December 31, 2015

2 0 1 6

"Don't be afraid. Take courage. I am here!" 2015 was a year of stepping out into the unknown with complete faith. 2015 was my year to walk onto the water. So many beautiful events happened this year, including going to San Francisco for the Walk for Life, graduating high school, going camping for the first time, attending a youth conference, going to college, going to Colorado and hiking, being nominated for homecoming princess, flying to Miami and spending Thanksgiving there. And finally, being challenged as a person. Here is a video compiling all my highlights from 2015. Enjoy!


My 2016 word is:

Ephesians 4:1, "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called..." This year the Lord is calling me to a deeper faithfulness. 
A faithfulness that draws be out of myself to rely only on Him. 
A faithfulness that calls me to be authentic in who I am. 
A faithfulness that is worthy to be called a daughter of the King. 
A faithfulness that says "Yes" to every opportunity that is presented.
A faithfulness that stays true to who I am, no matter where the road leads me. 
A faithfulness that loves without reserve.
A faithfulness that embraces everyone that is put in my path, even those that challenge me.
A faithfulness that first cultivates those virtues inside myself, before giving and teaching them to others.  

What I really want in 2016 is:
-To learn what it means to love authentically and without reserve
-To run after what I want and fight for it
-To read a motivational book once a month
-To continue searching for that mentor that will challenge me and call me onto greatness

What I really need in 2016 is:
-To challenge myself academically
-Pursue a deeper relationship with our Lord, through our Lady  
-Cultivate authentic friendships, and grow the ones I have

What I will share in 2016 is:
-The blessings and testimony the Lord has given me
-My time with others
-My gifts and talents

In 2016 I will succeed at:
-Being more diligent in my monthly goals
-Being more deliberate in my time
-Taking on more leadership opportunities 

2015, its been a pleasure. 2016, I can't wait to see what joys, struggles, pain, memories, and friends you bring.

December 28, 2015

My Freshman Dorm Tour ft. Scholastica Hall

Well friends, I am finally getting to posting some pictures of my dorm. I took these in September so my room as evolved a little...I guess I'll just have to do an updated tour and the end of my freshman year. I love the res hall I'm in, so many memories have already been made in this crazy little place. Basically there are around 25 girls on each floor. 2 girls to a room and 2 communal bathrooms on each floor.

My room came with this oh so lovely forest green colored wall...but I've dealt with it and just covered it with some cute prints. Most of the prints I created myself except two of them.

 Bedding // Target  
Jersey sheets // Target
Plush Blanket // COSTCO

 Just a little blackboard that I hang my keys this picture some ROC week apparel is hanging on it. :)

 You know, just a college dorm room essential...

 Where all the magic happens!! I do my makeup at my desk and sometimes school work here.

 On top of my from home, flamless candles, and coasters from World Market.
 On the top level of my desk...body mist from B&BW + jewelry trays.

 Lilly P. just chilling on my desk with my Kate Spade mug.

 You can see my beanie & raven day headband pinned to my cork board. #ravennation
            P.S. Since taking these pictures we have added Christmas decor and rearranged our room.

December 21, 2015

Fashionista Interview || Gold-Hatted Lover

Happy Monday friends! Today you are in for a special treat...Mary-Katherine from Gold-Hatted Lover graciously agreed to an interview for me today! She is seriously the sweetest and such a huge inspiration to me on starting out in the blogging world especially within the the fashion arena. I was blessed enough to get to meet her a couple months back when she visited my college, because she is actually married to the son of the president of my school! 
Me with some other fashion blogger at my school and MK in the middle


1. Can you tell the readers about yourself and your blog?

I'm Mary-Katherine, the writer behind Gold-Hatted Lover.  I am a newlywed (can I still say that if it's been 2.5 years?!) who loves to travel but I still consider myself a major homebody.  I crave warm weather and will always consider California home no matter how many places I live after it (going on three!)  My goal with GHL is to inspire regular girls just like me to get out, experience life, and look good while doing so.  I hope you'll come check it out and be a friend!

2. Who would you say is your number one fashion inspiration?

Everyday fashionable girls!  Girls just like myself who rock their style, girls who I could see myself being friends with, they are the ones that inspire me the most.

3. How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?

Sticking to a schedule and using the weekends.  I shoot photos on the weekends, and then work as much as possible to get posts ready and scheduled for the week so that I have minimal work to do on the weekdays.  Then during the week is when I work on socials, emails, and finishing touches to blog posts. 

4. Has there been something that has surprised you in the blogging world since you started?

Two things: That brands would actually want to work with me and that I would truly make friends through this platform.  Those have been two very pleasant surprises!

5. Where would you like to be in blogging five years from now?

Honestly not sure!  People don't always realize that blogging is a lot of work, but as long as the fun outweighs the work I will keep with it!

