Yourself

  • 5 Things You Should Expect in a Relationship

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When it comes to relationships, it can often be reflected that women “expect too much.” This usually includes actual date nights, picking you up at the door, bringing you surprise gifts, posting you on social media, communicating with you in a timely manner etc. Okay, now reread all of the things I just listed. ALL OF THOSE ARE SO SIMPLE AND YOU ARE NOT EXPECTING TOO MUCH!! When it comes to a healthy, happy relationship, it is crucial that both you and your partners treat each other in this way.

    Below I have listed 5 key things you should expect from any healthy relationship and ways you can carry these characteristics out.

    Respect

    Respect is essential for a relationship to remain healthy and happy. This is especially true when it comes to arguments – even when the argument gets heated you should NEVER start using name calling or disrespect towards your partner. This is one sure way to cause anxiety and second thoughts about your partner. It’ll cause them to wonder if you truly mean those things and were too afraid to say them.

    Some ways to show respect are: defining what you want in the relationship early, communicating what is working in the relationship, only using positive words with your partner and explain your feelings without getting upset.

    Time

    If your partner is not willing to give time to getting to know each other, dating, and communicating with you in the short term, it will definitely not occur in the long run. Time is something you should expect in a relationship. These time boundaries can be different for every couple and based on the duration of the relationship.

    Some ways to give time to your partner: Weekly or monthly date nights, checking up on them in text

    Generosity

    Generosity comes in many different forms: mental, emotional, financial and material support. Supporting one another in a relationship is a sure way to create an intimate bond. This is because when your partner (healthy relationship) is aware that you care about them when they are in need, they will reciprocate for you when you need the support.

    Some ways to show generosity: Asking how your partner is, bringing home a surprise gift, understanding how your partner deals with stress

    Communication

    Okay, communication is the NUMBER ONE NECESSITY in a relationship. Without communication, you have no relationship. Communication needs to begin at the very first date. If your partner seems to constantly be flaky over text message at the beginning of the relationship, imagine how they would be in marriage? Exactly.

    Some ways to ensure you are communicating: Did you let them know your availability? Do they know what you want out of this relationship? Do you know what they want? Do you express your feelings with each other?

    Affection

    Affection is a way to spice up a relationship. When the relationship is new, affection tends to be very easy. However, as you spend more and more time together, it is crucial to keep the spark by being affectionate with one another. Affection typically builds both intimacy and trust in your partner.

    Some ways to show affection: Physical affection, posting your partner on social media, complimenting your partner.

    BABY YOU ARE GOLD, SOLID GOLD!! Don’t let anyone treat you like anything else. You deserve a healthy relationship like this (and more).

    With Love, Marin

  • Why You Need to Romanticize Your Life

    Picture a moment where you felt like the main character of your life.

    A moment where you truly fell in love with life.

    A peaceful feeling that you wanted to bottle up and keep forever.

    Now…close your eyes. Picture it. Capture how that memory feels.

    Picture another moment. This time, make it something that hasn’t happened quite yet.

    Is it a letter saying you got your dream job/dream college?

    Is it meeting someone who feels like home?

    Is it just being so happy that time slips away without you even realizing it?

    Now, when you read the rest of this post, keep that moment in mind.

    I’ve never been one to believe in manifesting your life. You can’t just will something to happen and make it happen. It’s not how life works. God has a plan for us that exists in a space we can’t even wrap our heads around. However, when we have the strength to pray for these beautiful moments in our lives to occur, they start to appear to us. When you begin to romanticize every sunrise, breakfast with your family, rain tapping against the windshield, every drop to your knees because you need His direction, that is when you are really living. God will give you these moments when you are truly immersed in His love and ready to listen to HIS plan for you.

