Friday, September 26, 2014

SENIOR YEAR

Three years ago, I was just getting ready to start classes at Western Washington University. At times, it feels like it was just yesterday. Other times it feels like it was ages ago.

Yesterday was my first day of my last year of school. I know, I know, it's so stereotypical, blah blah blah, but I'm so thankful for the opportunities that college has brought me. As a first-generation college student, I didn't really know what to expect out of college, but I'm so glad I came here.

When I was young, I wanted to be a doctor. I didn't know what kind of work that entailed until I got older, so eventually I switched my goal to be a nurse. In high school, I went through a phase where I wanted to study photography and go to art school but realized that wasn't exactly doable. Then, I came to Western thinking I wanted to study environmental science (boy, was that short-lived) and eventually switched back to biology, with the hopes of becoming a nurse after school.

I took chem classes, bio classes and math classes and my grades suffered. I sucked at chemistry, biology was interesting (but really hard) and math is just... math. I couldn't picture myself graduating with that degree but I also couldn't picture myself graduating with anything else.

Then my dad got sick. Really sick. I dealt with this during school, and again, my grades suffered. Finally, before the second week of winter quarter of my sophomore year (and what was going to be my hardest quarter yet) I got a phone call from my mom saying I needed to come home immediately because dad wasn't doing well.

Two days later, I dropped all of my classes for the quarter. I knew what was going to happen. My dad was going to die, and I wasn't going to be able to focus on class. I was right; he did die. That's easily the hardest thing I've ever had to go through in my life, especially as a 19-year-old college student.

However, in the weeks that I sat at home recovering, I realized something needed to change. I couldn't continue with these classes that made me unhappy. I had adopted a new perspective on life — you've gotta do what makes you happy. My dad had always engrained that in me, but balanced it with a "as long as you can make a living" mindset. I signed up for a few easy classes that seemed to be more in my niche for the quarter that I returned to school; art (well, technically visual dialogue), art history and newswriting. I heard all these classes were pretty easy to get an A in, so I was excited.

I didn't expect what would happen next. Newswriting became one of my favorite classes. It was interesting and I was good at it. I searched through the journalism department website and noticed that one of the options was a visual journalism major.

Visual journalism had everything I wanted in a major. It had the writing aspects and the artsy aspects. This was everything I never knew I wanted.

Now, a year and a half later, I'm nearly done. I've yet to take a class within the major that I didn't like. I don't expect that I'll dislike any, but for now, I'm enjoying every second. You know how they say that doing work that makes you happy isn't really work? I'm finding that it's true.


Fall quarter 2011


Fall quarter 2012


Fall quarter 2013 (and my first published story!)



Aaaand there's me on my last first day of school (Fall quarter 2014). It got a ton of likes on Facebook. I felt pretty proud.

Side note: I was scrolling through old emails a few months ago and found that in response to an email of me whining about how hard chem was, my dad suggested I switch to journalism before I even realized I wanted to do that myself. Funny how that works.

In nine months, I'll be done with school. I have no idea what I'll do then, but I guess that's part of the adventure. Maybe I'll move across the country. Maybe I'll move across the world. Maybe I'll stay in my cozy little Bellingham bubble.

For now, I'll just take life as it comes.

xo,
allie

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

#TOY2014

A few weeks ago, my good friend Kari shared with me that she was heading to Vancouver on an all-expenses-paid business trip for Seattle Magazine. I was super excited for her, but then she called me and invited me to come along with her, and of course I said yes!

The trip included a one-night stay at the Opus Hotel, restaurants, manicures, bike rides and other activities. The only thing we had to do was tweet when we went anywhere, and write about it when the trip was all said and done. Kari will be writing about it on her blog and on Seattle Mag's website (I'll link it once they're up!) and this is, as you could probably assume, my recap of the trip.

Next month, there is an event called Taste of Yaletown. I don't know how to describe it, so here is how yaletowninfo.com describes it:

"From October 16th-30th, Yaletown kitchens will offer featured menus, special tastings and innovative pairings to tempt the most adventurous foodie. With a fresh approach to fixed price menus of $25, $35 and $45 restaurants will offer combinations of food and drink or even special in-house events."

For this, we got to test out a few of the restaurants that will be participating.

