Monday, August 6, 2018

11 Random Things

Hi! How is your week going? I've been MIA for the past few weeks for good reason, but I'll tell y'all about it later. In the meantime, I wanted to get a post up featuring some random thoughts that are currently on my mind. Maybe, I'll turn this into a series. Who really knows? Let me know what you think of this bullet point style of a post.
  • At the beginning of June, my dad and I went on a road trip through the Washington national parks. As you can probably imagine, the trip was stunning and breathtaking. I'm still trying to understand the caliber of the national parks we visited as I'm struggling to wrap my head around their beauty and size. I've always known that I love national parks but this trip just proved that I want to visit every national park. I guess I officially have a bucket list now. I'm coming for you, all 58 national parks.
  • I went on a summer program where I kept a journal for a little while. As I look back at what I wrote, my memories come to life and are so much clearer than had I just thought of them. I also found journaling to be a calming activity to do every night. I'd love to continue this tradition by spending ten minutes before bed writing down whatever comes to my head.
  • I really miss the art of the handwritten note. I want to make more of an effort to send my friends handwritten letters this year as I believe handwritten notes demonstrate so much love for someone. I hope this means I'll have a collection of letters, stamps, pens, and other letter writing supplies by the end of the year.
  • I've always known the power of no phones, but I spent a day with two hundred fifty people where no one was on their phone. It was beautiful to see people talking with one another as they waited in line, people turning to each other as answers to their questions, and people having genuine conversations free of distractions.
  • I desperately need to reorganize my closet as my closet has an overwhelming amount of storage but its chopped up in a weird way for the current layout I have. I'd like to take the time to take everything out of my closet and set it up in a way that inspires me to create outfits that excite me. I'm hoping a closet transformation will help me get more into fashion.
  • I haven't sat down and listened to music in almost a year. It's alarming to know I went so long without enjoying the beautiful art of the written word, but I'm happy to be back to basking in the glory of music. I'm planning on creating a playlist for me to get ready to so I can guarantee I'll listen to music more often.
  • I walked into my closet and couldn't remember the last time I used my running shoes. It's frankly quite embarrassing to admit this so I know I need to change this. I'd like to start going on walks with my dog every night during the sunset to allow me to soak up the last few weeks of summer.
  • I've been experimenting with some face products recently. While they're not as natural as I'd prefer them to be, I'm hoping they'll clear up some areas on my skin that I'd prefer to look a little less blemished.
  • I haven't been doing much personal reading in the form of books in the last few years, and its really starting to bother me. I think I'm going to pick up a few books to keep on my nightstand to encourage me to read more.
  • I'd really like to create a proper night routine as I often change up what I do each night before bed. I'm planning on including some time for journaling and reading a book. I'd love to add in time to do some light stretching or back rolling as I know they're both good for you, but I don't want the routine to become too long it doesn't happen.
  • I'm really struggling with how to keep up with blogging as I feel like I am good at blogging for a few weeks and then awful for a few months. I have an evergrowing list of ideas for posts so that's not the problem. I'm thinking connecting with more bloggers will help solve my problem.

Alright, that's it for me. This was really calming so I might end up doing it more often. Tell me your thoughts, favorite party food, whatever's on your mind.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Step Into My Week: Piedmont Park, Ponce City Market & Asheville

The first few weeks of summer have been absolutely amazing. I’ve truly taken advantage of this time off by spending it with friends and doing activities that I enjoy. I’m excited to see where the rest of the summer goes, but, for now,  I’ll catch y’all up on what I’ve been up to the past few weeks.

On the last day of school, my friends, Sylvie and Emma, and I had quite the girls day. We started the day off by listening to some music by our friends before jetting off to our adventures. We decided to get lunch at Bar Taco where we had some great tacos and delicious guacamole. I don’t know what they did to the guac, but it was incredible. 10/10 recommend y’all checkout Bar Taco. We were in the mood for a sweet treat so we decided to drive to Revolution Donuts. The donuts were great. This place has the best vegan and non-vegan donuts in the city. To continue our adventure, we went to Little 5 Points. We explored some of the clothing shops and checked out Criminal Records. Before ending the fun gals adventure, Sylvie and I went to Cinnaholic for cookie dough. They make incredible vegan cookie dough and cinnamon rolls that I completely adore. We might not have eaten the healthiest, but we had tons of fun.

I convinced my sister to go to Piedmont Park for a fun day at the park. We didn’t know the Atlanta Jazz Festival was also happening, so the traffic situation took forever. We ended up parking 7 blocks up from the park because we couldn’t find any closer parking. Anyways, the time we spent at the park was lovely. The Jazz was the perfect backdrop for a chill hangout. We were in the mood for a sweet treat so we stopped by Revolution Donuts for cinnamon rolls. They were great, per usual. To end our day, we went to Oakland Cemetery to see Golden Hour. Golden Hour was a 10-day art installation where 13 artists created art that represented golden hour. We didn’t get to see much of it as it started to pour 20 minutes into our visit, but the part we saw was incredible. I cannot wait to see future installations at Oakland.