    We’ve all been guilty of making deals with God. “God if I do this….please do this for me.” That’s just not how God works. He is not a genie to grant your wishes if you follow the rules YOU set. God is a way-maker. He gives you the path and the resources to accept Him into your heart and live a beautiful life. It is your job to follow that path. That path may be the harder one. There might be more things blocking your way to see if you’ll become weak and choose another path. Instead, you have to trust in Him and trust His process. I promise you that your path will be lined with flowers instead of tree branches soon.

    I realized I had hit my path lined with flowers today. On the way home from an amazing date I couldn’t stop smiling. The man who suddenly felt like home was beside me and I felt at peace. A full rainbow came out of nowhere and everything just felt…right. It was a moment that felt out of novel, a dream, an image buried in the back of my mind that I had believed I would one day reach….and here I was. It wasn’t one day of praying. Not one week. Not one month. Maybe not even one year. It took time and total trust in Him.

    Now, remember that moment I told you to keep in your head?? It’s going to happen.

    So pray for that moment. Pray for even more moments like that. Pray that you become the main character of your life.

    With Love, Marin

  • “Here’s to the Girls Like Me”

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve been obsessed with these quarantine new music Fridays. I’ve been especially loving the Songland series. On my weekly new music dive, I found Martina McBride’s “Girls Like Me.”

    Now, let me tell you… a lot of us are girls like Martina.

    It used to be me

    Hidin’ insecurities

    With a cigarette and a bottle of whiskey

    I was the girl at home

    In the dark, all alone

    Sayin’, “Why the hell doesn’t he miss me?”

    We act so tough like it ain’t nothin’

    ‘Cause we don’t want them to see

    Here’s to the girls like me

    Chorus of Girls Like Me

    It can be so incredibly hard accepting the fact that someone doesn’t miss you or doesn’t want you in the way you want them. Yet, it can be even harder when you trained yourself to pretend that you don’t care.

    So here’s something to keep in mind: It’s okay to care! It’s okay to act tough! It’s okay to do both! But it is NOT okay to think of yourself as less than what you’re worth because of someone else’s feelings toward you. Remember that it is not always your fault that someone doesn’t want to be with you right now. It could quite possibly have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. The person you are meant to be with will miss you, and quite truthfully, we should be grateful for each person that lets us get away. They are just getting us to our person!

    Don’t settle. Wait for the man who never makes you question his intentions with your heart.

    With Love, Marin

  • 19 Things You May Not Know About Me
    1. My favorite type of food is Mexican. My sisters used to joke with me that I would literally marry tortilla chips & salsa.
    2. I’m an ambivert (so I can be both extroverted & introverted, depending on the situation).
    3. I planned on playing college softball, and received a couple offers, but decided against it during my senior year of high school.
    4. I’m allergic to shellfish, penicillin and all grasses.
    5. I’ve broken two bones in my life. One was from tripping over a rock while chasing a butterfly and the other was from slipping on home plate during a softball game (so basically, I’m clumsy).
    6. I’ve never lost a game of air hockey.
    7. My favorite color, contrary to what most people think, is not pink. It’s actually navy blue, with white as a close second.
    8. I played softball in eleven different states.
    9. I have generalized anxiety.
    10. I plan to study abroad in Hawaii next January term (so get ready for lots of travel content as long as it’s not cancelled 😭).
    11. Almost every vacation I’ve been on has been a Disney vacation because my family is part of Disney Vacation Club.
    12. I own 80 pairs of shoes, but most of them I’ve kept since middle school since I haven’t grown much.
    13. My dream law school is Vanderbilt! (Because Nashville is my favorite place on planet Earth)
    14. I’m bilingual, with my second language being Spanish.
    15. I REFUSED to wear dresses, skirts or anything girly until high school (clearly, a lot has changed).
    16. I am not able to handle heat well at all. I had a seizure when I was 4 from overheating in footie pajamas and almost passed out playing softball on multiple occasions.
    17. I hate mac & cheese.
    18. I was a name-reader at graduation and it was probably one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done.
    19. When I was younger I wanted to be an author, but decided that was no longer my dream because I needed a competitive aspect to my job (I’m a naturally competitive person-refer back to #6).