On Sunday, September 20 and Monday the 21st, Kari and I headed to Vancouver. She flew up, and I drove since the drive to the airport would be longer than the drive to our location from where I live. I took out enough cash to pay for parking, only to pull up to our hotel and see Kari outside, who then told me "don't worry — your overnight valet parking is covered!"

I got all my stuff out of my car and headed inside. My first thought as I walked into the hotel was holy crap; this is amazing. 

Warning: This is going to be a very long and photo-heavy post.

Monday, September 22, 2014

5 THINGS | SEPTEMBER 2014

1. End-of-summer sunsets.



Could that view get any better?

We're so lucky to live in the town that we do, with the view that we have.

2. Day trips with Isaac.



Sometimes the stars cross and we both get a day off work. The same day, even. So on those days, we like to do silly things like drive to the mall (one we don't work at) and just shop.

Also, that part of the sidewalk was sparkly, hence the feet photo. My legs look weeeeeird. 

3. Wavy hair.



Lately I've been trying to get my hair a little healthier (I use heat almost every day.... heat plus bleach do not a healthy head make) so I've been letting it air dry. My hair is naturally... indecisive, as in some days, it's curly, some days it's just frizzy, but lately it's been the kind of beach-y waves that I love. Thanks, hair. You've got my back. Er, head.

4. Candles.


I'm all for super fall-y scents, including my favorite — Flannel by Bath and Body Works. This candle will make your room smell like a sexy man just walked through it and blessed you with his presence... and scent. If I don't have a boyfriend, I might as well have a candle that smells like one... right?

5. Converse shoes.


I had my first pair of Converse shoes when I was 13. They were white and had penguins on them. Penguins. Now, I've grown out of my "I'm so random! I love penguins! xD" phase, but Converse are still just as much of a must-have today as they were seven years ago. I'm currently wearing the life out of my white pair and have yet to love my grey ones as much. When fall comes around, I'm sure they'll get a fair amount of wear.

xo,
allie

Friday, September 19, 2014

REVIEW | NAKED 2 BASICS

A few weeks ago I got my hands on the new Naked 2 Basics palette from Sephora.

I have all of the previous Naked palettes, so I was excited for the newest addition to the series. The Naked Basics wasn't my favorite (although I do love Faint for filling in brows, and Venus as an eyebrow bone highlight) I like this palette a lot more.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

GOODIES!

Lately I've been finding myself either in the company of people who like to spoil me (thanks mom!) and having a little extra cash from working a ton. That being said, I've been spoiling myself a little more than usual lately and here's what I've been spending my $$$ on.

Monday, September 15, 2014

BEAUTY 101

In my last post, I was sitting in the Radisson next to SeaTac airport preparing for Benefit Beauty school.




The hotel that I stayed at was also the place of training, so that morning I just had to get ready to go and then head downstairs. All I knew was that breakfast was at 9:30 and training started at 10, so I got up around 8 and took my sweet time. I didn't know if I was supposed to wear all black, if I was supposed to wear makeup and have my hair done (coworkers had told me we'd be doing each other's makeup) so I chose to wear a black polka dot dress and pink cardigan. I did some minimal makeup and curled my hair and headed downstairs with absolutely no idea what I was doing.

I'm one of those people that is always early, so I sat down in the lobby at around 9:10 and played on my phone for a little bit. Eventually, I saw some other girls who were wearing all black and also looked lost and we kind of gathered together and started awkwardly small-talking about "oh, so how long have you worked at Benefit?" etc.

At this point, we'd been up for more than an hour (some people had to drive in that morning) and we were hungry so we gravitated toward the food in a room nearby. We saw a sign on the wall and some nametags that had pictures of Benefit products on them, so we decided that's where we were supposed to be and grabbed some breakfast and some coffee.

Eventually we were led into the training room, which is where the photos above were taken. There were three tables, each with six chairs, and at each chair there was a cute little notebook, pen and some other sheets along with lots of makeup and skincare in the center of the table. After some icebreakers, we all learned about Benefit and talked about our objectives for the day and got started.

I won't go into specifics, but we did a lot of activities where we learned makeup techniques (mixology and brow mapping) and at the end of the day we got some gratis (free goodies!) I got a bag that had a lot of good stuff and the one shade of eyshadow that I don't like (blue. bleh!) but I'm still totally stoked that I got the stuff I did.