My dad, sister, and I decided to check out the Old 4th Ward festival. We saw several cute succulent shops, so we ended up buying a plant. The succulent has the cutest planter with a cow at the base of the planter. My dad and I, on the way, we’re talking about how he wanted a sandwich from the food truck, so we were surprised to see the truck at the festival. We also listened to some great music at the festival. We then decided to pop over to Ponce City Market. I was sad to see that my favorite bao bun place has officially closed, but I decided to try the hot dog place that took its place. The veggie dog was alright, but not worth the long wait.

I visited my friend, Isabelle, who just got her wisdom teeth out. We don’t go to the same school so we don’t see each other as often as we’d like. I brought her vegan cheesecake, flowers, and a magazine full of quizzes. My other friend, Lindy, was also there so we had a great time eating the cheesecake. I turned Isabelle onto Chrisley Knows Best, and, now, we’re both determined to meet them one day.

My friend, Catie, and I spent a day hanging out at some of my favorite spots in Atlanta. We tried to go to Oakland Cemetery but the art exhibition had ended. We still walked around for a bit, but it started to rain. We didn’t let the rain stop us as we headed off to Yeah Burger. Yeah Burger makes the most incredible vegan burger. I don’t get to go there very often so it’s always a treat. We then headed off to Ikea where we spent a few hours goofing off while looking for for some boxes. We ended up not finding the boxes I needed, but we had a great time exploring the fake homes, designing a kitchen, and trying out the couches. It was definitely a successful day.

My sister and I decided to venture out to the mall. I’m not a huge fan of shopping, but I had a great time with my sister. I didn’t find anything I liked but my sister had some success at the mall.

My friend, Brian, and I decided to spend a day hanging out. We went to Ponce City Market for ramen. The ramen was really great. We went to Citizens Supply, an Atlanta emporium of products crafted in Atlanta. I love their T-shirt collection. I have a shirt that says ATL in the MTV logo that is so cute. We also checked out the succulent plants part of Citizens Supply. We were in the mood for a treat so we popped into Cinnaholic for cinnamon rolls. At this point, I’ve gotten so many of my friends hooked on Cinnaholic. We decided to venture over to Zesto’s. Brian wanted their $1 ice cream. We ended up seeing our friend, Avsha, there which was a nice surprise.

My first trip of the summer was to Asheville. We ended up getting in super late as my sister had a dinner with her friends, which meant we went straight to bed.

The adventures continued with vegan pizza at Garlik pizza with my grandma, sister, and cousin. It’s a vegan pizza place a little south of Asheville. We went on a road that had flooding, so we had to turn around and find a new way to get there. It was definitely an adventure trying to get to the pizza place. We decided to swing by Dolly’s. Dolly’s is an ice cream place in Brevard that has wacky flavors based off of local sleep away camps. When I went to camp in Brevard, my friends and I would get so hyped to visit Dolly’s. Unfortunately, they don’t have vegan flavors, but I always love going.

My cousin, Chloe, sister, and aunt ventured out to do some shopping. We ended up stumbling upon a store that sold incense that Lucy and Chloe were mesmerized by. After we had finished shopping, we decided to get dinner at White Duck Taco with Alan and Gabe. After our dinner, we helped break down a wedding. The wedding was in the most beautiful location with a stunning backdrop of the mountains.

We decided to venture out to Hot Springs for a visit to their mineral pools. The drive to the mineral pools was very curvy, but the views of the mountains were totally worth it. The mineral pools themselves were a fun experience, but I’d love to experience true hot springs. I went to a hot spring 4 years ago in Colorado that was so much fun.

I’ve recently found this app called Sound Print that tells you if it’s too loud. I’m so fascinated by the technology. Ethan and I were sitting in the car when he decided to turn the music up way too loud. I decided to test the app to see how loud the car was. It was insane to see that cars could make noises that were way past the mark for hearing loss starting to occur.

On our last night in Asheville, my mom, Lucy, Chloe, Claire, Richard, Addy, Alan, Ethan, Gabe, and I went to a Korean bbq restaurant. Although we all weren’t able to cook the food due to some complications it was still a great experience.

My friends and I decided to have a Bachelor watching party. Maddie, Bari, Shayna, Isabelle, Marin, and I all went to Maddie’s house. Most of us hadn’t seen the Bachelor so it was definitely an interesting experience for all of us.

