a formal occasion

Hello hello, and happy Halloween!

Can you believe it’s already the end of October?! My bad, it’s been nearly a month since I’ve posted. I think I needed a break from blogging since, for awhile there, I was just cranking out travel post after travel post for my study abroad program and it got mildly exhausting. I also just got super busy with school and extracurriculars – but more on a life update later.

In between classes, hosting information sessions for club activities, working, getting coffee with professionals, team meetings, I do try to have fun every once in awhile. Every quarter, my sorority hosts a formal dance. For fall quarter, it’s known as the boat formal! Super fancy and fun – it’s definitely my favorite formal every year. This year, I took one of my good friends Jo who I met during my London study abroad program. I always love giving my friends who aren’t involved in Greek life a taste of what it’s like.

My only problem? I barely brought any fancy dresses with me to school this year. I didn’t have time to go shop for a dress beforehand because I was so busy – making the trip to downtown Seattle would have been a hassle. Luckily, I knew a few girls who frequently ordered dresses from Tobi I picked out a dress I normally wouldn’t wear; I’ve never worn body-con dresses until I found this one that makes me feel confident and allowed me to dance the night away.

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Dress // Hoop Earrings // Rose Gold Block Heels

I love the cut of this dress, especially the geometric lines and shapes. Funnily enough, the hoop earrings I’m wearing are actually ones I bought from London. Y’all, I could probably write a whole post about how hoops are changing my life: they are instant confidence-boosters! I feel like I can conquer the world and accomplish anything in my hoops.

Finally, I was at Nordstrom Rack when I stumbled upon those beautiful Steve Madden Carrson Sandals! I had been wanting a pair for so long and found these rose gold ones for less than $35 – that’s unheard of!! I had to snatch them for formal.

Here’s a few (lower quality) photos from my fun night:

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Look out for more posts to come this month – amidst all my busy-ness, I want to stay connected with y’all!

Thanks for reading,

Jen x

*Thanks Tobi for providing me with the dress in exchange for an honest opinion!*

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focus in the fall

How was everyone’s week? This week was my first full week of classes and while my class load is somewhat lighter this quarter, I’m still exhausted. I’m definitely still adjusting to a lot of aspects of routine. I thought I’d empty my thoughts a little here today.

Since coming back from Europe, I’ve been catching up with a lot of friends, new and old, and it’s brought to light a lot of things I want to focus on this fall, especially after so much spontaneity and irregular routine in traveling.

  • Mindfulness: I had a great conversation with a friend I met through a mutual friend, and she’s a certified yoga instructor who lived in a monastery this summer. She herself was trying to get back into the routine of mindfulness, and I thought that was something I wanted to get into as well. I tried meditating last month with the Headspace app and really enjoyed it.
  • Values: I like to think I hold pretty truly to my values. Sure, traveling this summer tested a lot of those values – even stretched them – but I want to reign my values back in and refocus on what I think matters to me in my life. I’ve met people who have challenged my values, which is great, but as a foundation, I know my values are who I am and how I explain myself to other people. I do want to continue exploring why I value such things, but I want to remember why I stay true to them.
  • CareerGetting back into the swing of things in Seattle means getting back into recruiting. I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping that as a main focal point so far: I’ve been scheduling coffee dates with professionals and connecting back with people I talked to last year. On the side, I’ve been making the time to develop skills and knowledge by reading non-fiction/business/self-help books. On my to-read list are books like Quiet by Susan Cain (currently reading), Presence by Amy Cuddy, and Onward by Howard Schultz.
  • Learning: This ties back into the books I have on my to-read list, but I want to keep learning outside of my classes as well. When people hear the word “learning”, they automatically think of it in an academic setting, but it doesn’t always have to be. I’ve set it upon myself to get into podcasts! I listened to a few during my freshman year, but I definitely want to start back up again. I want to try to listen to them when I work out or when I’m walking to classes. Just to name a few, I have Freakonomics RadioModern Love, and Girlboss Radio loaded on my phone.

Whew, there’s so much running through my mind but I think I got out what I needed today. I’m hoping this list keeps me accountable, or at least serves as a reminder that I can refer to when I’m losing that focus for the rest of the year.

What are y’all focusing on this fall?

Thanks for reading,

Jen

europe travel summary – snapchat edition

Hello!

