Start of something new

If I am being entirely honest, I’ve had enough of fashion. There are so many other lovely blogs and outlets from which to get your style advice from, that creating another one to clutter your newsfeed didn’t feel right. I wanted a blog where I could share what really mattered to me, not some glamorized version of myself who appears to always have perfect hair. I wanted a blog where I would be inclined to post more often and not have to dread typing up yet another post.

So I did just that. In time for the New Year, I am starting my very own personal blog where you can find my thoughts, ramblings and the still the occasional fashion post. I hope you’ll love it just as much as I do ūüôā

 https://heartthatswalkingaway.wordpress.com

xoxoxo Layla

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What’s the meaning of life?

It’s a seemingly innocent question- 5 little words secretly masquerading as something much deeper. It’s etched into old trees, etched into our skin through tattoos and plastered on bumper stickers. We are desperate to find the answer to it and we try to seek it in many different ways.

Some opt for religion (me!) to explain what their life really means whereas others attempt to find it for themselves. They might go on long journeys spanning multiple countries to in an attempt to figure out what things mean.

For me, my definition of the meaning of life boils down to 2 principles.

– Serve & worship Jesus Christ. I’m a christian & I believe that God called us to worship & serve him. And Christians all have varying opinions on what that servitude should be. It might be as extreme as becoming a missionary and packing up your life to live somewhere halfway around the globe. Or it might be as simple as helping to run food drives for the homeless in your community.

– Be happy. After all, life is no fun if you are miserable and grouchy all the time. But like I previously mentioned, everyone has different definitions of being happy. Is happiness for you, a cozy little apartment stocked with dozens of bookshelves and an adorable little day job that leaves you lots of free time? Is it lots of money that can buy you a nice range rover, 3 homes and a personal chef?

Helli-days 

I know, the holidays aren’t always easy for people. If you need help, please call one of the number below! These are all for the United States ūüôā

Hemlines & Headlines 

– I know, I know, not my usual types of posts. But I thought I would delve a little deeper and have some fun with philosophy for this post!

– Expect my next post in 3-5 days; it’s all about having a wonderful new year! ūüôā

xo Amanda 

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What a difference a year makes

It’s amazing how in such a¬†seemingly¬†short time, a person can change so much. From updating our wardrobes (giving away faded denim jeans & ratty sweaters that you lived in during the wintertime) to getting a much needed boost of confidence, change is a force to be reckoned with.¬†

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I’ve changed in numerous ways- both physical and otherwise. I’m finally learning to tame the unruly tangle of curls that resides on the top of my head. I’m (much) more toned thanks to 2 and a half hour cross country practices and extra time spent in my high school’s weight room. My acne is (almost ugh) clear thanks to a brutal round of accutane.

But let’s go beyond the physical. I’m learning to be less of a people pleaser and to start shaping my own opinion of myself. I’m also less quick to judge since I’ve realized that that everyone has a reason for why they are doing something and its not my business. ¬†I’m a lot more confident thanks to the previously mentioned physical changes. I honestly love being in high school; I’ve made what seems like countless new friends and I’m taking classes that I’m actually interested in.

And lastly, I’m going to stop hiding behind a pen name for this blog for multiple reasons- the primary one being I want to be more open with y’all. How am I supposed to talk to everyone when I feel as if I’m holding up a constant facade? I hope you’ll love this blog as much as I love writing it and that it becomes a safe haven for you. A sort of escape from all the trouble and anxiety that can come with life. You’re free to discuss whatever you want on here (parents, school, politics, detailed discussions on why jeggings are 1000 times better than jeans, etc.) as long as you avoid hate speech & bullying.

So I have one question for you today.

How have you changed?

Let me know in the comments!

xoxo Layla 

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Guess who’s back!

I’ve taken a much needed hiatus to focus on school. As much as I loved WordPress, there just wasn’t time in the day for blogging, 3 hour cross country practices, 3 different club meetings, and homework for multiple honors classes. However, since cross country season is done with, I will be posting more often!

I don’t really have a set schedule, but my current posting goal is 2-3 posts per month. Obviously, this will vary based on the amount of schoolwork that I have, but I am working on writing posts in advance so y’all won’t have to wait as long!

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 Happy Halloween!

Wishing everyone a blessed and happy Halloween!

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Hemlines & Headlines! 

– Working on a blog makeover ASAP!

– What do y’all want posts on? Is there a certain topic that you tend to struggle with? Let me know in the comments & I just may write a post about it!

xo Amanda 

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Back to school 2k14 – Setting things straight!