To put it simply, the past few weeks have been great. I can definitely say this summer will be one for the books. Here’s to more summer memories!

Monday, April 2, 2018

These Last Few Months, An Update

Gold Clutter Update
To put it simply, these last few months have been quite hectic. I've had some stuff going on personally that has left me unmotivated to create content. I'm hoping to be getting over this phase, but I want to produce content I wholeheartedly adore. I chose to let myself take a break from blogging, and it was a much needed and well-deserved break that allowed for a multitude of personal reflections.

Traveling is truly the greatest // These past few months have consisted of visiting Salt Lake City, Columbus, Orlando, Washington DC, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, and New York City. I left each of these remarkable trips with memories of times spent laughing, exploring, and enjoying my environment of friends and family. When I disembarked on my plane ride home after each adventure, I could imagine the vivid moments of true enjoyment I felt. These trips had different purposes, but they all left me with the spark to see and explore the world.

Spend time doing the things you are passionate about // I've been reminded lately to take advantage of the times spent with friends and family in the past year. This has really honed in on me in the last few months. I'm hoping to look back on my time spent in high school and remember the nights spent with my friends instead of the nights spent studying. While my adventures have prohibited from spending time with my friends, I'm looking forward to creating memories with my friends over the next while. My latest adventures have established some friendships that I hold near and dear now. I hope to spend the remainder of my high school years cherishing the memories I make with my friends and family.

Focus on the goodness of life // So much of the past few months have been full of the most thoughtful people and memories. At times, I've taken these memories and people for granted instead of focusing on nurturing them. I'm hoping to move forward focusing more on the goodness occurring in my life and less of the negative aspects.

Focus on yourself // I've realized that self-care is possibly the most important aspect of life. I've been emphasizing paying attention to how I feel and how the things around me are affecting me, and its been quite beneficial for me. I'm intending to continue to manifest the favorable aspects around me into my life.

Be willing to take risks // By nature, I'm not much of a risktaker, and I have no current plans of changing that, but I'd like to be more accepting of new challenges that come my way. This year has thrown me many curveballs that I was not anticipating allowing me to grow tremendously as a person. I want to use the knowledge from these events to grow into someone who is willing to take risks.

Disconnect when needed // I've been making a conscious effort to know when I need to step away from current things lately. This has allowed me to be more aware of my surroundings and focus on growing my friendships. I'm hoping this habit will continue as I become more and more aware of myself and my surroundings.

I want to sign off by saying that my blog has always been a creative outlet for me that I wholeheartedly adore. Moving forward, I want to make a more conscious effort to create content that inspires me as I have not felt that has been the case for the last few months. I hope to be back shortly with content that allows me to grow as a creator.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Step Into My Week: AIPAC Policy Conference & DC

I’m currently on a plane as I type this to sunny Southern California from Washington D.C. where I attended AIPAC’s Policy Conference. BBYO sent out applications a few months ago, and I was so excited to hear I was accepted to be apart of BBYO’s delegation. The actual conference lasted from Sunday to Tuesday but I flew in early to spend time with my friend from a BBYO summer program.

I ended up flying on Friday right after school. I literally had to make a mad dash to the airport for fear I might miss my flight if I got stuck in a ton of traffic. Luckily, I got to the gate ahead of time. I was definitely shocked to see such a jam packed gate as I didn’t know flights were being cancelled left and right because of the wind in the northeast. The girl I ended up sitting next to on the flight is a pilot instructor. She ended up telling me all about planes, the process to becoming a pilot, and answered any questions I had about planes. It was pretty cool to strike up a conversation with someone sitting next to me.

I flew into Baltimore as it was the closest airport to my friend’s house. My Lyft driver was interesting to say the least. The driver wasn’t super familiar with the part of Maryland my friend, Carina, lived in. We ended up getting a little lost as their was a downed tree close to her house. When I finally arrived, I was so excited to see her.

She had told me that her power had gone out, but I completely forgot. I was a little worried that no one was home, but I was so excited to see her. Her mom was the sweetest and made the most amazing vegan food for me. I had pita with hummus and a salad and grain mixture. It was so good. I also tried chia pudding with fruit that was absolutely divine. I loved it so much. We ended up hanging out in her room catching up. We decided to FaceTime one of our friend’s, Chase, where we debated over who has the better hat collection. Carina’s hat collection is pretty cool. She has a cat hat and a cheesehead.

The next morning we were out the the door at 10:30 ready to explore the city. We dropped off my bags at the hotel as I didn’t want to lug my bag around all day. We drove over to the Newseum but decided to go to the National Building Museum instead. I was completely amazed by all the different newspapers on display. As a journalism student, it made me so happy to see newspapers from all over the U.S.