  • Motivation for your Monday: Episode 6

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Quarantine can be rough on mental health. Especially for us college students (high school students have it rough too, but I can only speak for how I’m currently feeling and don’t want to assume), it can be difficult to adjust back to our lives at home.

    Unlike many adults, us college students are in a unique position. COVID-19 not only took us out of daily activities, but also out of the place we called home. This also means that, for almost all of us, we are separated from people that we aren’t only used to spending a lot of time with, but also living with (miss you Olivia).

    I, and a lot of the people I’m close with, have said very similar things when it comes to this entire situation. “Why now?? I was finally enjoying life. Everything was going well! This is such bad timing!!” I miss breakfast after my english class with my friends, therapy sessions with my roommate, hanging out with the guy I like, planning on-campus events, having fun on the weekends…basically, I miss the entire college experience.

    I feel like this set me incredibly back when it comes to mental health. My anxiety definitely sparks whenever coronavirus comes up or I think about what my life was like just three weeks ago. It hurts, but I’ve been finding ways to handle it. Now, I’m not a therapist or a professional (and if you need a therapist I recommend getting one) but this is what I’ve found that’s helped me cope with my anxiety during quarantine.

    1. Working out as soon as I wake up
    2. Making myself breakfast (fruit/scrambled eggs/bread)
    3. Putting on something I’d wear to class (I end up switching in comfy clothes later but doing this helps my motivation levels)
    4. Turning on my Summer ’19 Country Playlist
    5. Listening to a sermon
    6. Ft a friend
    7. Watching tik-toks (okay so maybe this is just to procrastinate my online course work)
    8. Organizing something in my room
    9. Trying to go to sleep before midnight (when I go to bed later then this I feel like it impacts my next day stress)
    10. If my anxiety is really high, I take Olly Goodbye Stress Gummies

    Now, I don’t recommend doing ALL of these things EVERYDAY. When you are feeling stressed out or anxious, I recommend trying a couple of these things and see how it goes. Remember, if you need to talk, my DM’s are always open.

    With Love, Marin

  • The Boss Babe Quarantine Checklist

    Hey, pretty girl!

    If you’re looking for stuff to do during quarantine, I got you!

    With Love, Marin

  • In Between

    Hey, pretty girl!

    This one is going to be a quick post! Wanted to share a causal but feminine look for Valentine’s Day & a song I’m lovin’ right now that was the inspiration for my IG post today!

    Sweater : This sweater is from my favorite store, Red Dress Boutique. This sweater is casual but has a feminine feel to it w/the see through holes and frill! Unfortunately, it is sold out right now. However, if you add your email to the list you will be notified when it restocks!

    Jeans : These are the BEST jeans y’all. Especially for my fellow not thick, thick girls. It hugs your curves in all the right places and fits like a glove! I got a size 26 for reference.

    Purse : This purse adds a pop of pink for a cute & simple Valentine’s Day look. This would look adorable for a night out with your girls or a date with your man!

    Boots : Sorels are my go-to when it comes to boots! Not only do they incorporate heels into a boot design, but they are SO comfy. They are on the spendy side but totally worth the price.

    Hairband : This hairband takes me back to when I was a little girl. Sometimes it’s fun just to throw a lil innocence into your adult look!

    When wearing this hairband I immediately thought of a Kelsea Ballerini song and knew I needed to use it as my caption: In Between.

    The lyrics of this song are so relatable for us first year college students! We are in this in between phase that can be so complicated to navigate it at times. Give the song a listen to for me!

    With Love, Marin

  • 2020 Vision

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I love the feeling of a new year, it always gives me a clean state to get a jump start on my goals. I’m not a huge new year’s resolution gal, but I do like to make a list of my goals for the upcoming year! (I bet you can guess what one of my goals was for this year-hint:this website). But this year, it’s time for not only a new year but a NEW DECADE.

