Friday, September 29, 2017

National Coffee Day + Your New Fav Fall Coffee Recipe

Hello and happy Friday! If you know me, you know today is a very special day for me because it is National Coffee Day. To Celebrate this day and the start of fall, I decided I would share one of my new favorite recipes found from Pinterest (duh). 

I'm talking about an all-natural pumpkin spice coffee syrup. This syrup is vegan, paleo, gluten and dairy free. It's also less than 30 calories per serving so it's a no brainer. (As a comparison, a grande PSL from Starbucks is anywhere from 200-400 calories.) So again, duh. 

Here is the recipe:

- 1 CUP ALMOND MILK (I used unsweetened vanilla)
- add all ingredients in small pot on medium heat. once all of the ingredients mixed together, I let simmer on low and stirred. make sure to let it cool to room temp before storing in a jar. keep refrigerated. 

It's that easy. I plan to make this all season long because it's that good. The only thing I don't like about it is that it gets super thick when stored in the fridge, so you have to really make sure you mix it in your coffee well! Please let me know what you think of this recipe if you try it out! It also makes a great fall gift to a friend!

One last thing. I wanted to let you know that both Dunkin' and Krispy Kreme have some deals going on to celebrate!

- Dunkin' Donuts: Buy one medium or large coffee today, get one free
- Krispy Kreme: Free hot or iced coffee (all weekend long!)

Happy sipping!

Friday, September 22, 2017


The first day of the best time of the year officially starts TODAY, and what better way to celebrate than with another seasonal bucket list. Fall break. Yellow and orange trees. Crisp fall air in the mornings. Crunchy leaves on the ground. Chunky sweaters. Hot Coffee. Halloween candy. Thanksgiving dinner. The list of things I love about fall is never ending, I am pretty sure. Bring on all of the college football games, yummy scented candles, and pumpkin flavored everything.

It's FALL!!!

1. APPLE PICKING | I've only been apple picking once (fall break of my freshman year) and it was one of the most favorite fall memories. There's something so festive about driving up a windy mountain to pick your own apples, and the orchard I went to was a very old-timey-cash-only type of farm that made homemade cider and cinnamon donuts on site!

2. HIKING IN THE MOUNTAINS | I typically am not the "outdoorsy" type, but I do love a good mountain view and if I can burn a few cals (and take cute pics) sign me up!!

3. BONFIRE | Because who doesn't love s'mores and deep fireside chats??

4. BAKE PUMPKIN MUFFINS | I've been seeing some healthy pumpkin muffin recipes on Pinterest (i.e. dairy and gluten free) so I'll try them out and share them if they turn out good!

5. DRIVE IN MOVIES | No, I still haven't been to the drive in movies! If you remember, I had this on my summer bucket list, but apparently it's not a thing to go to the drive ins in the summer because of the heat and bugs. So now's my time!!

6. DRINK APPLE CIDER | Every thanksgiving, my dad makes apple cider with cinnamon sticks after our family's dinner, and it's one of my favorite autumn traditions.

Do you have any autumn traditions you do every year? What's on your fall bucket list? I would love to know! I am so happy that fall is here and all I need now is for this 90 degree South Carolina heat to go away so that I can wear boots and sweaters!

Happy Fall Y'all!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Fun Saturday + New Sunglasses from Warby Parker

What a great weekend! This Saturday our normal farmer's market was joined by our annual Latin Fest, so it was a party all down Main Street Columbia all weekend!! Both of these are right up my alley, which is why you see me with my go-to cold brew AND a pina colada... Does it get any better let me know! 

Since I've been in college, every year before school starts, I like to treat myself to something nice as a "back to school" gift to myself. (Since my parents don't take me back to school shopping anymore lol...) I don't really need another pair of tennis shoes or a new book bag this year, so I'm highly considering buying myself a new pair of sunglasses because it can be BRIGHT walking to class, let's be real! I was debating between some different pairs of nice sunglasses to buy, so it was perfect timing when Warby Parker released their new sunglasses collection!! 

The new collection is called the Sculpted Series collection, and all of the glasses are handcrafted in Italy. (Is it bad that I want them just so I can tell people they're handcrafted Italian!?) My favorite part about the collection is the white horn accent around the tortoise shell frames of the glasses! The  horn adds something so unique and special to the glasses! My favorite out of the four Sculpted Series styles are the Stellas because ya girl loves some big sunglasses, and the oversized square shape makes them look SO much more expensive than they are! 

