Hi friends!

I have been blessed with the opportunity to do a lot of incredible things lately. With last year’s study abroad experience, my adventures at New York Fashion Week, and still even more adventures approaching, it has been a wild ride. However, all of these experiences made a huge impact on my budget and I’ve had to completely reevaluate how I am spending my money. 

All that being said, I am constantly inspired by the space around me and ever since I was in high school, I have been constantly changing my decor in my bedroom so that it’s always fresh and updated. My room at school has pretty much been decorated the same for a year and a half.

While that seemingly hasn’t been too long, I’ve been so ready to give it a small refresh. As you might remember, last September, I gave you a Campus Bedroom Tour , so if you’ve forgotten how my room looked last semester, you can take a peek at that post. 

Since I am on a budget now, these are a few of things that I’ve had to keep in mind in order to reorganize my room for a low cost. 

  • Make a Big Change for Less Money. When I hosted a party in collaboration with TeenVogue last semester, they sent me a lot of clothes for my guests to wear that I wanted to showcase for the party. I ventured to Walmart and found a garment rack for $9. That clothing rack has become one of my favorite parts of my bedroom now, since I incorporated it into my room decor after the party was over. So maybe you don’t need a garment rack. Whatever your “garment rack” is, get it! If you’re not blowing a lot of money on something that will completely change the look of your space, I say go for it. It may turn out to be some of the best $10 you’ve ever spent. 

  • Shop Your House. This was one of my favorite things when it came to reorganizing my bedroom this time around. I was able to go back home over Christmas break and find some really great picture frames and other decor items just sitting around my bedroom at my mom’s house. I swapped these items out with other items I didn’t want anymore in my bedroom here at school and I was good to go. Many of the items on my new little gallery wall came from other places in my apartment or mom’s house, so it feels great that I didn’t have to buy anything. 
  • Deep Clean. One of the other things that I did recently to completely update my bedroom was simply by starting with a deep clean. I’m serious when I say that I don’t think my bedroom has been this clean in the almost two years that I’ve lived in this house, so it was definitely needed. After the deep clean, I had enough of all of the clutter I had to clear off my desk, dresser, etc. to actually clean it. By doing this deep clean, I realized how much excess I had piling up and was able to take two trash bags to Plato’s Closet and three trash bags to the dumpster. Success! Once all of that was out of my room, it already was quite different looking! 

  • Have Some Hometown Pride. I absolutely love being able to represent my hometown of St. Louis through my Modern Map Art print of the city! It looks perfect mixed into my gallery wall of all the things that matter to me so much! I am absolutely obsessed with this map and think it is so cute. There are also all kinds of different colors on the website as well to chose from. To me, there’s nothing like sharing the love of your favorite city whether you’re happily living that city or missing your hometown a bit! Even by simply spicing up my gallery wall, it felt like just the change that I needed! 

And with those tips in mind, I hope you are able to hit the ground running to create a different space with the space you already have. With a bit of thinking outside the box, you can absolutely transform your space, even if, like me, you’re ballin’ on a budget. 

Thanks for reading along and I wish you the best week! 

Olivia

 

Thank you so much to Modern Map Art for gifting me this beautiful STL map for free. All opinions are my own. 

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Yesterday was my birthday. I woke up this morning and it really sunk in. I’m 21. Twenty – one trips around the sun and a life of adventures that have been packed into those years that I now have under my belt. Throughout all of those years, I’ve learned a bit about important life lessons. So today I just wanted to share some of those with you, but let’s be real here, I’m pretty sure this is more a letter to myself than trying to teach you all anything. 

10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned to Love.

