Hi guys! I am going to be the hundredth person to say this but I cannot believe 2019 is coming to an end. October went by ~scary~ fast. (ba dum tss) Come on, I had to!!
In all seriousness, October moved quickly. Throughout the month I rediscovered a lot of old go-to’s which is always awesome for a college student on a budget. But I did pick up a few new items which I have been rocking hardcore.
If you want to know more about the stuff I’ve been loving for the month of October, read on!
Those of you who follow me on Instagram already know what I’m going to say. Those of you who don’t already follow me: you are missing out! I have been LOVING my Free People Teddy Bear Peacoat. I’m not sure what the actual color is called but it’s an off-white, cream color — super versatile!
I picked this baby up at Nordstrom Rack on 17th and Chestnut for a BARGAIN. The regular price was $150, but after the markdown I paid just under $70! That is wild for a warm, stylish FREE PEOPLE jacket.
Aside from the color I got, there were two other options: hunter green and burnt orange. I would have bought them all if that was practical, however, it is not.
This month I have started to dabble in fashion DIY. Nothing super drastic — I have not learned to sew yet, but we’re working on it!! Nonetheless, I’ve been messing around with a pair of sharp scissors cropping just about every sweatshirt I own and distressing old pairs of jeans.
I unearthed an older pair of dark wash Gap jeans. I love (most) Gap jeans. They really make the booty pop, ya know. But anyway, sometimes you need to kind of grow into your clothes and so I bought the jeans a few seasons ago but really never loved them on me.
All the snacks I have been eating recently must be doing something for me because the fit of these jeans is now perfect! (Shoutout to Oreos and cinnamon raisin bagels, woot woot)
After cutting some tasteful slits, roughing the seems up a bit with an old nail buffing block (get creative with what you’ve got!!) and distressing the ankles, they turned into my new fave pants.
As I mentioned, jeans aren’t the only things I’ve been cutting up. Cropped sweatshirts are my new jam.
I always lusted after the cute ones you can buy but I thought, “I can cut jeans. I can cut sweatshirts too! This is what Youtube tutorials were created for.” From there, I have never looked back.
A family friend asked me if every sweatshirt I own is cropped. No, dude. I have two that are not, FYI. Let’s be honest, if I’m at home I am probably wearing a cropped hoodie. They’re sooo cozy!! How can you blame me?!
AND the best part is that you don’t get too warm since it allows better airflow (duh). Throw on some leggings, cozy socks and you’re all set to be the most comfy person in the house.
Grab your scissors and get cutting. I’d recommend starting with older stuff you don’t care as much about incase there are any technical difficulties. 😋
I’ve been cycling through my makeup collection which, unfortunately, was placed on the backburner since summer was so freaking hot! Nonetheless, I rediscovered two L’Oreal face products I have really been enjoying: Magic BB Anti-Redness and True Match Concealer in fair/light N 1-2-3.
Both products are great. Dare I say holy grails??! Super blendable, buildable coverage. Honestly, I dig the entire L’Oreal True Match line. 10/10 would recommend.
Those of you present in the tri-state area during October probably took notice it was rather wet month, which makes my hair sad. 😔
One of the reasons I dislike rainy days so much is because my hair can get super frizzy then I am totally fed up with it. The other reason is because after 21-years of living I have yet to get myself a pair of rain boots which would keep my feet dry and cozy.
One of those two problems have been solved by a $14.00 bottle of mousse from Target! About a month ago I picked up Kristin Ess Instant Lift Volumizing Mousse on a whim. I was looking for a product to add more body to my hair. I had used a curl cream by the brand previously and enjoyed it, so why not give something else a go? I am not disappointed.
The mousse does its job of adding volume, thickness and hold. However, another bonus is that it does an awesome job of combating frizz! I typically apply a generous amount of mousse to my hair while it is wet. I have found flipping my head upside down and scrunching the mousse closer to my roots, specifically towards the back of the head, really adds that extra oomph. This technique, sometimes paired with a tousled blow-dry, yields the best results for me.
At the start of the month I decided to implement some new habits, one of which is attending networking events more regularly. These events are an amazing way to meet new people, exchange ideas and build my network. I’ve come to the realization that if I want others to take me seriously, I have to first take myself seriously. Ya girl got business cards. They’re awesome. I’m happy.
Alex Swanson, Freelance Content Creator, 2020.
But anyway, If you follow me on social media (if you don’t you are really missing out) you may be aware I attended a social media panel hosted by Gather: Social Media Group earlier in the month.
My friend and former colleague, Camille Mola, spoke on the panel along with four other amazing women. These boss ladies discussed how they have built, and continue to grow, their presence on social media and all that jazz. Everyone shared wonderful knowledge; it was amazing. Awesome, insightful, beautiful boss babe Camille (in the killer white booties above) also has a blog. You should go check it out after this post. ☺️
Although I was not a panelist, I spoke a lot. Probably more than an audience member should have but hey, that’s me. And in my defense, it kind of became an open forum!!
I guess the panelist didn’t mind too much because I, along with four other audience members, were gifted “INFLUENCER: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media” by Brittany Hennessy.
If you are anyone who is interested in gaining traction as a content creator (…”influencer”…), get on this book! It is written from the perspective of a scout. Brittany Hennessy founded her own influencer development company. In this book she is telling you exactly what the people who have money to give you to promote their products or brands want to see.
Another lifestyle adjustment I have been working towards during this month is drinking water. Those of you who know me personally are probably thinking, “Alex, what?? You drink tons of water — it’s super annoying..” While this may be true, I do not drink as much water as I should! Especially in relation to the amount of coffee I consume. (I am trying to cut back but it’s so difficult. I have been drinking coffee since I was about 8 years old? My gram would have me fix her cup each day after work and obviously I had to taste it to make sure it was perfect. Based on that factual evidence, gram is the root of my coffee addiction. Love you anyway.)