    This decade could be filled with SO many life changing events for me as I go into my 20’s and I am excited. While I’m praying for some 1920’s revival fashion, I’m awestruck that the next 10 years could be when I graduate from college, secure my career, meet my future husband or bring life into this world. While that is slightly terrifying, it’s thrilling to think about! Going into this decade I was only in third grade! And y’all, that feels like yesterday…time only moves quicker too.

    Since 7 is my favorite number (past softball number), I wrote down 7 goals for each of the following categories.

    My 2020 Blog Vision

    • Acceptance to RewardStyle
    • Publish 40 blog posts
    • Post 200 photos to Instagram
    • Get a brand deal/collaboration
    • Double Instagram followers
    • Attend a local blogger event
    • Make money off of blogging

    My 2020 Vision

    • Work on positive self talk
    • Create healthy relationships
    • Have the best second semester everrr
    • Make some $$$$
    • Love with my whole heart
    • Donate some clothes/shoes
    • Read and listen more

    My 2020’s Vision

    • Graduate with honors
    • Get into law school
    • Secure my dream job and help others
    • Create forever friendships (or relationships)
    • Become a mom (God willing)
    • Live in every moment
    • Be myself

    With Love, Marin

  • Recap of 2019

    Hey, pretty girl!

    For my recap of 2019, I decided to show it in photos. I would’ve never guessed a year ago how different I would be today because of 2019. From speech team to graduation to college life, 2019 was one for the books. Here we go…

    Joined speech (best decision of my life) and found my home on the info team! Highlights were quarter finals at Harvard and 11th place at NIETOC.
    Traveled to Nashville for spring break and explored the city I want to call home someday (Vanderbilt law school???)
    Did prom the right way – aka with the besties – and killed my feet in 5 inch heels.
    Graduated alongside my best friends and achieved my lifelong goals of graduating valedictorian and the ability to speak at graduation.
    Partied it up all night at the class of 2019 overnight party – aka played ping pong for way too many hours and ate TONS of junk food. First of much junk food because… grad parties.
    Moved on to the next chapter (college baby 🤪) with my besties and I going in 3 different directions… ready to make some new besties to add to the squad.
    Met my roommate aka my BEST FRIEND. The Honors LLC at St. Thomas did me well with the friend market.
    Road on a riverboat through STAR programming, hijacked the music & danced on the dance floor because no one else was.
    Got voted in as a student government senator and met 2 more of my good friends! Little did I know we’d be going to a casino together soon 😉
    TOJO 2019!!!!! Who cares if we lost? Tommies still do it best, am I right?! Also football boys are cute sooo really just went to the game to see them.
    ANOTHER football game – same reasoning as the previous but this time it left my body completely frozen.
    Partying it up with my mf gals all semester!! Can’t wait for second semester 😉

    2020 – Bring it On.

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday: Episode 4

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I was struggling to think of topic for this Monday. Typically, I jump on a concept that is currently nagging at my mind, but I honestly could not find something… UNTIL I was messaging my college friends while hanging with my high school ones.

    In that moment, I realized how incredibly blessed I am to have two great friend groups full of people who love and support me. Six years ago, I definitely would not have thought this would be my reality. Middle school, for me, was a time where I had truly felt like I didn’t fit in. Now here I was, surrounded by people accepting of who I’ve become.

    Friends are second family. Having great friends is truly something that is a blessing to be grateful for. However, having great friends who support you no matter what, are ever better.

    This got me thinking… what if we were all each other’s friends? What if we all treated each other with the kindness and respect that we give to our friends?

    Conclusion : this world would be a lot less cruel, dark and hateful.

    Now, you’re going to say to me, “but what about the people who I CANNOT be friends with.” I challenge yourself to understand why they behave the way that makes you unable to be their friend.

    Situation #1 : The toxic friend who causes detriment to your mental health.