6. What do you think is the best social media strategy for getting more visitors to a blog?

Interaction.  Commenting back on social comments, responding to blog comments, browsing other blogs and leaving comments.  All of these drive traffic back to your blog and social channels and help you build a relationship with your followers and readers so that they are more likely to come back to visit again.

7. What are some of your current fashion obsessions?

Right now I can't get enough of my over-the-knee boots!  They really are the best winter boot and such a staple in my closet since I live in the Midwest where it gets really cold during the winter months.

8. Favorite fashion magazine?
I really don't read them!  But I do always love browsing the J.Crew Catalog (even though that's not really a magazine) - I love how they mix and match basics in unique ways and season after season they have a quirky take on the classics. 

9. Have you met anyone interesting/famous on your blogging journey?

I have met a few "big bloggers" like Amber Fillerup (twice!), Rachel Parcell, Emily Jackson, and Jenny Bernheim and was pleasantly surprised that they were all genuinely kind and gracious - it made me like them even more! 

10. If you could give one piece of advice to somebody trying to start a fashion blog, what would it be?
Go for it, don't wait!  I deliberated starting a blog for three years before I actually took the jump and my only regret is not starting it earlier.  You'll never feel "ready" and you will still be Googling "How to Auto Size Images in Blogger" years into it, but that's just part of blogging - we are always learning new things and making changes.  So go for it and figure it all out later!
Make sure to follow MK on social media:
Facebook: @goldhattedlover
Twitter: @mkminnis_ghl
Instagram: @mkminnis_ghl 
Pinterest: @mkminnis_ghl 
Thank you so much Mary-Katherine for taking the time and sharing those words of wisdom with is today! Keep up the awesome work and I look forward to your future in the blogging world! 

September 9, 2015

Dorm Diaries || The First Month At College

Well, I'm finally getting around to sharing about my first month of college. I've done so much already that it feels like I have been here forever! It has definitely been a whirlwind month filled with lots of emotions. It has been one of the most challenging months but also the most rewarding. It didn't really hit me that I would be living 1,800 miles and nine states away from my family, until those final goodbyes after the family send-off Mass.

I am completely surprised that I ended up in pretty much the middle of no where, since I am a city girl. But now that I have been here for about a month and half, I now know I wouldn't want to be any where else except here at BC.

The first couple of weeks were definitely an adjustment, but even with all the changes I felt like it was an easy and natural transition. Part of the reason for this smooth transition is the school itself. They have such a strong vibrant community spirit that you feel it as soon as you step foot on campus.

The first week was a whirlwind of events because of a Freshman tradition they have here called ROC Week (Raven Orientation Camp). It was an exciting (sometimes stressful) week of events, that ended with the traditional beanie banquet. I am now a full fledged Raven!

Molly, one of my AWESOME ROC leader!!!
Obligatory 1st day of class pic with the president 

 There are little gems all over campus, including the beautiful grotto of Our Lady.

 One of best things about going to BC is that you are constantly surrounded by some inspiring Catholic giants! For instance, we were blessed to hear Sarah Swafford talk to the woman, which was AMAZING!
 With some friends at a birthday party for the Blessed Mother on September 8th.

 This was a daily thing during my first month of college. ;) Just in case anyone was curious on what I get, it was a Sugar Cookie Latte.

 R A V E N  GAME DAY!!! We won! ;)

At another game with some friends!! 

Okay, so I am in the process of a dorm tour post. So that should be up SOON!! In the meantime here is a sneak peek to the room. 

Well, until the next post (which hopefully won't be that far away), I want to leave you with these words from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI that encompasses my schools motto this year. 

"The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness." -Pope Benedict XVI

August 6, 2015

Modesty: More Than Meets the Eye

Originally posted at Ignitum Today 

“Modesty is more than a fashion statement, it’s a daily decision to dress like the child of God you are…”

In order for one to dress in a spirit of modesty, we must first understand why. Why should I care about what I wear and how I wear it?
When we hear the word modesty, more often than not we immediately think of clothing or sometimes the lack of clothing that some wear. It is true that clothing is a big factor in the meaning of modesty, but it’s not the only thing. It’s mainly about realizing and understanding the dignity of us as a person, and those we are in contact with. It’s about understanding our worth and dignity as a child of God. Modesty calls us to live a life of virtue.

Why a life of virtue? Because what’s the point of dressing in a way that honors God’s creation if our speech, our conduct and the way we interact with others is not as virtuous? Basically you become your own worst enemy. Yes, you are dressing honorably but at the same time speaking in a foul language. Or it could be that you dress in a way that brings dignity to the human person, but at the same time you are conversing and acting around young men in a way that doesn’t portray any virtue. You see, modesty involves more than just clothing. Modest dress is simply an outpouring of your pure and modest heart.
"How beautiful then is modesty
and what a gem among virtues it is."
-St. Bernard
Modesty encompasses the entire person, not just the outer fashion sense. True modesty brings dignity and worth to the person, because we recognize the person as one with both a body and a soul. We acknowledge that we were created by God in HIS image and we have a responsibility to carry and present ourselves in a way that is pleasing to God.

