Saturday, December 31, 2016

What I Got for Christmas 2016


Last Christmas, I got a TON of jewelry. This year, I had to put my foot down and say that I didn't have a need for any more. I have jewelry coming out of my ears, but a girl can never have enough! These are just a few little pieces that I received this year that I am excited to add to my collection. 


For clothes, I really just had one thing that I had asked for. I think that having a nice fleece jacket is a staple piece for everyones winter wardrobe, and it was time for a new one this year! I picked out a cute Vineyard Vines Fleece Quarter Zip Shepshirt, and was beyond excited when I opened up this present from my grandparents. Along with my pullover VV fleece, my other grandma gave me a nice black jacket, little green cardigan with white polka dots, and a pink scarf with white details that will be great for summer.


Just like jewelry, a girl can never have enough accessories! I received a small Vera Bradley duffle from my aunt and uncle that will be great for weekend trips! I was also given a handmade tote bag, made by my grandma. For shoes I got a pair of black Uggs, and a pair of brown leather Birkenstocks, both of which I had asked for. Uggs are my favorite thing to wear when I have to spend hours doing homework and studying in the ice cold library at school. Alongside those things I was given a Phi Mu hat, and an arm band to hold my phone.

Misc Presents

As an art student, there are always some sort of art materials that I need for my various projects. This year, I decided to ask for a new set of watercolor pencils from my grandparents. It is a medium that I have grown to enjoy, however the set that I had was very limiting due to the lack of colors and the quality. It was just a set of Crayola pencils, so I decided it was time to move onto a better quality. From other family members I received money, gift cards, a new USB, personalized stationary, and The Body Shop body butter in Pina Colada!

Apple MacBook Laptop in Rose Gold

This is the present I was most excited for, and desperately needed! I have a MacBook Pro that is about six years old, and no matter how on top of updating it I am, it is constantly giving me issues. I had been wanting to get a new one for awhile, but it just was not able to happen. Lucky for me, this year my mom was able to snag me this laptop for Christmas! One of my favorite things about this new computer is that it is the smallest, lightest laptop Apple has to offer. My MacBook Pro was large and heavy, which made it hard to carry to class.  


I hope that everyone has had a great holiday season with their families! I, for one, have thoroughly enjoyed being back home, and on break without having to worry about any school work. I am excited to get back to FGCU for the spring semester, and have a fresh start with classes. Happy new year everyone!

xoxo, tay

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Journal #9

     "I haven't written in here for awhile. Longer than I like. So much has happened!
     Well, since I didn't get into Coral Reef, and neither did Sarah. I was set to go to Robert Morgan. Sarah and I went to the extremely disorganized orientation and got all excited. Then in the middle of the week my mom got a call... and she called me... and I got into Coral Reef! I'm SO excited! Another one of my friends got in off the waiting list too, but I don't think that Sarah will...
     Nicole and I went to the Coral Reef Orientation today! I met another girl who is also in art! We got our pictures taken for our school I.D.'s then I went to the art room. Mr. McKinley already gave us our summer drawing assignments! Then we went out to the courtyard. I got my class shirt and my uniform shirts. Then I signed up to try out for color guard. 
     There was two days for color guard. One on Tuesday for us to learn what we need to know for the try out, and one on Thursday. Thursday was the actual try out. On Tuesday, I met Amber. She's in my grade too! Plus she is in art! I think we will be great friends. I also met Brittany! She is already on the team and helped me learn everything. Thursday went pretty good! My try-out went well! I didn't drop the flag, not once!
     A little over a week later, I got a call saying that I made it on the team! I'm so excited, I can't wait for next year!"