This might be last Europe travel post, finally. I thought it’d be fun to share a Europe travel summary through my Snapchat stories. My Snapchat isn’t public, so no one but my friends see my stories. However, there are some cute ones from this summer with fantastic geo-tags. Here they are!

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Looking at these photos legitimately make me so nostalgic, but which one is your favorite geo-tag? I think they’re all so adorable!

Thanks for reading,

Jen

dear london | week three

Happy Monday & happy October!!

This is my last London-specific post, can y’all believe it?! London was packed with so many fun adventures, and so I present to you my last photo diary. Heads up for a LOT of pink – I’m not sure why I visited so many places with a pink aesthetic (I’m definitely not complaining).

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The Platform 9 and 3/4 at King’s Cross Station!

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Beautiful houses in Notting Hill. My life flashed before my eyes on this day when I almost got hit by a motorcycle 😳

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Farm Girl Cafe in Notting Hill – so basic, but so good! I’ll definitely be adding pomegranate seeds to my avo toast from now on!

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Couldn’t say no to a photo opp in front of more adorable houses in Notting Hill!

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Booked a reservation at Sketch! It was really stressful because if you cancel your reservation, you get charged 30 pounds. This dish alone was 18 pounds! Very unique though – orange and carrot sauce.

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I recommend going during the day since the lighting is better, but it was still so! aesthetic!!

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Y’all, the bathrooms. ‘Nough said.

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DDF – daily dose of fro-yo.

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The most stunning cafe I’ve ever been to! Peggy Porschen Cakes. The line was so long.

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I hit up the Camden Market and stopped by the Pasta Hand Rolled tent. It was so freaking delicious.

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The professionals over at F5 recommended Wolseley, a high tea place. I went with 5 other girls and it was simply amazing.

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Some Harry Potter Studio Tour photos!

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Aaand that’s it!! I hope you enjoyed following my journey in London – looking back at these photos have me feeling some type of way 😭

Look out for my general Europe wrap-up and reflection soon!

Thanks for reading,

Jen

britain – week four cultural visits // 09

Hello hello!

Who’s ready for the weekend?! I actually have classes on Fridays this quarter so it’s a little rough, but it’s only an hour in the morning so I think I’ll be okay. Today, I wanted to go over possibly my favorite event from my trip – the Harry Potter Studio Tour! I had been looking forward to this trip ever since I applied to the program. Y’all, it was a dream come true.

I think a lot of people expected the studio to be part amusement-park as well like the Universal Studios in LA and Orlando, but it’s not. It’s basically a Harry Potter museum that displays actual sets and props that they used while filming. We were led to an auditorium to watch a short video about the studio tour itself, and they opened the doors to the Great Hall. The Great Hall led into the main studio – they had things like the costumes of the characters, wigs, and makeup. Literally anything you could think of was there. My favorite costume that was there was probably Hermione Granger’s Yule Ball gown. It was gorgeous in person! I also remember seeing a lot of the paintings that were used in the films; all the paintings were painted specifically for the movie, which blows my mind.

I wasn’t expecting to see the Forbidden Forest set but there was fog and a mobile Buckbeak figure. There was a lever you could pull so that the spiders and Aragog could drop down from the ceiling – freaky, right?

Another favorite set of mine was the Gryffindor Common Room; it was so cozy, warm, and mind-blowing to see it in-person. Following that, I was able to walk to “Platform 9 ¾”, where the Hogwarts Express sits. Each compartment held the set for each movie in chronological order, which was incredibly fascinating. We couldn’t sit in the compartments though.

After that, I tried Butterbeer for the first time! It’s a very sweet, non-alcoholic drink that I paid way too much for – but definitely worth trying. That was the halfway point of the tour, and after that was mostly Diagon Alley and a lot of architectural displays of the set design process. My favorite room was the model of the entire Hogwarts Castle. The lights were dimmed and jewel-toned, giving it an incredibly magical atmosphere. I’m not even going to lie – I got pretty emotional and teared up a bit, it was just so stunning!

The last stop was of course, the giftshop. I left the studio with some Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans and a Chocolate Frog, and then some gifts for friends and family. I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the Harry Potter Studio Tour. It was so detailed and the breadth of what they showed was almost shocking. It’s definitely a full-day activity for true Harry Potter fans. Next stop – the Harry Potter world in Universal!