Overall, Beauty 101 was an awesome opportunity and I'm thankful that I get to have fun with work. I love that I work with other makeup geeks and a lot of the people who come in are also makeup geeks so I get to gawk out. Benefit is a great company, and I'm happy to work for it.

xo
Allie

— LET'S BE FRIENDS! —

Friday, September 12, 2014

FANCY LIVING

As I write this, I'm currently on a bed in the Radisson hotel next to SeaTac airport.

No, I'm not flying anywhere; I'm here for my job.

When I started at Benefit Cosmetics at Macy's in July, I was told I would be heading to 'school' in mid-September. I didn't really know what that meant, but hey — that sounded fun!

Now I just know that I have to be downstairs by 9:30 and that we'll be learning about Benefit and doing each other's makeup; I'll update more with what I did on Monday!

For now, here's a little peek into the hotel room I'm in and what I brought.


My room! I was supposed to have a roommate, but she never showed up. #score


Macbook Pro | Case: Etsy | iPad Mini | Makeup bag: Forever 21 (similar) |  #GIRLBOSS | Backpack: Target




xo
Allie

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

AUTUMN TAG


Autumn is only weeks away!

I have always loved autumn and everything about it. When I saw the autumn tag going around, I knew I had to participate!

--


1. Talking about coffee, what's your favorite drink from Costa, Starbucks, Cafe Nero etc?
I'm allllllll over the salted caramel mocha. I've had like, seven already this year.

2.Accessories: what do you prefer - scarves, boots, gloves, anything else?
Scarves and combat boots! I also love beanies but find them hard to wear.

3. Music - what's your favorite tune / band / singer to listen to during Autumn months?
Anything acoustic/slower. I tend to listen to more moody music when the weather starts to get colder.

4. Perfume - what is your favorite perfume during Autumn?
I don't really have a specific one to be honest; right now I'm loving Benefit's Ring My Bella and smother myself in it every time I'm at work!

5. Candles: what scent you will be burning this Autumn season?
Flannel by Bath and Body Works. This candle smells like a man. A really, really good smelling man. If I can't have the real thing, I guess I'll have a candle that smells like a man, amirite?

6. What do you love most about Autumn?
My birthday! Pumpkins, candles and darker makeup. So p much everything.

7. Favourite makeup look?
I just like to go a little darker! Dark bronze eyes, dark lipstick (although it's high maintenance).

8. What are you looking forward the most in Autumn?My 21st birthday! And halloween. And pumpkins. ALL OF IT. #fallforeverpls


I tag everyone who loves autumn! Comment below with a link after you've posted it so I can read!

xo
Allie

Monday, September 8, 2014

A LITTLE ABOUT ME

Photo: Kari Lutcavich
I've noticed that I've got a few more followers from Facebook, Bloglovin and Twitter recently! Hiiiii! Thanks for following!

You may or may not know these little tidbits about me. I tag anyone who wants to fill this out to post it on their blog with their own answers!

THE BASICS
Name: Alexandra/Allie
Age: 20 (21 next month!)
Height: 5'7"Hair Color: BlondeEye Color: BlueReligion: NoneEthnicity: French and a whole lotta other white
Status: Single


FAVORITES

Color? Pink and blue
Hair Style? Beachy waves or straight
Food? Teriyaki
Soda? Coke
Alcoholic Beverage? Wine or cider
Store? Sephora, Torrid
Mall? That I've been to? Southcenter mall
State? Washington? Not entirely sure.
City? Seattle

Animal? Peacocks
Movie? Across the Universe
Tv show? Doctor Who

Anime? Uhh
Book? The Pact by Jodi Picoult

Music? A lot of different stuff
Song? Blackbird - The Beatles
Band/Artist? The Beatles, Muse and Green Day
Website? Bloglovin and Pinterest


THIS OR THAT 

Soda or Juice? Juice
Music or Internet? DON'T MAKE ME CHOOSE PLS
Rock or Rap? Rock
Cats or Dogs? Either
White or Black? White
Cell-Phone or IPod? Cell phone (Spotify, hell yeah)
Curly hair or Straight hair? On me, curly
Lap top or Computer? Laptop
Mountain Dew or Pepsi? Pepsi
Phone or Internet? Internet

Summer or Winter? Winter
Going out or staying in? I like both!