Another thing to know about Warby Parker is that they give a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair they sell, which I also talked about in a past post. They also have great customer service, especially when it comes to their At Home Try On program where they literally ship you 5 pairs of your fav glasses to try on/keep for a week completely free! I did the At Home Try On for the glasses in the pics above and got so many compliments on them! I think these may be the winner!

Shop all of the glasses in the new Sculpted Series from Warby Parker by clicking the images below:

I really love the idea of investing in a nice pair of sunglasses, and it feels even better knowing you're helping out someone in need when you purchase these! What's your favorite of these glasses? I want to know! Also, let me know if you try any of these Sculpted Styles or any of the sunglasses from Warby Parker, I'd love to see some pics!

Have a great hump day! Make today a good one ♥️


Monday, August 28, 2017

Walking Into Junior Year: A Life Update

Wait. Stop talking. Hold the phone. I am a JUNIOR in college!? Aka I've already completed HALF of the best four years of my life??? How do I go back in time? 

It's no secret that I haven't been on my best blog game lately when it comes to posting, so I thought it would be good to do a nice lil life update to ease back on in. As you can tell from my very dramatic sentences above, school is back in session! Here are some new and exciting things happening in Ariana world:

LIVING LARGE | I finally moved out of my old crusty apartment into a beautiful new house! I am living with three roommates in a house that was just completely gutted and renovated (aka it's completely new on the inside!!!) I'm talking all new appliances, paint, windows, doors, you get the idea... It's a dream y'all!!! There will def be pics to come!

NEW PHONE, WHO DIS? | My old iPhone 6 finally bit the dust earlier this month. Not only was the screen completely and totally shattered, but it stopped receiving messages and would randomly restart while also deleting random important things in the process. Oh did I mention the 3 hour battery life!? So now I'm feeling good with my new iPhone 7 plus. Hellooo portrait mode ;)

WORKIN GAL | I am still balancing my work and school, as I am continuing my Marketing internship this semester! What this looks like for me: 15 credit hours of class and roughly 20 hours per week of working at my internship.

LET'S GET PHYSICAL | Ever since school started back up last week, I have been so happy to finally be back in a routine! Working full time this summer put me in a routine for the day time, but not necessarily for my evenings. Now I have set aside time each day for general life things such as homework and exercising. My friends and I get really into the "Group X" aka exercise classes at the gym because they can be such a fun way to burn some cals and laugh with each other! I am planning on doing a post all about the classes and my favorite workouts in a couple of weeks once I delve a little deeper into the Group X world.

WHAT THE HEALTH | No, sorry to disappoint but this little blurb is not going to be about the What The Health documentary everyone is swearing they're "going vegan over"... I'm honestly afraid to watch! I'm talking about my new found determination to eat healthy, people!! I'm talking clean eating, whole foods, low fat, and gluten free! That's my diet plan, now please hold me accountable.

What I'm Looking Forward To:
- Football season: go cocks!
- Starting upper division classes in my major
- Thomas Rhett concert in October
- Fall Break
- Getting in shape

If you have any goals for the new school year or are looking forward to something exciting, please let  me know by leaving a comment below! I'd love to hear about it! Also, side note: I'm on the search for some new dinner recipes that fit my diet plan above, so any help there would be great as well! 

"The future starts today. Not tomorrow." 

Make today a good one!!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Complete Guide to Charleston, SC

Today I'm talking alllll the details of my favorite parts of Charleston including where to eat, coffee, what to do, etc. I have spent the day in good ole Chuck at least five times this summer, so I feel like I've become quite the Charleston expert. 


Skinny Dip | This is hands down one of my favorite spots in Charleston! It's a boutique down stairs featuring brands like Sail to Sable and KJP, and upstairs there's gift-y items and a coffee and wine bar! They even have an outdoor patio area with palm leaf pillows and a porch swing! One of my favorite parts about Skinny Dip is that Ashley Brooke Designs makes the sleeves for the coffee cups. (as seen in the pic above)
I recommend: Caramel iced coffee with almond milk.

Black Tap Coffee | This coffee shop is off the beaten path a little bit, but I love the quite and cool atmosphere! The interior is very modern and hipster-y and makes for good instagram/vsco pictures!