     I was blinded by excitement at this point. I was ready to leave Princeton as fast as I could, and enter the exciting world of high school. If only I knew what a miserable four years were to come. It is NOT like it is in the movies, but much MUCH worse. Although, in movies certain aspects were worse than they were in real life. For example, there was not a group of bullies who pinned kids to lockers and stole their lunch money. The bullies of Coral Reef were much more sneaky than that, they were the kind of bullies you didn't see coming until it was to late. On another subject, there aren't very many sweet, caring teachers in the public school system. Most of the ones that I faced truly needed someone to tell them everything they were doing wrong. A lot of them did not seem to realize things, such as that shoving hours of AP homework in my face (due next class of course) would NOT help me learn. I would spend to many hours to the busy work that I rarely had time to actually study. These are just a few examples of the many things wrong with high school these days.

xoxo, tay

Friday, December 23, 2016

Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Gifts

Stocking Stuffer Gifts for Her:
  • Nail Polish
  • Face Mask
  • Candy
  • Perfume
  • Fuzzy Socks
  • Itunes Gift Card
  • Scarf
  • Journal
  • Hat

Stocking Stuffer Gifts for Him:
  • Candy
  • Itunes Gift Card
  • Beef Jerky (Or any other food)
  • Cologne
  • Hat
  • Sweatshirt
  • Belt
  • Pocket Knife
  • Socks

For these gift ideas, I tried to find some little items that were a little more on the inexpensive side, and could be thrown into a a stocking!I think

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Journal #8

     "Today was the Fall Festival at Princeton. I had a great time with my friends! My mom dropped me off and I hung out with Autumn and Amber until the rest of our friends got there. I did the rock climbing wall first, which was really fun! I forgot how much I like rock climbing. I got to the top really fast! Then Autumn and Amber did it. Autumn didn't make it to the top. Amber did, eventually. Later, we met up with Alexis. 
     When Alexis got there, we got in line for henna tattoos. I got a flower on my wrist. Later I went back and got my name on my arm. 
     We went to the dunk tank around noon to dunk Coach Johnny. Amber didn't get it with the ball, but ended up using her hand when he made fun of her "throwing arm."
     I did the rock climbing wall again, and made it up the hardest side!
     One of my friends put me in jail, so I put HIM in jail. 
      After the festival, I had to go to art class with Victoria, and worked on my drawing from last week."


     Okay, my old journals are really starting to get boring. Also, I am beginning to realize that there are some really embarrassing stories in here that involve people I totally still know... It is getting pretty hard to pick entries to share. I tend to chicken out with the juicy stuff, and end up posting something similar to the entry above: a simple account of what happened that day. This is a time where I started writing about more than just my day. Many people have tried to refer to my journal as a diary, and I tend to correct them quickly. I am not sure why I did so, because according to the definitions of these two words, both a journal and a diary are the same thing. 

Diary: A book in which one keeps a daily record of events and experiences.

Journal: A daily record of news and events of a personal nature; a diary. 

     I have always referred to mine as journals, mostly because that is what my mom called hers. It is the term she used when she introduced the hobby to me, when I was a little girl. I have always taken my journalling pretty seriously, and when people called my journal a diary, I tended to correct them. I suppose that I thought the term diary was taken as being more childish. Only young girls in movies kept diaries of there silly little problems, is what I thought. But now, I can see that the term diary and journal are very much the same thing. People tend to use the term diary to tease me, not a lot of people keep journals anymore, that I know of. However, journaling (or keeping a diary) is a habit I intend to pass down to my children. I hope that they grasp it the way I did. As silly as it sounds, journals like this could be the next version of The Diary of Anne Frank. They could be what provides history to the future generations about what life is like for us here, and now. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

3 Easy Last Minute DIY Christmas Gifts

For this DIY, I have pulled together some of my favorite types of presents: gift in a jar! I think these are super cute and easy to make! You can personalize them to whatever type of person you are gifting this too. For my DIY's, I made one for the person who likes to bake, for the person who loves beauty products, and for the person who loves doing there nails! Pinterest is a great tool for these kinds of gifts, and I encourage you guys to explore your options. Get creative!

For the baker:

Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar

You can do all kinds of things with this one! I chose to do chocolate chip cookies, and I loved the way the different layers of ingredients look. My own jar did not come out the prettiest (whoops!) because I had some trouble with making the ingredients fit in the jar. It still came out pretty cute though! The recipe I found called for a quart sized mason jar, but that was not big enough, so I just found a large mason jar and went with that. If you want, you can try adding half of each ingredient to this recipe so that the jar is filled up for. For mine, I decided to just add a card in the top, open section, to fill up some space. 

You will need...
  • 1 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips
  • 1 large mason jar
Layer each ingredient into the jar, and then finish it off with decorations! I added a ribbon around the top, and a piece of decorative paper to the lid. I added a sheet with how to finish off the recipe on the inside.