RANDOM

What do you do on your spare time? Internet. Play with makeup.
What do you wish you had more time for? Getting organized and going to the gym
What's your usual clothing style? Lately, black, black, black.

What's your usual hair style? Top knot
What are you wearing? Work leggings and black shirt
Are you single or taken? Single
Who would you die for? My family and friends.
What do you think of one night stands? You do you.
Who's your Bestfriend? I'm lucky enough to have more than one

Do you have any pets? Nope
Do you plan on getting married? Eh.
Do you plan on having kids? Also eh

How old do you wish you were? 21 PLEASE
If you were to be anywhere right now where would it be? Sleeping in my bed.
Ever gone camping? Many times
Have you ever gone skiing on a mountain? Snowboarding, yes.
Ever gone to church? I was in Christian school for 3 years
Ever gone to a famous water park? Yep
Ever gone out of state? Yep
Ever gone out of the country? 
Yep
When was the last time you left town? A while ago

What year were you born in? 1993
What do you do in the summer time? Stay inside.
Are you naturally tanned? Not at all.
Do you live in a house? Yep, I live with four roommates
What do you have on your mind? Chocolate chips.
What time is it? 10:28 p.m.


That's a little about me! If you fill this out, leave it in the comments so I can read it!

xo

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A TOURIST IN MY OWN TOWN

This weekend, I had the privilege of having my good friend Kari, who had never been to visit me in Bellingham before.

We had fun driving around, catching up and having some much-needed girl talk all while I showed her around Bellingham. I never quite know what to show people who have never been here before, so I had some fun being a tourist in my own town.

Friday, September 5, 2014

URBAN DECAY PERVERSION/SUBVERSION REVIEW

As I've said before, I'm a mascara addict.

So when I got a sample of the Urban Decay Perversion mascara in my Ipsy bag, I pulled a Tina Belcher and had a crap attack. (Not really.)

I used it twice before I bought the full-size product. Not just because I liked it, but because I could tell it was going to be awesome. I hopped on to Sephora and bought the Perversion/Subversion set and the new Naked 2 Basics palette.


The packaging itself is nice and sleek, consisting of a dark silver tube (for the Perversion) and a small, white tube for Subversion. It's nothing special, but it's not ugly either.

What makes me love this mascara is the outcome. I've mentioned before that I love big, dramatic lashes and I feel like this mascara does just that. Even when you don't use the Subversion primer before the actual mascara itself, the mascara still gives a voluminous and long-lash look.

Even after a day's wear, this stuff didn't flake or budge. I've noticed that when mascaras last all day like that, they tend to be hard to remove (*cough* they're real *cough*) but this was easily removed with a makeup wipe and a few scrubs.

My only complaint really is that the mascara is super wet and takes a while to dry. The first few times I used it, I had a few small smudges. It takes a little getting used to; I've learned not to really maneuver my head around a little.

I didn't mind spending the $22 on the product because I looove how it makes my lashes look. If you're not as obsessed with mascaras as I am, I would just stick to something like Maybelline Falsies because it gives a similar look for less price.



In this photo, I'm also wearing the new Naked 2 Basics palette; maybe I'll do a review of that next. Let me know if you'd like to see one!

Have you tried Perversion/Subversion? How did you like it?

xoxo








 — LET'S BE FRIENDS! —

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

WHY I STARTED BLOGGING


I've always loved to write.

When I was young, I would sit at home and write stories on Microsoft Word on our home computer. I would sit there for hours, trying to find the right font for the story, the right names for the characters and of course the best title. Most of these little stories were loosely based around my life (which was actually very boring in reality.)

Aaaand eventually, my love for writing stories on Word was replaced with love for the internet. MySpace took up most of my time. If you remember MySpace, you'll remember that there were "bulletin" features and "blog" features.

I don't remember too many people that utilized the blog feature, but I used the bulletins like they were about to go out of style. (They did.) I would write about my day, chronicle my thoughts and post random quotes that matched my moody teenager self. I deleted my MySpace years ago, but now I wish I could go look at it again just to see the kinds of stuff my 13-year-old self would post.