Kaminsky's | We have a Kaminsky's in Columbia as well, but it's always one of my favorites especially if there's something to celebrate! This is a coffee and dessert cafe that serves HUGE 3-layer cakes, cheesecakes, milkshakes, and ice cream sundaes all in a dark, candle-lit night time atmosphere. (They also have a full bar, and are famous for their adult milkshakes.) 
I recommend: Brownie sundae, S'mores cheesecake or Death by Chocolate cake and a cappuccino.

Christophe Artisan Chocolatier | This is the cutest little french bakery on Society St (near King St) that serves all kinds of french chocolates and baked goods. I've only been here once, but they have the cutest mini macaroons in every flavor you could ever want in life.

Market Street Sweets | Chances are if you've been anywhere near the old slave market in Charleston, you've walked past this place and instantly smelled the heavenly scent that comes out of Market Street Sweets. This is a candy shop that specializes in candy like fudge and pralines. Stop by and watch them hand make the pralines, and get a free sample!!

Kilwins | Kilwins also specializes in candy and fudge, but I really love their ice cream and homemade waffle bowls!
I recommend: Dark Chocolate ice cream in a waffle bowl.

Belgian Gelato | This is right near Riverfront Park, and is the cutest little french gelato shop with a huge giant cone on the sidewalk! I don't know how belgian gelato is different from other types, but this place serves some of my favorite! 
I recommend: Pistachio gelato in a cone.


Fleet Landing | I eat at this restaurant almost every time I go down to Charleston. It's located right on the water near Waterfront Park and the cruise port, so the view is always awesome! It's a small, local restaurant with local seafood and the best hushpuppies in the whole world! 
I recommend: Lunch: Charleston cobb salad or shrimp po boy. 
Dinner: Shrimp and grits or seafood platter

Water's Edge | This restaurant is in Mt. Pleasant (a suburb of Charleston) and is located on Shem Creek, so there are gorgeous water views here too. This was one of the restaurants we tried on my bday weekend, and it did not disappoint! 
I recommend: Glazed salmon and rice. And sitting outside!

Kickin Chicken | This is definitely a more casual, lunch type restaurant but it never disappoints! Think Zaxby's and Groucho's combined to understand the feel of this restaurant. They have such a big menu, and I've loved everything I've tried here. Above you see the grilled chicken ceaser salad and bobby fries in the first picture. The second picture is the "Kickin Chicken" sand which.
I recommend: Chicken tenders, Bobby fries, fried pickles. 

Jim 'N Nick's BBQ | I used to visit the more casual, sister restaurant of Jim 'N Nick's (which is just called Nick's) on King St. allll the time for the hands down best macaroni and cheese of my LIFE! Sadly, the Nick's King St location had to close because the building was too old (Charleston probs), but there is still a Jim 'N Nick's in Charleston! 

Five Loaves Cafe | This was another one of the restaurants I tried at my bday weekend last month. This is a very low-key little cafe that specializes in local and healthy foods. They have a great menu selection if you are gluten free or vegetarian, as well! There are three locations around the Charleston area, but I have only been to the downtown location on Cannon St. Above, you see the chicken paillard and garlic mashed potatoes. I ordered the tilapia piccata (which was amazing, but didn't photograph very well!) 
I recommend: Tilapia Piccata and Eggplant Fritters (!!!)

Charleston Crab House | This is a semi-touristy place, but they have a great location and offer rooftop dining (my fav!) This restaurant has all of your normal seafood options, and is actually where I tried calamari for the first time! (You may remember that from this post in the spring)
I recommend: BBQ Shrimp and Grits


Waterfront Park | This is usually one of the first places I make my way to when I come to Charleston! Like the name suggests, Waterfront park is right on the water and always has THE best views! There are a couple of different fountains, including the pineapple fountain you see above, that kids love to splash around in during the summer! It also has an extremely long dock that has picnic tables and porch swings to sit and enjoy a Charleston evening! One of my favorite spots in the city, for sure.

King Street | I've mentioned King St. a million times in this post, but this is probably the most well-known street in Charleston. This one-way street runs all through the city and is the perfect place to spend the day shopping. Stores range from local boutiques to Forever 21 to Louis Vuitton, and there are plenty of places to eat/treat along the way.

Cinebarre | This is technically in Mount Pleasant (a suburb of Charleston), but it is worth the trip outside of the city limits for sure! This is a movie theater that offers a full menu during your movie! You can order food/drinks before or during the movie by pressing a button right in front of you, and a waiter will bring you your food, so there's no missing any of the movie! It's such a fun experience if you've never been to a theater like it.

