life update — shaping summer ’18

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about what’s going on in my life! For the most part I’ve been insanely busy with college work which is why I haven’t been posting a blog each week like usual. Things are getting exciting though! I’m rounding up my last semester as a junior and with that, a ton of cool projects. If you recount from an earlier blog, dream chasing, I spoke about my TV Production class being quite terrifying to me — terrifying enough to make me question myself in my major and career path.. As I’m working on my final project for the class I can happily say, I not only survived it, but I’ve grown so much from it!

I don’t believe I’ve ever learned as much about what I want to do in my life until this semester in TV Prod. It challenged me to create news packages that a viewer cares about, interview officials in professional atmospheres, get my hands on new cameras, lighting and audio equipment, learn new systems of editing video to create news packages and short films, and learn equipment used in a news station setting – prompters, switcher boards that run the show, cameras, audio tech., and positions within the studio such as the floor manager’s duties. I actually produced an entire 20 minute running news cast with a group of two other students where we each produced a package, a shorter news piece for the anchor to read, and brought in an interviewee to live interview on set. I was said (solo) news anchor not only for my group, but two other news cast groups within my class! Which meant, I was the only anchor for 3 entire shows and I live interviewed 3 separate people! I spent countless nights at the school until 10 pm editing footage and I’ve never had a class be so hands on and full of after school work, but after all the hard work and time I put in — I’m pretty dang proud of myself.

After this challenging class I feel like I have real knowledge on what I wanna do in life — it’s not just this image in my head anymore on what it would be like. I’m thrilled to say I’m continuing to pursue my dream of being a news anchor by interning at KFDX News Channel 3, my local news station, this summer!! I grew up watching this exact news channel every morning as I got ready for school. My mom used to tell me I should be a news anchor on channel 3, but back then I would tell her how crazy she was for thinking I could do that. Isn’t it funny how life works out? I’ll start my internship in mid-July, after the first half of the summer. I absolutely can’t wait to start and learn from the real reporters and news anchors, this is a huge opportunity for me that I hope will push me in the right direction after graduation in just one more year! (yikes!!)

This summer, in addition to taking my internship at KFDX 3 News, I’ll be taking a summer course I need as an elective. I’m still deciding on what to take! Even with all this going on, I always somehow find time to relax, have fun and write. Which is exactly what I plan to do wearing this cute outfit all summer long! Would you believe if I said I got this entire look from Target? I bet you would, considering how much I talk about shopping there. Still, when I found these pants I immediately knew they were mine. I’ve been searching for a good pair of linen pants for this summer and though I love the cropped trend right now, I wanted a pair that went to my ankles. I love the blue floral print and my favorite part about them (minus the stretchy waistband) are the pockets and bottom hem of the pants are fringed, a detail that makes them even more darling! I paired this adorable oatmeal sweater that actually ties on each side with the pants for a cool summer afternoon look, I merely front tucked one side of the sweater into the pants for a more lounge-y outfit. I found this sweater tank at my local target, but for some reason could not find it online. The brand however, was Universal Thread. I’m loving the wicker bag trend right now and when I saw this one with a black cinching bag inside I thought it was fun and different — an obvious must have. With this look I paired my favorite Jack Rogers flip-flops!

So yeah, life update is that I’m finishing up junior year of college, I’ll be taking my first summer course ever in a month, I have this incredible internship opportunity waiting on me this summer and senior year waiting for me in the fall.  It’s all happening. Part of what makes my blog so special to me is I try to capture my life as it is to my best ability. In another year when I’m graduated and probably concerned with job hunting I’ll be able to look back at this post and remember exactly how I felt and what I was going through. Going back to my ‘dream chasing’ blog I remember how concerned I was with my TV Prod. class and not being good at what I wanna do in life. I had so much doubt on if this career choice would be too much for me to handle. Now I am able to reflect on that and really see that I had no reason to doubt myself. Look at how far I’ve come since then! I’m much more confident in myself and I have this amazing opportunity at a real news station to use what I’ve learned. I pushed myself in a class I thought I would fail at and I got the results I wanted because of it. You guys, this can be a lesson to anyone. It’s okay to doubt yourself, yes. But make your doubts drive your ambition. Push yourself, work hard at what you’re worried about, for you. No one is gonna hand you the life you want, you have to go get it. To all the go-getters: never stop pursuing that dream.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela

As always,

Ara

Linen pants: Target | Sweater tank: Nordstrom & Anthropologie  | Wicker purse: Target | Leather flip-flop: Jack Rogers & Nordstrom

more life, more everything

(other half of bday photos toward end of blog)