    Situation #2 : The friend who is not being a friend for reasons that you may be unaware of.

    Obviously, these are not the only two scenarios when it comes to friends. However, it is important to acknowledge the distinction between these two friend behaviors. In the case of the second, we must understand to be empathetic of those around us.

    Keep the following quote in mind when determining between the two situations :

    And I’ll leave you with this – let’s be friends. Reach out to me and I’ll be here. It’s our job to be each other’s support, regardless of how well you know each other now. There is always the potential to GET TO KNOW each other.

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday : Episode 3

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Typical Monday mornings kinda suck…but finals Monday mornings REALLY suck. Some of us lay in bed until 1pm, others of us skip their shower and hit the library (definitely not me rn), and then there are the those who have enough energy to put on a Christmas party in the floor lounge at 10am. Yeah… those kind of people scare me but it’s not because of their energy, it’s because I feel like I should be able to have the same level of enthusiasm this time of year.

    Reality check – you don’t have to be the perfect person who can be super prepared for finals AND enthusiastic. I think it is only fitting to talk about the problems with perfectionism prior to this hectic week ahead of us.

    For much of my high school career, I was fixated on every nit-picky detail about myself. From appearance to my GPA, I heavily controlled my life so that I could fit the mold of a person I thought that I was supposed to be. While this didn’t harm my accomplishments, and may have helped me achieve things, it was not always healthy for my mental state.

    First things first – YOUR GPA DOES NOT DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON. Yes, GPA does matter for college applications and your first job, but it doesn’t define you as “smart” or “dumb.” GPA is truly just a measure of how well the school system works for your learning type. It’s easier for those of us who find the teaching style used in school, the same one that helps us learn best. GPA, in my opinion, measures how well the school has been fitting your learning style, as opposed to intelligence.

    Now, this is not always the case. A lack of work ethic can also cause problems in school, I am not denying that. While a small amount of stress about grades is healthy and often leads to this work ethic, there is a point of unhealthy behavior when it comes to GPA. It may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes when you hit this unhealthy level you procrastinate and seem “lazier” purely because you’re scared of failure.

    In college, I have trained myself to instead judge how much thought I’m putting into the class. If I am putting in the bare minimum and barely scraping by, it is time to put in more work. However, if all I am doing is school work and not having any self-care or social time, I know that this is too much. It is crucial to find a balance.

    Now, perfectionism doesn’t only pertain to school. It can also stem to things such as body image. Over the last year I’ve found myself on a variety of different planes when it comes to how I view myself. MFYM are the posts where I get the most vulnerable, so here we go.

    Senior year I was fixated on having model size measurements. I thought that in order to be like any of the successful influencers I saw on Instagram, that I would have to hit these measurements. The truth is, those measurements are not healthy for MY BODY TYPE. Because each body is unique, a specific size is unrealistic.

    Coming to college I began focusing more on enjoying life than living to keep a certain clothing size. While that mindset caused a gain of five pounds, something that would’ve terrified me a year ago, I feel healthier than I did without that weight. It is important to know that being underweight can be unhealthy too!

    Overall, especially during finals season, it is important to check in with yourself by analyzing your thoughts. Thoughts that are centered on “perfecting yourself” should be rearranged to fit what makes you happy instead.

    Good luck this week on finals and keep yourself accountable!

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday : Episode 2

    Hey, pretty girl!

    For this episode of Motivation for your Monday, I want to focus on the idea of self worth and acceptance of yourself while single.

    First things first, you are not defined by your relationship status. You are not defined by how many people hit on you. You are not defined by how many boyfriends you’ve had. My point? you are not defined by ANOTHER PERSON.

    Our society teaches us that we need another person to “complete us.” But the truth is, you’re not a half waiting to become whole. You have always been a whole. Another person will never truly make you feel complete; only true acceptance of yourself can make you feel that way.