  • Be Spontaneous. In my life, I absolutely would much rather have every. little. detail. planned out down to the smallest little thing. But, after a semester studying abroad, I realized that some of the best moments can happen when you say “YES!” to something last minute or unexpected. Whether it was airplane tickets I would purchase about 8 hours before the flight was scheduled, or even deciding to go hang out with friends last minute when I’d planned to stay in and watch a movie, so many of my best memories coming from spontaneous decisions that I’ve made. I might change my crazy ultra-planner self after all.
  • Don’t Compare. It can be so incredibly easy to look through Instagram or Facebook and see these incredible people (for me, it’s women who are in college and killing it as bloggers). The comparison game is so real, you guys. I actually have an incredible amount of self confidence but still fall prey to these feelings all the time. I’ll be scrolling through social media wistfully looking at a “perfect” account and wondering how I can get mine to look just like it. I feel like especially in any creative industry, this is an especially prevalent feeling. If you’re looking for an inspirational account to help you combat some of these feelings, try The Rising Tide Society. This account has been one that helps me stay grounded, especially with their tagline being, “community over competition”. 
  • Friends Take Effort. There have been enough friendships that I haven’t put enough effort into, and plenty of people who haven’t put enough effort into me either. Because of this, those friendships have either suffered or simply slowly dissolved. When you find a good friend, let them know. Show them how much they matter to you. Don’t ignore their texts, do something spontaneously kind for them, and pour into them like you’d want to be.
  • You Don’t Have to Be Friends with Everyone. I felt like this was appropriate coming after that last point. As a people pleaser, I get really bent out of shape if I find out that there is someone out there who doesn’t like me. But, what I’ve learned is, that’s inevitable. There will be plenty of people out there who you’ll get along with and be friends with, so it really, truly is okay when there are a few that don’t fit into that category, either. This one is an especially hard one for me to get through to myself on even still because I want 100% of the people I meet to like me! 
  • Don’t Give Up. If there’s something that almost five years of blogging has taught me, it is surely to never give up. This truly has manifested itself into one of my biggest mottos, no matter how cliche or overused it may be. As I wrote posts for so long on this blog as a senior in high school, nothing really ever came of it and I didn’t honestly see it going anywhere. But to have the platform that I now have and the opportunities that I have now, it really speaks volumes to the concept of not giving up. 
  • Internet Validation Doesn’t Matter (That Much). So this is an interesting one for me. While I am 110% grateful for each and every one of my followers, readers, subscribers, etc., what I have come to realize that it’s the people in my real, everyday life who are invaluable. This sounds a little harsh but let me explain. Those comments and likes used to give me so much validation, and that’s where a lot of my confidence and self worth would come from. But, then I realized that there is simply so much more to life than that. If my blog suddenly got shut down or one of my social media accounts get suspended or some other crazy thing like that, I need to be able to be completely fine and happy regardless. Learning this lesson, I reached out more to people in my everyday life and put more value in those friendships! This doesn’t mean that my blog/Instagram friends aren’t important to me…because you all are seriously the greatest! 
  • It’s Okay to Change Your Mind. Whether this means on your political views, values, etc….it is okay to change and sometimes I need to remind myself of this. As we grow, we are constantly evolving into (hopefully) the best version of ourselves, so it’s completely okay to realize that maybe those viewpoints from when we were younger aren’t how we feel now. Sometimes this is hard for me because I’m afraid of what other people are going to think if I’m not just like them or different from who they originally met or befriended. But, I’m doing myself a major disservice if I try to hide who I’m becoming from those who love and respect me. 
  • Self Care is SO Important. Whenever I tell other people this, they think I mean this in a really floofy way, as if I’m telling people to meditate 24/7 or something. That’s not my intention but hey, if you want to take up meditation to be your best self, go for it. Subscribe to podcasts, read good books, get some sleep. Whatever it means for you personally to be your best self and grow, go for it. Everybody has different things that are important to them as far as self care goes, so if that means watching some Netflix and eating popcorn in bed to you, go ahead.
  • Choose Your Involvement Wisely. Whether you’re entering college and thinking about what clubs to join, or you’re a small business owner/mom/contemplating joining PTA, this is for you. My heavy campus involvement has simultaneously been the best and worst thing. It has brought countless friends, great experience, and so much community, but it has also brought me so much stress. After I quit everything second semester of sophomore year to study abroad, I was much more choosy about my involvement when I came back to my campus junior year. I chose to get involved in the things that really mattered and that I enjoyed, rather than the things that I felt were simply “resume fillers”. 
  • It’s Okay to Ask. So, I have always felt the need to do everything myself. I’m pretty sure it’s a major pride issue, but I’ve never been one to ask for advice or help. But, if there’s one thing that the last year or so has taught me is to ask for advice. Don’t always assume you can do a job the best alone, or know the best answers. People in my life are incredibly supportive and helpful, and I’m sure you might find they are like that in yours, too. 

These are some of the lessons that have helped me so much in college, and simply through life. I hope they strike a chord with you as well! Have the best week. 

Olivia

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Hey guys, 

Josh and I have never really done anything too crazy when it comes to gift-giving for Valentine’s Day. For us, we are usually saving up for a trip or an experience like an event or a concert that we want to attend together, so Valentine’s Day presents aren’t usually top priority. However, in case you’re obsessed with the holiday yourself, I created a little gift guide for Her that you can send as a “hint” to your significant other. 😉 

Otherwise, I came up with some fun Valentine’s gifts you can give to anyone in your life that you love. Whether you’re celebrating Galentine’s Day in the spirit of Parks and Rec, or simply wanting to send your bestie a fun pick-me-up in the mail, most of these items are at a pretty affordable price point and very festive. My personal favorite? The Sriracha bottle “Hot Stuff” pouch! How fun is that?! 