This year was the big one — 21!!! My birthday happened to fall on a Sunday this year, April 22nd, otherwise known as Earth day. I celebrated turning 21 at midnight on Saturday in one of the new local bars in Wichita Falls with all of my best people! It was a night I’m actually glad I remember; I had the whole bar ring in my birthday with a shoutout from the DJ at 12 a.m., I danced on elevated surfaces as well as the dance floor (not typical I swear), and partied like it was my birthday. It was so fun to just cut loose and celebrate! I have felt so much love and warm wishes the past weekend and I am so grateful to see 21 with people who love and care about me! This is only the beginning of a new life with less limitations. The day I’ve so looked forward to for years has come and gone, I survived my 21st — cheers to more life, more everything! (shoutout Drake)

I just knew I wanted to photograph this stunner of a dress from Urban Outfitters for my birthday. It caught my eye around New Years and I still couldn’t get over the teal-blue sequins, so I bought it in early February and have saved it especially for my day! (I tend to do that for events, I can’t be the only one?) It was the perfect b-day dress for me — it’s covered in sequins and the ‘baby-doll’ fit was gorgeous. The jewelry I wore for this shoot, however, was most special to me. That blue topaz rock on my right hand was left for me by my grandmother who passed away my senior year in high school. I usually pull it out to wear on special holidays like Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t think of better earrings or ring for this dress than this blue topaz set and I was happy for a reason to wear them! I’m also wearing my blue tennis bracelet which I swear brings me good luck!! Because the neckline is so high and I didn’t wanna over-due the look by adding a necklace, I went without one. My black block heel shoes are from Target — surprise surprise, always finding the best shoes here. I chose a black heel for this look because the inside slip of the dress is black and can be seen in some areas and because I liked the look of a simple black heel with this show-stopper dress!

I’d like to say 21 is the first time I’ve ever tried alcohol, but lets be real. I grew up in a dry hometown (dry as in, no alcohol was to be sold in stores, no liquor stores) and was still easily able to get it if I wanted to. More on that, my hometown voted against being dry maybe 4 years in a row and within the last year my hometown finally voted to allow the sell of beer and wine (yep, still don’t carry the heavy stuff). This always seemed so funny to me, because who even hears about a town being dry anymore? Truthfully though, I’ve never been one to drink a lot and maybe it’s because of the town I grew up in and the way I was raised. Because I’m a known lightweight by my friends and family, when it comes to drinking I don’t drink often or a lot — rare 21-year-old spotted (yes my friends and family were worried about my well being Saturday). When I do drink though, my preferred drink of choice is a nice glass of wine. It’s easy to drink and keep up with how much I’m drinking, rather than mixing drinks and shots, and definitely easier on my stomach.

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I feel like this company deserves its own drumroll.. you guys I’m so excited to share ONEHOPE Wine with you all! ONEHOPE is an amazing wine company that definitely stands apart from others – not only do some of their bottles come covered in glitter, but more importantly, for each bottle of wine sold a portion of the proceeds goes to a non-profit organization corresponding to that bottle of wine. For example, the silver glittered bottle of sparkling California Brut raises donations for organizations working to end world hunger. Every bottle sold provides 4 meals to a child in need. So far, ONEHOPE has provided 2,032,964 children with meals. The California Cabernet Sauvignon bottles raises money for autism therapy for children. Every 10 cases sold of that specific bottle funds ABA Therapy for 1 child with autism. So far, 3,318 hours of ABA therapy has been provided to children with autism.

I was immediately impressed with ONEHOPE because I believe companies that give back as they earn and become successful are the future of American business. I was thrilled to collaborate with this wine company specifically for my 21st birthday and absolutely did my little happy dance once the collaboration was confirmed! My friends, if we can find a way to help others while purchasing items such as this wine to enjoy ourselves, we are doing something right! Not to mention, the taste is phenomenal. On ONEHOPE’s website you can view the ratings from professional wine tasters plus read up on the taste as well as the best food pairings for a specific wine before you buy. I’m here for perfectly aged, great tasting, glittery wine all the rest of my years — and what a bottle to be cheers-ing with than a bottle fighting world hunger, I’ll drink to that! Definitely a lover of wine that allows you to feel good by doing good, so here’s to doing a lot more good now that I’m officially legal! Raise your glasses — no pour decisions here!

As always,

Ara

 

Birthday dress: Urban Outfitters | Black block heel: Target | Glittery wine: ONEHOPE Wine