Eventually, I made a blog. My first blog was actually a weight loss blog that I made when I was 17. I would post about my ups and downs of healthy eating and exercise and injuries. When I stopped trying to lose weight, I stopped writing.

Less than a year later, I moved to college and made another blog. The blog has since been made private and deleted so only I can see it and there is some pretty embarrassing stuff on there. I started that blog as a way to write about my college adventures so that I would remember them as I got older, and so my dad could read what I had to say since he didn't have facebook. Again, I lost all motivation and stopped blogging again. 

Finally, last summer, I started Short for Alexandra. First, it was called "Allie Tries to Blog" since I couldn't come up with any fun names, and I had the intention of using this blog to write about plus size fashion and college life. 

My early posts are mostly about how excited I was to visit Europe and what I would wear while I was there. They also included thoughts about how I had no idea what I wanted to do when I got older (I have a clue now!)

It's been so amazing to see myself grow as a person and a writer using blogs and Short for Alexandra.

I've used this summer to take Short for Alexandra more seriously (mostly because I was home alone for nearly A MONTH) and the work has paid off! Last month, I hit 10,000 page views (mostly thanks to this post which went kinda viral on Pinterest) and I bought a domain. 

I'm terrible at keeping my blogging schedule steady, especially during the school year, so the next few weeks I'm going to try to get myself in the habit of getting posts scheduled and written. In fact, I'm currently writing this on Tuesday and it will be posted on Wednesday. Another one will be posted Friday, too. THINKING AHEAD.

Who knows where Short for Alexandra will take me if I keep it up! I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Why did YOU start blogging? I love reading other people's stories!

xoxo

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

AUGUST FAVORITES

Hello, September!

August is officially over and I can stop feeling guilty about loving the overcast and rain. I'm so excited for the pumpkins, the fashion, the dark lipstick and the seasonal drinks at Starbucks. And my birthday, I guess. (Next month!!)

However, August was still a great month. A lot of it was spent working and hanging out at Coralie's house whenever I'd have a rogue two days off in a row.

There were some products that I absolutely loooooved in August and I'd like to get in the hang of writing a monthly favorites post. Here are my August favorites!




Ology Moisturizing & Revitalizing Shampoo
This stuff smells amazing, is paraben and sulfate-free and was also cheap at Walgreens. I've been trying to switch to more natural products for my hair (specifically sulfate free) and was happy to find this brand and product. It's a little strange because it doesn't get sudsy or foamy like regular shampoo, but still leaves my hair feeling awesome and clean (and smelling like pear and cucumber!)


Maybelline Color Tattoo in Inked in Pink
Cream eyeshadows can either be worn on their own, or with eyeshadow over it. I've noticed that this is a great color to wear with the rosier colors of the Naked 3 palette or a perfect color for a neutral, every day look. This color and consistency are great!

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso
I've read dozens of reviews of Milani blushes, all of them saying how awesome they were. I've never been too into blushes until recently, but I absolutely love this blush. It's got a perfect glowy coral color that lasts all day and doesn't go on too cakey.

Essence Sun Club Matt Bronzer
I did a review on this stuff on my blog a few weeks ago, and my love for this bronzer is still going strong.

Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Eye Makeup Removal LotionFor years, my favorite method of taking off my eye makeup has always been baby oil, but it leaves a weird film and if it gets into my eyes I can't see for about an hour! This was another purchase that I made on a whim at Target, and I'm really glad I did. This takes off even the waterproof-est of mascaras and blackest eyeliners (I'm looking at you, Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner) in only a few seconds. Just make sure to wipe off the excess with a wipe or wash it off when you wash your face, as it is mineral-oil based!

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo is one of those products that I am super picky about. Until recently, I have only ever loved my tired and true Batiste, but stumbled upon this at Target and decided to give it a go. Normally, I don't buy something if I haven't at least read some reviews, but I'm glad I bought this on a whim! It costs half the price of Batiste, comes with more product and works just as well. I'd say it gives more volume than Batiste, too, so this gets an A+ in my book.


Other

C2C
If you're looking for some upbeat electronic-y music, C2C is perfect. I can't stop listening to Down the Road and Who Are You.

Neybers
This app has provided me endless entertainment. You are given a plain room and then free reign to decorate it however you'd like. Best of all, it's free. Download it for iPad here

What have been your favorites recently? Anything you suggest?

xoxo