 

Chai Really Like You Tea $15

Nike Air Max Thea Flyknit Woven $150

Bow + Drape Hot Stuff Pouch $39

Herringbone Pom Pom Throw $65

You Are My ___ Valet Tray $28

Kaden Jelly Rainboot $35

NARS Matte Lipstick $28

Love Potion Thermal Coffee Mug $14

Valentino Cat Eye Sunglasses $70

However you celebrate Valentine’s Day, and whoever you end up spending it with, I am so thankful for you all and love you all so much! Thanks for supporting me on my blogging journey ~ I’m sending lots of love out to you guys! 

Olivia 

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When I tell people that I was able to travel to eight countries on three continents in three weeks, the biggest surprise for people is that I did it all with a carry on. Armed with a hiking backpack stuffed to the brim, I set out on what was surely the adventure of a lifetime. Why then is the coolest part of the story about my luggage?

I had to admit that for most people, myself included, this seemed like a tall order. I wasn’t a minimalist, expert traveler, or anything else along those lines. I was simply on a budget. Using discount airlines, I did all my travel on the cheap. And I mean so cheap that I cooked my own pasta in Italy. I used to think that being offered a drink on the flight meant I was living in luxury.

How did I get this way? Well to tell that story, I have to look back at sixteen year old Josh, bad haircut and all. This is when I left the country for the first time on a mission trip in Panama. Like everyone else in my group, my luggage weighed in around 120 pounds. Most Americans would argue that was enough to last me the week…hopefully! With my suitcase in tow weighing almost as much as I did, I jetted off to a far off land. When I arrived I found the most humble of people. Not by choice but by situation. Most of the people I met owned one outfit that they wore everyday until they grew out of it.

This reality hit me like a truck. Like most of you, I enjoyed shopping. I enjoyed having nice things. It wasn’t until I realized I didn’t need all these things that I became a happier person. To the horror of my mother, I left most of my clothes behind with just enough to make it back to the United States without too much body oder. Don’t mistake my purpose; I’m not attempting to turn everyone into environmental hippie freedom fighters here, I’m just telling my story.

Last spring, my girlfriend Olivia and I set off to study abroad in Spain, and while that already sounds privileged enough, I should mention we lived on the beach. In a modern, Western country surrounded by the influences of fashion, I lived humbly with my host family in a bedroom the size of my walk in closet back home. Much to my shame, I will admit to you now that the first day living with my host family in Spain, I cried. Hard. I missed my stuff. The same suitcase that in Panama lasted me a week was now supposed to last me five months. How was I going to make it with only eight pairs of pants, sixteen t-shirts, nine button downs, and only one coat? Crazy I know.

Looking back I can’t help but laugh. After a few weeks I started to figure out how lucky, fortunate, and rich I really was. The opportunities I was being given don’t come around to most. I needed to capitalize on it in the most respectful way I could. For three weeks, Olivia and I traveled to seven different cities around Europe, and I only brought two pairs of jeans, four t-shirts, and one coat. What shocked me is that I loved it. I no longer had to pick out what I was going to wear the next day. It came down to what was clean, what was dry, and what the weather was like. 

I was liberated to then enjoy my time fully immersed into the cultures around me. While I indulged on occasion by shopping at the never ending buffet of fashion, I had one hard reality. If I wanted to buy something, I had to get rid of something else. I couldn’t bring myself to waste that kind of money. Instead I invested it in experiences like museum tickets, and activities like jumping off mountains.

My pitch is this; when you’re shopping online feeding the always hungry cart, stop and think about how the $7 sweater might just not be as good of a deal as you thought. Complete your simple wardrobe with lasting, high quality, dare I say expensive clothing. You’ll be surprised at how much less you end up spending, feel good because you took some steps towards sustainability, and get joy out of how bomb you look in that jean jacket. I will admit this may be easier for men that it is for women. That’s why I’m so glad that Olivia is passionate about the mission of finding ethical and sustainable clothing. Sometimes, it’s really not the amount of clothing you own that matters. Investing in pieces that last frees up your life for other things besides worrying about all the latest trends because you’ll be dressed in a way that is timeless. 

Josh

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Happy Saturday, friends! 

Today, I am spending the day working on all kinds of homework and personal projects, but before I jump into those things, I wanted to share a recipe with you that I made for breakfast! It’s the most perfect choice for weekend breakfasts, late night snacks, and pretty much any other time that fits your schedule! This past week, I was pretty sick with some really bad throat pain. Because of that, I was on a pretty much liquid diet. However, I used some of my sick downtime to perfect my go-to recipe, the acai bowl.

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