Blogvember Day 2: There’s Me, then… Me 2.0

How have you changed in the past two years?


What a loaded question.

So much has changed.

Two years ago today I was a sophomore in high school, still under the deceptive fog that every grade matters and that the biggest goal in life is getting into college.

Two years ago today I was super self conscious about what I wore and how I fit in with people.

Two years ago today I was focused on pleasing those around me.

Two years ago today… I may have smiled more.

Two years ago today… I couldn’t see myself applying to schools and taking almost exclusively AP classes.

Two years ago today my procrastination skills were weak.

Two years ago today I didn’t have short hair.

Two years ago today I was in the awkward stages of a relationship with J.


Here and now, I’m a senior. And it feels friggin weird. (Responsibility?! Money?! What is this) …And every grade doesn’t matter. I’ve learned to prioritize. Taking everything as the same importance will kill you. I know now where I can cut corners to save my sanity.

Here and now, I’ve settled into a group of people who are all crazy– like me. And I love them to death. But the best part is? I don’t care what people think. Those weird looks as we scootered around outside the senior patio in the pouring rain on senior spirit day? Yeah. Priceless. Keep those -weird- jealous looks coming (;

Here and now, I’ve learned to make time for myself. I can’t be everything for everybody. No one can. When I need to put myself first, I will.

Here and now, I smile less. I try, but sometimes life is too much. I’m currently in the process of changing that, though.

Here and now, I’ve applied to one school already and am working on my second for a November 15 deadline– go me!! (It’s not that bad and ominous as I originally thought).

Here and now, procrastination is my specialty. I do it often, but I do it well. I can make bullshit look like it came from a cat (;

Here and now I rock shorter locks. And I love it.

Here and now I have settled into a groove with J– and though I do not know what the coming year has in store for us… I’m focused on living in the moment and enjoying everything I can and dealing with things as they come.

So much can happen in two years. And while sometimes I don’t recognize myself… some parts of me I’ve had since forever ago are resurfacing, to blend and merge with the new parts of me. They’re bubbling together to form who I am now. It’s an ever-changing process that is totally unpredictable.

And I’m becoming okay with that.


Honesty Hour: Free of Filter

Hi guys. So I’m thinking I may do this feature… just because let’s be real, the world does need more honesty.  I’m… feeling that more than ever.
A few minutes ago I watched this video of a makeup tutorial… but it was so much more than that.  I personally am not much for makeup tutorials, mostly because I don’t have time for such extensive makeup in my daily life… nor do I find it that interesting to watch other people do it… but this one was different.  (I’ll give a shout-out to VICKYLOGAN, you can check out her YouTube channel here) The vlogger, Vicky, touched on a ton of topics during a “get ready with me” vid, (which you can watch here) But I just got to thinking about some of the things she said about confidence, society’s expectations, loving yourself, and imperfections. She starts the video tutorial with no make up on at all and I have to say… I appreciated that so much.  To see someone in their natural beauty, to see that not all people are somehow china dolls all the time, to see that someone is comfortable in their skin and that they only pop into another one out of personal preference and not pressure or obligation….. It was inspiring.
And she’s totally right about the fact that our imperfections make us…well, us. And that “perfect” isn’t, and should never be, a standard.
So where am I going with this?
To be honest (ha, get it? Cuz it’s honesty hour) I don’t really know. All I can say is that I have felt myself… get caught up in all of it.  It’s so easy to just hop on Snapchat, or Instagram or Twitter or Facebook, see the filtered snapshots of the seemingly perfect lives of others and just feel really, really down about yourself. Or, to just go out there and make you want to be like someone else, or someone you’re not. And, once you do feel that push to go out and completely change yourself… once you have, maybe, what you feel like has been “for the better”.. You can’t help but blast it out there for others to see.  The pictures flow, freely, leaking out to all the platforms screaming “hey! I’m normal!” or “hey! I’m cool!” or “hey I look good!” “wow I’m stylish” “wow I’m this” “I’m healthy” “I’m happy” “I’m in love”…
It all builds up.  To the point where it’s a bit much.  It’s hard to know what any followers think… They’re judging only on pictures.  Your analysis becomes geared towards likes, follows, and favorites. And your perceptions of reality are, well, filtered.
Why is social media such a monster sometimes? Does anyone else feel like it has robbed their soul in one way or another?
I do.
I have to admit, I love Instagram.  The pictures are so pretty and I like how they’re perfect squares and how the feed can be so colorful sometimes… But what I don’t like is that it’s so unrealistic at times. There’s a level of superficiality that comes out and just takes hold and makes it reaaaally easy to compare yourself to other people…

I used to hate “selfies” with a passion… (Just the word makes me cringe…still..) My first reaction is that it was kind of a vain thing to do.  But what do I say now when I post them myself? And even more, when the filters are just piled on?

I compare my older pictures with some from now… they’re different.

And somehow, in one way or another, they’re tailored to other people.  Which shouldn’t be the case.
Why do people seek perfection? Call it artsy or whatever with all the filters (though I can’t judge because I love filters because they can twist a photo so many different ways) but life isn’t… filtered.
And I think you can eventually become addicted. Not just to the platforms, but the content and the content posted to said platform.

I say this, because I think I am.

As much as I don’t wanna be like “oh, I’m addicted I need to stop…” When it gets in the way of my productivity or when it just starts to change your views on things just a bit… it’s a bit much.