For the beauty lover:

Sugar Scrub in a Jar

I have been wanting to try a DIY sugar scrub for ages, and this post finally gave me an excuse to try one! It was super easy to do, and took about five minutes of my time. If you know the person really well, you can tailor it to be there favorite scent and color. It is a present that will show that you care about the person, and am willing to go the extra mile for them. I would personally LOVE to receive a scrub like this as a present! It is one of those things that isn't really something you want to buy for yourself, even though it has a ton of benefits for your skin. Body scrubs like this do great at removing dead skin so that the oils can soak into your skin and moisturize it properly.

You will need...
  • a small jar
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup of granulated white sugar
  • 2-4 drops of food coloring 
  • 10-15 drops of essential oil
Since I am making this as a Christmas present, I decided to go with a peppermint scented essential oil, so that it would go along with the holiday. As for the coloring, I used a pink color and only added a small amount so that the color would come out as a light, cotton-candy shade. For this I would say use one large drop of color, or two small drops. All you have to do, for this DIY, is mix all of the ingredients together into a bowl. If you use solid coconut oil, you need to melt it in the microwave first, so I would advise to just buy it in liquid form. I stirred together the coconut oil and sugar first, then stirred in the food coloring and essential oil last.

For the nail lover:

Manicure in a Jar

I have seen this idea float around Pinterest a ton, and decided that it would be something cute as a Christmas present as well! You could make a small one and use it as a stocking stuffer or make a larger one and add in every nail item you can think of! I went for a medium sized option because I had a hard time fitting my items into a small jar. This is one of those that you can change up if the person doesn't care for nails quite as much. You could get a larger jar and fill it with cooking items, or even fill up a jar with makeup! There are a ton of options here. I went ahead and made a manicure jar because I figured it was a good universal gift for girls.

You will need...
  • 2 Bottles of Nail Polish: a clear coat and a cute color
  • nail file
  • mini nail polish remover
  • manicure set (clippers, etc.)
  • cotton balls

xoxo, tay

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Journal #7

     "I went on a field trip with Princeton today. The whole 7th grade went to Island Dolphin Care. I had a great time! Then again, I like Marine Biology. In the bus on the way to the Keys, I sat next to Priscila. 
     Ms. Debbie wanted to make it an all day field trip, so we stopped in Biscayne National Park to walk a trail. It went to far into the water, there were some parts that we had to jump from rock to rock not to get wet! Priscila and I walked together the whole time.
     When we got there, first, we watched a movie about mollusks. Then we dissected a squid! It was so cool! The squid I dissected was a guy. I could tell because of the color of the insides. I got to skin it and use its ink to draw stuff!
     After dissection, we went to the touch tank. I held several star fish, one brittle star, a sea cucumber, hermit crab, sponge, and a live clam! I kissed the sea cucumber to get seven years of good luck. I even touched a sea slug and a sea anemone!"


     This is one of my coolest journals to look at on the outside. It has this beautiful wood on it with a lizard cutout. I acquired it from Costa Rica, and the pages on the inside are made from recycled paper. The content of this journal is absolutely, horrendously boring. I don't know what happened here, but I seemed to have gotten into a groove of just recording what I did throughout the day. It is, for the most part, absent of other thoughts. I totally struggled to find a good entry to share with you guys, so I settled on this passage about a field trip I went on with my seventh grade class that I apparently thought was "so cool!"

xoxo, tay

Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas Gift Guide: For Him

This gift guide was probably the hardest one to make. Boys can be so difficult to shop for! I managed to come up with a variety of items to help spur ideas for you ladies out there trying to find a gift for your husband, boyfriend, brother, friend, etc.. Some of these are much more expensive then others, so keep that in mind. The YETI Cooler, for example, would be the one gift I would give someone along with their stocking. However, if I did the YETI Holiday Gift Pack, I would definitely throw in some of the other items here. I totally don't have a boy to give any of these things too, other than maybe my brother or dad, but one day I will hopefully have a boy I can spoil at Christmas time!