    I understand it isn’t that simple. We won’t just wake up one day and feel complete. And it’s not easy to see the best in ourselves, especially when we are constantly comparing our lives to those around us. Acceptance and forgiving others for their flaws is easy to do, so why is it so hard to do for ourselves?

    Well, it could be because we know ourselves better than anyone in the world does. We expect so much for ourselves and hold a level of perfection that is simply unattainable.

    “I want to get married by 25.” “I need kids before age 30.” “I cannot be alone for the holiday season.”

    It never hurts to have a plan, but in the same respect, our lives aren’t supposed to follow a plan. If everything followed our plan, life would be pretty boring. Imagine it like this – you follow a very strict diet and never spontaneously deviate from it – boring, right? Same idea. Let life be like that chocolate bar you ate for lunch.

    Back to the point….. I told myself that if I started a blog, I’d always be honest. And honestly, I wish I would follow my own advice. The truth is, no matter how pretty someone’s Instagram page is, they have insecurities too. My insecurity stems from difficulty accepting myself while single.

    I’m about to get really vulnerable y’all so hold onto your hats. I am insecure about the relationships I’ve had with men. Or rather, the lack of them. It can be self defeating to feel like you’re never the girl a guy wants to date. I constantly have felt that because I am not afraid to be myself, I scare every boy away from me. And that, my friends, is my insecurity. I can tell myself over and over again that “men do not determine my happiness,” but I struggle to believe it. I feel like I’m constantly waiting for someone to sweep me off my feet and be my Hallmark movie ending instead of being okay on my own.

    And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m not the only one who is constantly searching for the person who’s supposed to jump into my life and change everything – waiting for my “other half.” But I’ve made a mindset change tonight. I’m not going to wait around and you shouldn’t either.

    Say it with me : I’m okay on my own. I’m strong. I’m confident. I’m smart. I’m beautiful. I KNOW my self worth and I won’t let another person’s opinion take that from me. Anyone who passes on me is NOT worth my time (subtweet).

    I challenge you to find your self worth. Find the place where you thrive best and give it everything you have. Your future partner will admire your passion, not be intimidated by your self acceptance.

    Remember : The only person who deserves you, is the person who thinks they don’t. Never settle for less.

    Now, to the girl who is lost when it comes to love : blare Born to Fly by Sara Evans a couple times. I promise it’ll hit you on a whole different level.

    And to whoever my person is : I’m a whole. You will never complete me. You will simply be an addition. You’re not going to be afraid to chase me. You won’t be afraid of my confidence, intelligence and self love. You will be deserving of me. And I will be deserving of you. And when I meet you, I’ll know.

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Happy Monday! Jk … Monday mornings are rough … which is why I’m writing this on a Friday night! (Because we all need a little Friday night energy on a Monday morning).

    Monday motivation will be a once a month series of blog posts, given they have a positive response. These posts will include motivational quotes, a checklist for the day and explanations on how I get myself motivated.

    You just have to walk into the room and be fearless. Never let people think for a minute that you couldn’t totally take them down.

    Stevie Nicks

    5 Things to Keep in Mind

    • Get out of bed
    • Workout
    • Complete 30-40% of your to-do list for the week
    • Eat only healthy foods
    • Go to sleep at a reasonable hour

    Not going to lie, it’s been very difficult to find motivation lately. In high school, it’s easier to focus on tasks because you don’t live with your best friends! In college, it seems like there are a million things better to do than complete your to-do list. The key is giving yourself breaks and not overworking yourself. Start small – working for an hour at a time and then taking a break.

    I used to take things on a week-to-week basis. I.e. : “If I can keep my grades all at A’s by the end of this week, then I’ll be fine.” I’ve learned in college that this behavior is not really living. Living is when you enjoy the moment you’re in and take advantage of all the opportunities you are given.

    Go be a boss queen this Monday.

    With Love, Marin

  • “Even the Homecoming Queen Cries.”