That being said… while I don’t wanna take a hard-core hiatus (though that’d probably be a good idea with all of my unproductive-ness as of late) I do want to try something.
Similar to my waaaaaaay long ago post about going “Unmasked” for 3 weeks or so, I’m gonna go unfiltered.  All posts, no matter where, will be free of a filter  Just to gain an appreciation those things that do not need a filter.  Friends, family, nature, and importantly, yourself.
Like Vicky says, everyone has something or some things they don’t like about themselves.  But the crucial part is learning to live with them, embracing them and being aware of them. Because like she says

“…All of that [makeup, clothes hair, imperfections etc.]… at the end of the day, it don’t matter because we all go to sleep in the dark. …Well, most of us– some of us use night-lights…. But when it’s dark and no body sees you… Do you love you?” ~Vicky

She’s very funny and down to earth, I highly recommend her channel.

So, my friends! Head out into this filtered world and just rip the filter off.  Love you, what is raw, what is real, what is most important to you… And I shall do the same. Again, I’m not hating on filters or anything, I just… sometimes I wanna view the world without one for a while.  To keep it in check.

And you’re invited, too! Feel absolutely free to follow me on my unfiltered journey and join me in my #freeoffilter endeavors: @stephaniesaysxo on Instagram & Twitter.

Love always,
Steph xoxo

10 Things I Learned at my Junior Prom

Hey guys! Sorry it’s been forever since I last posted… but I am back baby and I am going to write this post as if no time has gone by!


As you may know, this month and this past month are prime times for high school proms.  Ours happened to be one of the latest ones in our area and it all went down last night.  Our SCA rented the ballroom out at a Marriott near the airport and it was really nice.  But what made last night really special was what I learned during the course of my first big, legit, school evening.

1. Getting there on the early side will be awkward.  Hence, why so many people showed up like an hour past when it started… But even if you get there early, embrace it! Check in with people and say hi, not to mention that it’s the prime time to request a song because the band/DJ hired for the event will be getting settled and there won’t be mountains of song requests ahead of you. When I saw that people were just sitting around at tables and not really doing anything, I grabbed one of my friends and we made a fool of ourselves on the dance floor. After people had their laughs, they joined us and we walked off feeling accomplished. Don’t be afraid to dance (outrageously) alone. (;

2. Wearing heels greater than 5″ will be rough.  I know, because I did it. They were, great, but man… PAIN.  I’m short and I love embracing heels (being 4 feet 11.5 inches I can wear whatever height I want) but know your limits, lol.  Halfway through the night those shoes were outta there.  Kudos to the people I saw wearing cute short heels, chunky heels, and gorgeous dazzly flats.  I admire you. And your comfort level.

3. Every girl is a princess and every guy is a prince. In a classy environment, everyone looks stunning. I was scrolling through the aftermath of instagram and twitter and facebook and DAMN everyone looks good.  I dunno if there are those people who are like “I must be the most stunning at prahhhm” (verbatim) but just a bit of advice to those overachievers– that’s hard to do. When everyone’s suited up and dressed up, putting their best glossy toes forward, everyone shines.  And I just wanna say I was surrounded by beautiful people the whole night.  It was fabulous.

4. Someone will spill a drink (or something) on someone else’s dress. I would know because I was that someone.  For those of you with that bit of clumsy gene in you… Be careful, and be gracious lol.  It wasn’t my fault per se, I was standing in a perfectly fine punchline zone, when someone opened a door behind me and pushed me forward, thrusting half a cup of bright red punch on a friend’s baby blue prom dress.  Needless to say I whirled around to face her and apologized profusely, offering to go help her clean it.  To my surprise she said no, it was fine– she was smiling like it didn’t even bother her that much.  She just adjusted her ruffles, we laughed, and the night went on.  But it coulda been worse… It coulda been a bitchfight or something, haha.  So just be careful. And don’t drink red beverages.

5. There will be some people coming to the dance under the influence. Even though the principle has warned and explicitly told them not to.  Needless to say, be wary and be safe.  No one likes it when people are high or drunk in the middle of the dance floor. Keep it classy, y’all.

6. Teenagers are actually capable of putting their phone down for four hours. Believe it or not! I recall looking around the dance floor and not seeing one phone in the air or in people’s hands.  I felt REALLY out of place when I was taking pictures with some people because I had mine out.  It makes me happy that we can abandon those little bricks of technology for a while for some good, old fashioned socialization and dancing. Yay my generation! You’ve come a long way, I’m so proud *sniff, sniff*.

7. There will most likely be some low-key drama. Sadly, I don’t think a prom goes by where there isn’t some. So if you see someone sitting alone or kinda sad, smile.  And walk up to them. Ask them to dance.  It’s a special night and you want them to feel happy and special. Doing this helps to take their mind of of things so they can just have fun.  I did this, and I made a friend. I also like to think I made their night just a little bit better with my ridiculous dancing….

8. There will most likely be some extremely low necklines. Were their mothers aware? Lol. I understand that for some, the dress if their dreams is super low cut and a little lacking at the bust, which is… Fine. Expressing yourself is great, but please do your best to have the girls stay where they belong. Plus, you’ll be more comfortable dancing and you won’t have to adjust yourself so much.

9. It is okay to just do you. Who cares what the “norm” is for prom? For a little bit, J and I were being strongly pushed towards being in a group.  For me and my experiences, groups have always been… Not the most fun (though there was one exception my freshman year for homecoming). Just know that whatever your prom plans are, be it out with a group or just with your date, just concentrate on what will make you happiest for that night. J and I ended up staying at his house, cooking scallops, broccoli, and pasta together, watching Netflix and just casually hanging out before we went to the actual dance. As for dress? Do what you feel best in.  Wanna rock a high-low dress? Go for it.  Wanna rock those 5″ heels? Have at it. It’s your night, make it special!
10. Prom is what you make of it. So make it fun! It’s not guaranteed that everything will go to plan. Dinner reservations could be rocky, you may spill something on yourself at dinner, you could forget to give him/her flowers.. It’s not the end of the world. Just enjoy the night.

Here’s to wishing you a happy prom and more to come (:

Love always,
Steph xoxo