Here is a list of the items shown above, going from left to right, starting at the top:
  • Bose Bluetooth Speaker
  • YETI Holiday Gift Pack
  • OtterBox Phone Case
  • Cornhole
  • Beats In-Ear Headphones
  • Vineyard Vines Hat
  • YETI Roadie 20 Cooler
  • Vineyard Vines Quarter Zip Fleece Shep Shirt
  • Men's Wicked Good Moccasin Slippers
  • Sperry Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe
  • ENO Hammock
  • GoPro HERO4 Silver Edition Camera
  • Ralph Lauren Cotton-Cashmere V-Neck Sweater
  • Chubbies The Whole Enchilada Coral Button-Up Weekend Shirt
  • Columbia Men's PFG Bahama Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Barbecue Set
  • Chubbies The Anchors Away Shorts
  • Nerf Gun

I hope that this helps some of you all out this Christmas!

xoxo, tay

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Gift Guide: For Her

With Christmas just around the corner, I know that many of us are still trying to find some gifts for our family and friends! I have put together a few little gift guides to help you all out. If you need a present for your daughter, mom, girlfriend, friend, etc., check out this gift guide for tons of awesome options that just about every girl would love! Some of these things I already have, and thoroughly enjoyed, and some of these things are items that I wish I had, which is why I included them. 

Starting at the top, from left to right, these are the products listed:
  • Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics
  • Ugg Women's Bailey Bow II Boots
  • Yankee Candle Gift Set
  • GUESS Double Breasted Boucie Cutaway Coat
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit - Surreal Light
  • Bose Bluetooth Speaker
  • Lush Stardust Gift Set
  • Marc Jacobs Fragrances: Daisy Gift Set 
  • Sephora Collection Tools of the Trade Brush Set
  • Fleece Quarter Zip Vineyard Vines Shep Shirt
  • Ray-Ban Clubmaster Flash Lenses
  • Tory Burch Robinson Large Zip Tote
  • Bath & Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel Holiday Traditions Gift Set
  • Michael Kors Women's Rose Gold Bracelet
  • LL Bean Boots
  • Beats In-Ear Headphones
  • Cellphone Camera Lense
  • Michael Kors Phone Case
I hope that this helps some of you guys out, keep a watch for my next gift guide!

xoxo, tay

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Journal #6

     "I wasn't going to do much today, but ended up having some real fun. Tomorrow I was supposed to go to the youth fair, but we were looking at the tickets online and discovered that the 'pay-one-price' ticket weren't good on weekends. So we bought them, and decided to go tonight! We called Nicole, and she was free. When her mom was done with work, she met us there.
     We picked Nicole up at her house and drove an hour to the Miami-Dade Youth Fair. Since we didn't get there right away, we got a parking spot that was really far away. 
     Since we bought our tickets online, we got to go right in. The first thing we did was get in line for the swings. The line was long, but the ride sat a lot of people so it went by fast. After that we got in line for the fireball! Nicole was terrified! It's a bunch of seats in a circle facing each other. The circle spins while the whole thing rocks like a rocking chair. We had just barely made it on and we didn't have seats next to each other. I had a great time, but Niki not so much. 
     The next ride was the one that spins in one little circle while the whole ride spins in a big circle going the opposite direction. In the line for that we met two girls who sounded like they were from out of the country. But we found out they live by dolphin mall. We told them we live way south by the Everglades. They were debating on whether they should go on the ride or not. I told them it was really fun. 
     After that Nicole made me go on the haunted mansion ride. I hate those rides! They are so scary! I screamed a lot! My face was in my hands the whole time. I didn't uncover my face until Nicole told me it was over. The guy operating the ride laughed at me. 
     For the rest of the fair we rode a BUNCH of rides. Plus we pigged out on junk food. Nicole's mom joined us later. At around 11 o'clock Nicole felt sick and we went home. My mom and I ate a funnel cake and went home. By the time I was in bed it was midnight."


     My ride description skills are quite superb, aren't they? Also, Nicole totally made me go on the haunted house ride as payback for the ride I made her go on in the beginning. Yeah, Niki, I see you. I must have felt really cool for going to bed so late with the way I stated it at the end....
     I still cringe at my writing at this point. I think what really bothers me is that I am pretty sure, at this point in my life, I thought that I was a good writer. I just keep reminding myself that I was young, and this is from my journal (so a place that I was not concentrating on making my writing itself as amazing as possible). We can't just become a decent writer over night, we all have to start from somewhere...