Modest clothing is actually more revealing because it shows the dignity of the human body through both clothing and most importantly by how we act and carry ourselves in that clothing. We should never present ourselves in such a way that lowers our dignity and projects a message that others can or should desire to use us. We are not objects but rather subjects with a soul.

A modestly dressed woman has a mystery about her as well as a sense of humility, dignity and confidence because she doesn’t need to lower herself to the standards of the world. Rather, she makes the world stop and look up to what the standards should be.
Women of today need to set the bar for the men. Because if we set the bar so low, by the way we dress and conduct ourselves, then the men aren’t going to step up and be the Godly knight they are called to be.
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
-1 Corinthians 6:19-20

August 4, 2015

Dorm Diaries //Freshman Year Bucket List

18 days till I'm BC bound! ❤

 1. Attend college
2. Meet 10 new people & continue to be friends with them
3. Take at least 1,000 pictures
4. Get an A on a test
5. Dance in the rain
6. Stay up for 24 hours
7. Join a club
8. Go to at least 5+ football games and other sports
9. Stay organized
10. Stick to a prayer schedule
11. Avoid the Freshman 15
12. Go on a road trip
13. Lose 20 lbs
14. Surprise someone
15. Spend a whole day sleeping (I don't think this will happen)
16. Have someone come visit me
17. Explore all the buildings on campus
18. Go to office hours!
19. Participate in big campus events
20. Take an early morning walk on a Saturday morning
21. Make friends with a foreign exchange student
22. Don't procrastinate
23. Visit the rec center 3x a week
24. Have a picnic
25. Participate in a campus wide tradition
26. Stay classy
27. Learn a another language (Take Italian while studying abroad in Florence)
28. Pass all my classes
29. Grow even deeper in my Catholic faith and relationship with Christ.
30. Have a girl's night in
31. Don't give up
32. Thank those who normally don't get the gratitude
33. Call Mom & Dad ♥
34. Blog.Blog.Blog
35. Go to Adoration frequently and daily Mass
36. Spend time in the library
37. Consider "study abroad"
38. Send a letter to a random person
39. Live in a dorm
40. Remember why I am at school
41. Write a letter to myself and save it for Senior year
42. Leave notes in library books
43. Participate in residence hall events
44. Thank a professor
45. Keep room clean
46. Attend a "theme" party
47. Make a difference
48. Receive a care package from Mom
49. Vote in student government elections
50. Chalk dye my hair red for game day
51. Have a  picnic on the football field in the off-season
52. Have lunch with my favorite professor
53. Donate blood
54. Make friends with one person in each class
55. Take a selfie with the mascot (Rocky the Raven)
56. Attend concerts that take place on campus
57. Try to challenge myself daily so that I may become the best version of myself

July 24, 2015

How I Edit My Insta Photos

Before I even take the picture and start editing it, the most important step to the perfect picture is LIGHTING. You want to make sure there is enough light in the picture, that way the editing is easier AND you get a consistent Insta theme. Thumbs up for an "on-fleek" Insta. Hehe, sorry I had to say that. ;) Okay now on to the editing steps. I use an app called Afterlight for ALL my editing. I believe it's 99 cents.

 Step 1 || Saturation. I usually turn the saturation up a tad to make the photo look a little more alive.

Step 2 || Brightness. Love this part! I will almost all the time do it to 100% and sometimes a tad more. I like my pics bright and fresh looking.

Step 3 || Sharpening. This is an important step if you want you pictures looking clean and fresh. It will do exactly as it says, sharpen the picture surface.

Step 4 || Light clouds. This (like all the others steps) is super important to getting that bright fresh look to your photos. I always use filter #4 & 12 on my photos. Adjust it to whatever softness you want.

Step 5 || White frame. The last step that in my opinion will enhance your already bright and fresh photo is adding a white frame. You don't even have to leave the app because Afterlight has that ability as well. Pretty snazzy I know!

Okay so those are the steps I do all the time for my Insta feed. I hope you enjoyed getting to know the secrets to my feed. Just kidding there's not really any secrets. ;)

July 18, 2015

Summer Whites + Floral

Happy Summer!
Since I just got my first pair of white jeans I had to do a fashion post showing them off. ;) They are SOO soft and comfortable, seriously who knew they could be so comfy. Needless to say I love them. They are perfect for the warm summer weather and are really fun to come up with different ways of styling them.

Jeans // NYDJ
Blouse // Lauren Conrad
Flats // old
Watch // Amazon
Belt // from another dress
Black sunnies // Charming Charlies
Aviators // Amazon