As much as I hate to admit it, back to school season is here. You know what that means. Biology homework, dog walking, room cleaning, carpooling, basketball practice, & sometimes all in one day. Personally, I’m exhausted just thinking about it! To mange your very¬† busy schedule, here are some tips, tricks and strategies to keep you sane this school year.

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1. Prioritize! 

– Do you really need to do 5 AP classes, be the soccer captain,¬†student vice president, ¬†and be in-charge of your school’s Science Olympiad team? See what you can cut back on (maybe you’ve never really liked being in AP lit that much anyway) and say no to things that are optional/aren’t required.

– Signs that you’re overbooked: 6 hours of sleep is considered sleeping in, you have permanent eye bags, you can’t remember the last time you say friends outside of school, fast food is a key part of your diet, etc.

– There are going to be some times that are more stressful than others (state testing, finals, etc.) and you’ll be feeling rushed and overbooked; but don’t turn that feeling into an everyday occurrence.

2. Get a planner! 

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– Your agenda isn’t any good if you don’t write anything down! Be sure to write down everything from field hockey practice to math homework. You can even color code things if you want say by using a different color pen for each subject!

– You don’t have to get a boring black agenda from Walmart, there are soo many cute options out there! If you want to splurge,¬†Lily Pulitzer agendas¬†are absolutely gorgeous! If you have something more inexpensive in mind, ¬†you can always take that same boring agenda that your dad made you get and cover it with duct/washi tape for an easy DIY , not to mention Amazon.com has a large selection of cute agendas under $15!

3. Makeup your mind!

– Looking well groomed can be a major time waster. To save time, opt for multi-tasking products like BB creams. My favorite is dry shampoo which not only prevents me from washing my hair everyday (major time waster!) and adds volume which is wonderful if you have finer hair.

– One of my favorite tips to do is to have a small clock in the bathroom so your morning routine won’t prevent you from missing the bus.

– See what you can cut back on. Do you really need to shave your legs, under arms, & bikini line every single day? Is 4 different shades of eye shadow necessary just to go to school? I’m not saying you need to not brush your teeth or skip deodorant (gross!) but don’t feel obligated to spend hours on your morning routine just to take a math test.

4. Delete Distractions!

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РAs much as we all love our laptops, smart phones, and binge-watching tv shows, it can all be a major distraction!

– Prevent temptation as much as possible. If you have a bad habit of playing the latest addicting app till your thumbs hurt, delete the app of your screen & try going a week without playing. You”ll realize how much time you spent on it and you’ll be less tempted to download games like that in the future.

– Don’t use your phone as an alarm clock! It makes you much more likely to get woken up by a 3 am Instagram notification and/or check twitter first thing in the morning (not a good habit to start!). You can buy an alarm clock for as little as $3 and they are typically louder which is better for heavy sleepers.

– Do you tend to scroll through Facebook & check all your favorite style blogs when you are supposed to be writing a 8 page essay on how the civil-war started? We’re all guilty of it & that’s why programs like¬†cold turkey¬†(for windows!) &¬†¬†stay focused¬†(if you use the Google chrome browser) exist! You type in the sites that distract you & both programs will prevent you from visiting them for however long you specify.

5. Blogging Beauties 

– As much as I adore my blog, I’ll be honest. It takes a lot of time that I often don’t have. Writing, researching, & brainstorming posts can take up hours ¬†that should be reserved for doing school work.

– If you know you can’t handle the stress & time of owning a blog during the school year, explore other options. You could limit your posting from twice a week to once, enlist an amazing friend to help you co-own the blog and write up posts, or even take a hiatus.

– A major time saver for me was the WordPress mobile app! You can respond to comments, check up on your fave blogs, and even start on a new post. It’s available for both Apple & Android, & is so helpful when you don’t have access to a computer.

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Hemlines & Headlines! 

РShoutout to Massie Blocked for her wonderful comment on my latest post. love you!

– I tried a new foramt for this post. Thoughts?

– Here’s what 11% of people are¬†lying about¬†on Instagram. Were you shocked?

¬†QOTD- ¬†What’s your favorite thing about back to school?

xo Amanda 

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Inspiring Blogger Award

Before I start this post, here’s a huge ¬†thank you to the beauty behind¬†Black Hat Belle. She’s so sweet and always knows exactly what to say. I always look forward to reading her latest blog post so this award was a big surprise and very unexpected. Thanks again & i love you ūüôā

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INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD AHHHHHH #FANGIRLIN

 Rules!

1. Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Share seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 (or as many as you want) other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
5. Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for; the seven facts!

