             IRL:  in real life, usually referring to a friend you have met in person
             URL:  referring to a friend you have online
             Shine Theory: a phenomenal concept directed that encourages women to not look at other women as competition, but as a resource to “shine”/be great together. The quote from Ann Friedman’s  article in The Cut, explains it perfectly: “if Kelly Rowland can come around to the idea that she shines more (not less) because of her proximity to Beyonce, there’s hope for the rest of us.”
    Read more of Ann’s published articles here and learn more about Aminatou and her company here!
    Have you listened to any of these podcasts before? What do you think of the podcast Call Your Girlfriend?

    In Case You’re Feeling Like a Fake

    Have you ever sat in church and felt like you shouldn’t be there? Do you ever feel so distant from God that you don’t see why or how you are going to fix things? Do you ever blatantly disobey the Lord and feel little remorse?

    Do you ever feel like a “Fake Christian”?

    Over the past month or so this is exactly how I have been feeling. I could blame not being in school and therefore not being in my routine for why I haven’t been reading the Bible. I could blame not being around my christian community for not having anyone to keep me accountable. I could blame my work schedule for leaving me busy and tired, but no. It is really my fault and there are no excuses. Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 10.24.52 PM

    The other week I met with the women who has been discipling me over the past year and she asked how my “Jesus life” was going. In efforts to be honest I just came out and said that I was feeling like a fraud. I went on to explain how far behind I am in my Bible reading plan, and how far away I have felt from God. She immediately reminded me that this is happens to everyone and that the devil is who is making me feel like I am a fake. In reality, God is trying to draw me back in, and I just need to cancel out one and focus on the other. In the moment I felt relieved and encouraged but the feeling didn’t last long.

    That conversation was at least two weeks ago, and I still have not given a real effort to spend time with the Lord, and I think I know why. I am hiding. When I sin, and I know I am sinning I feel as if I need to hide. Like who would I be to sin, then open my Bible later that night and stand directly in God’s spotlight?! Well guys, it turns out that God can see me no matter what. Obviously I know that but it doesn’t make things easier. I also tell myself that when I decide to stop sinning I can run back to the Lord, repent, then get back on track. I am right, I can do that, but that is taking advantage of God’s grace, that is not how it is suppose to work.

    So here I am feeling like a fake and feeling like it’s the wrong time to turn back to the Lord. But really, there is no better time then now. I am reminded of the story of the prodigal son. He turned his back on his family and did everything wrong, but when he decided to come back home, he was celebrated and welcomed with open arms despite his obvious mistakes! Beautiful right? 

    God knows what we have done, it is impossible to hide, and because we know we are wrong, and because we know we need Him it is time to come back home. Run back into the arms of the Father. Let him celebrate your homecoming, and realize that you were never a fake, you are a child of God and He will always celebrate your return. 

    Podcast Party

    It’s a Podcast Party!

    My mom’s house is about a 2.5 hour drive from where I go to school. At first I would get really excited to create playlist for the drive home, but after awhile I got tired of listening to the same songs, or constantly having to seek out new music, so I found another alternative: podcasts! Having an iPhone makes it very easy. There is a purple podcast app and from there you can scroll through the various categories. There are so many different types of podcast out there: Ted Talks, news, celebrity interviews, stand up comedy, sports talk, etc. Just find what you are interested in and get listening!

    Here is what I have been listening too lately!

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    If you haven’t heard about the Bethke family you need to go google them pronto! You might know Jeff from this youtube spoken word video.  They are such a good example of what a young, loving, Christian marriage looks like and I love learning from what they have to say. As a couple, they do podcasts together and it is just so entertaining to hear how their lives are going in Hawaii, funny stories about their baby girl, as well as their answers to questions sent in by listeners. I recommend 10/10!

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    After I got all caught up with the Bethke’s podcast I was in search for something new, and came across Serial by This American Life (always a solid place to find new things). Sarah Koenig, a journalist, tells the true-story of a murder case of a high school girl. Each week a new installment of the series comes out and you follow her as she uncovers information from the trial, old friends of the victim and alleged perpetrator, and police reports, all in hopes of figuring out if the ex-boyfriend currently in jail for her murder actually deserves to be there. I have two more episodes to finish, and I am so anxious to find out the truth!

    Podcast a great for long drives because episodes can range from 20 min to an hour and it makes the time pass really quickly. This past weekend I listened to 4 episodes of Serial on the way back to school!  Let me know if you tryout any of these, and share your own favorites if you have any!


    Chicken Divan Where is my Man?!

    Now that I am living on my own this summer, without a meal plan (tear tear), I’ve had to cook a lot more for myself. This weekend at my mom’s house we made Chicken Divan together and I’m excited to have another dish under my belt. Here is the recipe we followed!

     Side note: I used the title because it rhymes and I like how it sounds. I don’t feel the need to further my culinary skills solely for pleasing a man!  Continue reading


    What I’ve learned Playing Basketball with the Guys….

    Playing pickup basketball after work has been one of my favorite ways to kill time this summer. As I type this, I am sitting on my bedroom floor recovering from the SEVEN games I ended up playing tonight (we just kept winning and I couldn’t say no). Here are a few things I have learned playing with the guys:

    You have to be assertive. If you’re new to the gym and the regular guys don’t know you, you have to be able to ask to be on people’s teams. Just walk up to them confidently and act like you know what you’re doing.

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