Monday, December 5, 2016

My Recent Reads

Books are a uniquely portable magic. -Stephen King

  1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: The first time I heard about this book was through a book-tuber (a YouTuber who discusses books). She was obsessed with the book and raved about it in several of her videos. I made a mental note to look into the book, but never actively sought it out. Over the summer, while delving into the book section of a Goodwill, my eyes fell upon Outlander, and memories of hearing some girl on YouTube obsess over this story sparked. I picked it up from the shelf, but did not dive into it until recently. Holy moly, I am obsessed. This book is SO GOOD. I highly encourage everyone to pick this up somehow and read it. I am so excited to get the next book so I may continue into the series. The book is large, so it takes dedication, but I was so immersed in the story that I flew through it. I read it in all of my spare time. The story did have a few areas that became slow, but push through those and you will not be disappointed. The book is about a young woman who discovers a Scottish Stone Hedge and ends up being transported back in time to the medieval Scottish countryside that is full of savage Englishmen and Scottish Clans. Along the way, she comes across a young man, and you will have to read the book to find out what happens between the two!
  2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: When I think of this book, I think of high school. Many of my friends had to read this for their English classes and loved it. I was spared from this book in my classes, and was actually a bit sad about it. I loved when we read novels in class. While in Goodwill, the same trip that I found Outlander, I came across this novel. I picked it up and kept it for when I needed something to read. I started it after I finished Outlander, and it was a bit of an adjustment. I hate to say this, but I honestly did not care for the book. It was definitely a good story, full of twists I never expected, and even touching in some parts, especially the end. However, I found myself finishing it purely to finish the story and get it out of the way. It took me longer to read than a book that size normally would. The story did, however, have some eye opening moments. It was my first time reading anything about that area of the world, and in that time period. 
  3. Carrie by Stephen King: This book is very different for me. In high school, a boy I was dating absolutely LOVED Stephen Kings novel The Gunslinger, and I wanted to share that experience and discuss the story with him. However, in my mind it was quite boring. It threw me away from Stephen King for awhile, but here I am. I picked up a copy of Carrie from my schools library for this little experiment. It is a smaller book, so I figured it would be easier to get through. I have seen the movie, so this also made me curious to read this book. I regret seeing the movie before reading the book. So much. I am, again, not used to reading this style of writing, but found it much more interesting than The Gunslinger. The writing itself, in the story, was beautiful. The imagery really helps one to envision the scene in your head. The story was a creative and a unique twist to a normal magical phenomenon for other similar pieces. I am definitely interested in reading another book, one that I haven't seen the movie for already!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Journal #5

     "Hannah's Dad drove us to church camp today. It took a good six hours. Maybe more. We watched 2 movies on the way up; Yours, Mine, and Ours and The Day after Tomorrow. That and we listened to music and talked. Hannah's Dad took us to Quizznoss's for lunch although he kept pestering us to go to McDonalds!
     When we finally got there we had to wait in a long line for check in. Then we went to our cabin to unpack and hang out. When everyone in our cabin was here we went to Praise Time. Its where some of our counselors that can play instruments get together and make a band. They sing awesome Christian songs about God and Jesus. Everyone sings and dances along! Hannah would not dance though, only clap to the beat.
     From there we were separated into small groups after plating a bunch of games. We went to a big room. Like a gym. The games we played were: People to People, Ghost in the Graveyard, and two others who's names I don't remember. One was like a rock paper scissors type thing and the other is a Simon Says kind of thing. 
     Once in our small groups we went to little mini buildings, sat in a circle, and talked. We had to use our name to put with a word than put a movement with it. Mine was Terrific Taylor with jazz hands. We also told what grade we are going into and our hobbies. I was surprised to notice that Hannah and I are some of the youngest in our group. Most of the kids are going into eighth grade. None in sixth. Three or four in seventh. One was even supposed to be a freshman in high school, but signed up as middle school to be with friends."

So, that is the description of my first day going to camp. At that point in my life I did not have any sort of relationship with God, so camp was a very eyeopening experience for me. Also, I would like to note that this entry actually ends a paragraph later. I left out the last paragraph because it was literally like five sentences of me going on about some boy that I thought was cute in my small group. .. smh middle school Taylor smh....

xoxo, tay