Drinking more water was something I was aware I should work on, but it wasn’t until Adrienne Finch told me in an episode of Self-Made CEO that should really try harder that I actually started doing it. Transitioning us perfectly into podcasts!
Okay, real talk, podcasts intimidated me. They still do! I’ve wanted to get into them for the longest time but I had no idea where to start. I am one of those people who gets a bit overwhelmed when there are too many things to choose from. Then I end up procrastinating the choice altogether. I know I am not alone with this one, haha.
However, my want to get involved with podcasts finally outweighed my fear of entering that new world. One of my favorite Youtubers from back in the day, Kenzie Elizabeth, launched a podcast series, IYSM. So I found it on Spotify, saw an episode title which jumped out to me and hit play. From there I eased my way into other suggested podcasts. Now here we are. I’m hooked!
If you’re looking for one to start out with, an OG Youtuber, Lauren Elizabeth, just launched a series. It would be a great one to start with since there are currently four episodes live. Give MOOD a listen!
Lauren is an awesome boss woman and I aspire to be like her.
I am big into dental hygiene.
After I brush my teeth, I want the inside of my cheeks to burn when I smile.
Although I love the dentist and I’m a super freak when it comes to teeth, I never fed into the mouthwash gimmick. Until now. Crest Pro-Health Intense Mouthwash has totally changed my life. It is scary looking, which I love. And this stuff gets the job DONE.
I find oral hygiene to be similar to exercising — it sucks in the moment but afterwards you feel great. Yeah, this sh*t is going to burn. Keep swishing.
I get a lot of questions and comments about my teeth, so if you guys would be interested in hearing more about that stuff, let me know in the comments below!
If you’ve stuck around this far, thank you for reading. Time is the most valuable thing a person can give and I appreciate each moment given my work. ☺️
Each October spectators from far and wide gather at State College, Pennsylvania, for the spectacle which is Penn State’s “White Out” football game. Hordes of people of all ages wander across Downtown, making their way towards Beaver Stadium. As far as the eye can see are students, alumni, families, fans and newcomers to football. Everyone dressed in varying white Penn State swag. Most groups carrying their choice case of beer or malt drink to enjoy at whichever tailgate they end up. Happy Valley is a cult. A fun cult, but a cult nonetheless.
Prior to this weekend I went to Penn State Main Campus one time for a visit during my senior year of high school. It is a nice campus and a nice area; however, it was not the type of environment I wanted for my college experience. Also, I would have had to attend the summer session and give up the opportunity to go to Hawaii the summer before my freshman year of college.
Sorry PSU but you were just not worth it to me.
I’m a city girl. Philly born and raised. I even have that 215-area code, so you know I am legit. Being here my entire life, I have been spoiled by the melting pot that is Philadelphia. I have endless food options available nearly any time of day, myriads of individuals from diverse backgrounds and pretty much anything anyone could need. I mean, sounds good to me.
It totally boggled my mind on Friday evening at State College as I scrolled through Grubhub to see my only options were pizza or wings.
(I ended up ordering from a place which sold a sandwich roll filled with diced grilled chicken a “chicken steak sandwich”. In the future I will be sure to pack more snacks, lol.)
As I mentioned earlier, I had no real knowledge of Penn State. I knew the white out game was a thing only because some of my friends attend the school.
I did not know how intense this spectacle is.
And I did not know the real importance of wearing white.
I showed up with an oversized navy blue basic “Penn State” hoodie a friend gave me, which I planned to crop. Ya girl wasn’t looking to spend money on a look I will never wear again.
This was a no. My friends said I would stand out, and I felt they were being dramatic.
Alec, one of my best friends from high school, is amazing and not only let me stay with him but also let me borrow a crew neck sweatshirt — AND let me crop it to better suit my high waisted jeans.
What. A. Man. 😍
Being as I am such a fashion innovator, Alec loved my crop top and wanted to rock one as well. 😋Love you, boo. 😘
Aside from the lack of late-night food options I had a great time in Happy Valley for a whole 36 hours.
Did I enjoy myself? Yes. Would I go back? Yes, I’ll probably go visit again in the spring.
Do I regret not going to school there? Absolutely not.
I must admit, I have always had that little voice in the back of head questioning my decision to attend Drexel University. They are just so damn good at marketing themselves and I ate it up.
However, something I have come to realize throughout life is that things do fall into place.
You may not understand it while it’s happening, but eventually it will start to make sense. Believe me, I know that in between waiting period sucks. I think the vast majority of us will experience a segment of life where we feel kind of like so much shit is happening, and you have no idea what to do… Then things kind of just start going right because of all the work you’ve put in.
It has taken my life 21 years to begin transitioning to the point where shit is going right, lol. Just like everyone else in the world, I have dealt with some wild stuff throughout life and it felt like the entire world was against me. Not to jinx myself, but things are finally where they should be.
However, life did not just begin to shift into place and work its own kinks out. With much persistence, effort and will-power I have dealt with the obstacles life has thrown at me along the way. I have flourished into my personality, am able to better vocalize myself without fear of rejection and I can truly say I love the woman I have become.
I am also incredibly grateful to be in an amazingly conducive growing environment at Temple University. It is amazing to be in a classroom with people who are partnered with Instagram, Maybelline, Clean & Clear… the list goes on!
These are real people. People like me. What?? Then I get to thinking, “Oh shit — this is something I actually can do…”
Transferring from Drexel University is by far one of the best decisions I have made. I am super thrilled with my experience at Temple so far and I cannot help but feel so much excitement for my future! 🙂
While my heart lies Temple, I will be reppin’ PSU pride again this spring. 😋