Isle of Palms | This is my favorite beach near Charleston, (Folly Beach is also near by). This is just your typical public beach, but I have such great memories at IOP, so I go whenever I get the chance! There are also good walk-up food options like Island Joe's (where the blue painted wall is above), Windjammer, and Ben & Jerry's.

Horse Carriage tours | I haven't been on one of these tours since I was in elementary school, but they are great if you are interested in learning about/seeing all of the history that makes Charleston what it is. This city has such a rich history and has been preserved in a way that is so special.

Whew! Hello longest post ever! As you can tell, over the past couple of years Charleston has made such a mark on me, and I can definitely see myself living there one day! I feel so lucky to be able to go down for a day trip whenever I can.

Thank you for reading, and check back Wednesday for another post!!
(Also, the giveaway winner will be announced via instagram later today!!)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

GIVEAWAY - Win Our Favorite Things!

Happy hump day everyone! I don't know about anyone else, but this week is going by so slowly for me. My 40 hour work weeks and lack of sleep are starting to catch up with me BIG time! Is this what the real world is like!? Either way, I'm in desperate need of a vacay...

Today I have a short (but exciting!) post allll about all the things you see above and how you can win them! That's right I'm doing another giveaway!!!!!

I have teamed up with my friend Michaela to host a giveaway of all of our fav things! This box includes:
-My favorite blue mirrored sunglasses 
-"Do what you love" journal
-2 "yes to" face masks
-Starbucks giftcard
-The Happy Planner agenda stickers
-Lip Butter
-Lash Paradise mascara

This giveaway started Monday 7/17 and ends this Friday 7/21.
Check my instagram for all of the official rules and how you can enter! I'm so excited to be doing another giveaway, and I'm so thankful for everyone that takes the time to read my ramblings on here!

Also - Michaela's blog is linked here, so go check it out! I love all of her makeup and college advice posts!!

Go to my instagram NOW to enter! Good luck :)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tips for a Girl's Weekend in Charleston

Girls trips are always fun, and what better way to celebrate my 20th birthday than a weekend in Charleston!? Today I thought it would be fun to share some do's and don'ts on planning your next weekend get-a-way with your gals! 

1. Don't make a set schedule | Maybe this is because of my "go with the flow" mentality on life in general, but I never have as much fun on trips where every second of the day is scheduled. For me, all this causes is stress (especially in groups) because there's just no way everything will work out exactly as planned. It will rain when you want to go to the beach, the restaurant will have a long wait,  the movie will be sold out, you get the picture... 

2. Be stubborn | With a big group, you're bound to have many different opinions, so be flexible and willing to compromise when it comes to decisions that ultimately won't matter in the bigger picture. We did a good job of this this past weekend, especially when it came to deciding where to eat :)

1. Find a good location | I knew we wanted to spend our time mainly at Isle of Palms beach as well as downtown Charleston, so I picked a hotel in Mount Pleasant, which is right in between IOP and downtown. This ended up being perfect because our hotel was pretty much exactly 15 min from each!

2. Think of some fun activities beforehand | This may sound contradictory to my above "no schedule" tip, but if you have a general idea of things you want to do (without nailing down exactly when to do them), you will save your group a lot of "idk whatever y'all want to do"'s. (I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about!!) For example, you can plan to see a movie or play mini golf one night of the trip or bring board/card games or movies with you!

3. Going to dinner? Call ahead | Chances are if you're on a girl's trip, you have a semi-big group. Any decent restaurant in a 50 mile radius of Charleston on a weekend is probably going to have some sort of wait especially for a group of 6! This weekend, while were getting ready, we would look up a couple of different restaurants and either make a last minute reservation, or call ahead once we were on the way, and it worked out great!

4. Pack big | This is probably just a "me" thing as well, but I like overpacking so that my friends and I can share clothes, shoes, etc. In the last pic above, 4 of the pairs of shoes are mine, and the last day we were there, I think everything I wore wasn't mine ;) And I, being the last minute packer that I am, ended up forgetting a lot of stuff that I ended up being able to borrow too.

That's all I got! Comment down below if you have any tips/tricks to a weekend get-a-way! 

Also: For specifics on restaurants/things to do in Charleston etc. check back on Monday! I am working on a HUGE Charleston Guide of alllll of my favorite spots in the area! 

Thanks for reading!