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I’ve always loved Kelsea Ballerini’s music. She has a relatable personality, beautiful voice and songs filled with emotion. However, when I heard her recent song, Homecoming Queen, I was left without words.

    Not only is this a gorgeous song, but the lyrics spoke to me in such a deep way. Kelsea reveals a very important and vulnerable message. This message is one that is so important for all of us, and one that I couldn’t hold back from writing about.

    We all know the girl who appears so outwardly perfect and put together. We never seem to ask her how she’s doing or if she’s okay… we “people assume (she’s) always alright.” The most perfectly appearing people can be the most broken and fragile people in our lives, trained “how to act tough.”

    Our jealousness of those who seemingly have a perfect life, allows us to assume that they have no problems. We never feel sorry for them, we feel sorry for ourselves. However, we know our problems and battles. We don’t know everyone else’s.

    Now, if you’re on the opposite end, it can be tough to let people see your broken side. All of us hide behind something. I hide behind my clothing – feeling put together to keep my perfect appearance. Yet, you can’t hide forever. You need to advocate for yourself and speak up when you’re not okay.

    So, let’s do as Kelsea Ballerini says and “let them all in on the lie…”

    The CEO cries. Miss America cries. The valedictorian cries. The Instagram Influencer cries. I cry. You cry.

    “Even the homecoming queen cries.”

    Be Kind. Be Supportive. Be You.

    With Love, Marin

  • Summer Bucket List

    Hey, pretty girl!

    In honor of summer-time being close to halfway over, it was an obligation to give y’all a summer bucket list and my top tips for having the best summer ever. My goal is to fulfill Dan & Shay–(Summer of) 19 You & Me–vibes. As well as get in on some, Austin Burke-One Summer-type of fun.

    Since college starts this fall, this is the last major summer before the real world (ugh, I know). While preparing for college, working, and writing the blog are my main concerns this summer, my bucket list is (and yours should be) jam-packed with everything from drive-in movies to coffee shop brunch dates. I compiled this list, while also throwing in some local recommendations of places you should head this summer!

    First up on my list is something I’ve been meaning to do for the last couple of years–the drive-in. For the local gals, I heard that Vali-Hi in Lake Elmo is the spot to go. They are open every night, so perfect for busy schedules! It’s fairly cheap at under $10 per person and you can bring your own snacks, blankets, pillows, and string lights to create the perfect insta post with your bf(fs). 

    Now for the complete opposite time of day activities, brunch and coffee dates. Two places I have personally brunched at are Ze’s Diner in Eagan and Cheesecake Factory at the Southdale Mall in Edina. Both are great brunch options, Ze’s with a 1950’s vibe and Cheesecake Factory with TONS of options. Two places I plan on trying are The Mason Jar in Eagan and Bellecour in Wayzata. For coffee, I love Starbucks just as much as the next girl, but summer is for exploring! The Twin Cities are a madhouse for cute coffee shops–Cafe Astoria, Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea, and Quixotic Coffee–to name a few.

    My favorite bucket list idea was to have a day where my friends and I are tourists in our own city! Look up the touristy locations in the closest city to you and experience your home area as a tourist! For the twin cities gals, this includes Minnehaha Park, Como Zoo conservatory, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Saint Anthony Falls, the Basilica of St. Mary, and Rice Park.

    I have a few random things I also plan to do this summer that would make for great time fillers: swimming with the besties, paddleboarding at Lake Minnetonka (and stopping at Nautical Bowls wink wink), shopping at the Eagan Outlet, having a super extra sleepover, and picnicking at some local parks. 

    @PhotosbyJannaJo

    Some general tips to make the most of your summer: 

    1. Turn your notifications off (living in the moment is a lot more fun)
    2. Wake up early but stay up late
    3. Flirt with that special someone 
    4. Work to make some money while you have time 
    5. Soak up every second of the sun (fall will be here before you know it)

    With Love, Marin