1. I just graduated 8th grade which means I’ll be a freshman next school year! ahhh I can’t wait! I have a really good feeling about this school year , I think it will be amazing.

btw- If you are a current or former high school student; feel free to leave me advice on what you would have done in high school. If I like your advice, you’ll get a shout out! ūüôā

2. ¬†I’m very¬†disorganized. I’m notorious for putting things in the wrong places and not remembering where they are for a few days. That’s ended up with nail polish in the pantry and orange juice in the freezer hahaha. My room (exp. for my bed which is always made up for some reason) usually resembles the aftermath of a tornado and at any given moment, I have 8 unread tabs collecting dust on my computer screen.

3. I love, love, love to run! I did Track in 8th grade (I run the 800 ¬†& the 1600!) and this August, I’ll be running Cross Country for my high school.

3. I have a really bad frozen yogurt addiction & my favorite flavor has got to be cake batter!

4.  My favorite stores are Marshalls, Target, Charlotte Russe & Books A Million!

5. My dream job is to work for a magazine like Teen Vogue or Lucky.

6. I have two dogs named Cupcake & Cappuccino. Cupcake is a blonde yorkie-poo & Cupcake is a white malti-poo.

7. ¬†I’m only 5’1 which makes finding clothes very difficult esp. pants so I mostly stick to dresses.

I nominate…¬†

http://topknotsandpolkadots.com/

upcoming alpha

Tall & Curly

Lisi Harrison

not to be cliche

ete memoirs

scribbling with stardust

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Hemlines & Headlines 

– QOTD: Where’s your fave place to shop?

– A how to survive middle school post is coming out soon for all my younger readers!

xo Amanda

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But first, let me take a #Selfie

Social media is becoming a larger part of our lives and with that, we need to take some responsibilities on how we portray ourselves.  Here are some tips for putting your best foot forward on one of the most popular social networks; Instagram. 

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Instagram Dictionary 

some basic terms you’ll need to know¬†

DM (Direct Message) – To send a photo to just a certain amount of people instead all of your followers by using the direct message feature.

#FlashBackFriday (#FBF)  РSame thing as #ThrowBackThursday but on a friday.

#ManCandyMonday (#MCM) – A hashtag where you post your man candy of the week

#ReGram – Not your original photo; a repost from someone’ else’s account.

#SelfieSunday- A hashtag where people post selfies on Sundays.

#TransformationTuesday – A hashtag where people post before & after pictures; say of the new haircut they got.

#ThrowbackThursday (#TBT) – A hashtag where people post an old photo of themselves on Thursdays

#WomenCrushWednesday (#WCW)- A hashtag where you post your women crush of the week.

1.  Keep it classy!

– I cannot stress this enough, don’t post pictures/captions with profanity or you doing something illegal. You never know who is looking at your account (college admissions officers? your uncle?) and once it’s online, it’s there.

– Bottom line, if you wouldn’t show it to your parents, think twice about posting it.

2. Have a great bio 

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screenshot of my personal Instagam bio

– Your bio is a way to showcase yourself in under 140 characters.

– You can mention sports that you play, a quote, a school/organization that you belong to, etc. I mentioned the #FreePalestine hashtag as a way to show my support for a current event.

– PLEASE don’t say things in your bio such as “I follow back” or “Turn that blue button green” it not only looks tacky but makes you seem really desperate to get more followers. On the same note, don’t use more than 1-3 hashtags per photo caption; it looks overwhelming & makes you seem desperate for followers.

– Another DONT is the overuse of emojis! Keep it simple ūüôā

3. Go beyond Instagram filters 

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screenshot of some of my favorite editing apps!

– Instagram definitely has some wonderful filters but if you are looking for more options, there is a large variety of editing apps out there to do all kinds of things to your photos.

РOne of my favorites is Phonto where you can add text to photos to make all kinds of cool edits. I also like Photo Grid to make gorgeous video and picture colleges not to mention the app Magic Hour Lite which can be used to make your own custom filters.

– Don’t go crazy with filters. Its completely fine to use one filter to cover up that zit in your selfie but filter on top of filter makes you look photo shopped and can make the picture seem blurry.

–¬†¬†All of these apps are free BTW ūüôā

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to get a white border around your pictures (which looks super gorgeous!), download apps like Insta Size & Square Ready; both of which are free

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QOTD? 

– Do you have an Instagram? If so, comment your username & I’ll follow you!

Hemlines & Headlines! 

– Have ya’ll heard Don’t by Ed Sheeran from his new album X (pronounced multiply) yet? I’m obsessed; I’ve been listening to it on repeat for the past week!

– Back to school season is coming faster than we’d all like to think. Subscribe to this blog to be notified when my infamous back to school series comes out!

xo Amanda

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