The National Building Museum was crazy cool to say the least. Carina and I ended up playing in the little kid’s play zone for a little while. The building blocks and Lincoln logs were super fun to play with as we constructed homes. The museum featured a paper model exhibit that was truly mind-blowing to see the exquisite detail in the models. I’d love to see the process of creating a 3-D model as I’ve only seen ones that are getting characters to stand up.

The focal point of the National Building Museum was an exhibit featuring a model home. The premise of the museum was that today’s homes aren’t suited to work with the evolving lives of the individuals who inhabit today’s homes. The model home was incredibly innovative with storage everywhere, foldaway showers and beds, and moving walls. I left the exhibit feeling inspired to see what housing will look like when my generation begins to buy houses.

We ended up spending way more time in the National Building Museum than we anticipated, so we were pretty hungry when we left. We ended up going to Le Pain for lunch. Let’s just say that I was incredibly impressed. I got an amazing black bean and sweet potato toast that was so good. I had the hardest time choosing between all the incredible sounding food. I was so excited to see that they had vegan Nutella. I ended up buying some to take home with me, but security at the airport took it away from me. I’m definitely ordering some online as the chocolate spread was such a great treat.

We decided to go to the Washington Monument to allow me to see at least one of the monuments. The Washington Monument is being renovated so we weren’t able to get close but it was still very cool. I’d love to see the view from the monument as I’m sure its very pretty.

We had to make a mad dash back to the hotel as Carina had a BBYO event she had to be at. Although I got there a little early compared to everyone else, one of my roommates, Melanie, was also early. Both of us were hungry so we went to Shouk. It’s vegan Israeli cuisine that is seriously the bomb dot com. I’m so hoping they open up a location in Atlanta because vegan Israeli food isn’t super available in Atlanta.

We went back to our hotel and met the rest of our roommates. My other roommate, Sarah, was super sweet. She’s going to College of Charleston. My big in BBYO goes to Charleston so it was cool to meet another BBYOer whose going to CofC. My other roommate, Leah, is super cool. She actually goes to camp with someone who goes to my school so we ended up hanging out for most of the convention. The international n’siah (president), Rebecca, was also roommate. That was pretty cool!

The entire BBYO group gathered together to get dinner. My roommates along with Gabby, another girl in the group, went to Whole Foods for dinner. It’s so incredible to me that we all instantly got along. BBYO truly unites us. We had a blast and a half chatting for hours. We grabbed dessert at Jeni’s Ice Cream where I got a delicious chocolate flavor. All of us took pictures of our ice cream as it was so pretty.

Sunday was the first official day of AIPAC. We got to hear from so many speakers share how their helping to support a strong US and Israel relationship. It was pretty neat to be in the presence of so many people who shared the same love for Israel. My favorite panel that I heard from all about how AIPAC will win on college campuses. I was so incredibly inspired by all the innovate programming the college students were putting on. I was particularly inspired by UC Berkeley’s programs that they were putting on. The girl from UC Berkeley talked about a Israeli vegan food market. I’d love to see something similar be put on by my chapter in BBYO or by the JCC.

I had the opportunity to lobby my representative. I hadn’t lobbied for anything prior to AIPAC so I was stunned to see the inner workings of Congress. I’m inspired to come back to D.C. to lobby for other causes I’m passionate about. Capitol Hill, you’ll be seeing me real soon.

Friday, February 2, 2018

February Playlist

I got to see my result from Spotify's 2017 Wrapped a few weeks ago. I was taken aback by how little I listened to music according to Spotify. The tracker said I listen to a whopping 867 minutes of music in all of 2017. Granted,  I have a record player that I listen to music off of too. I'm definitely aware that 2017 wasn't my prime year for listening to music. I'm hoping to listen to more music in 2018.

I've decided I'm going to create a monthly playlist to help me discover more music starting next month. This month, I opted to stick with one of my favorite playlists. This is a soft, mellow playlist that has lots of emotion. I'm definitely the type of person who chooses to listen to calming music rather than pop music.

I'd like to create a music playlist for when I run on the treadmill. I'll probably end up creating a throwback playlist as that's the type of music that gets me dancing. In the meantime, I've been listening to podcasts while I run. Be on the look for a running playlist for next month's edition.

Free Spirit // Atlanta Rhythm Section
Laundry Room // The Avett Brothers
Snow Time // James Taylor
Atlanta // Ron Pope
Black Balloons // Local Natives
Sun It Rises // Fleet Foxes
Tuesday // The Eveybodyfields
White Apple // Blind Pilot

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Step Into My Week: Homecoming, BBYO & Atlanta

I'm back! I always forget about the adjustment time it takes to get back into the school routine. It was definitely a little worse for me than other years. I always strive to produce the best high-quality content so I chose to take some time for myself to regroup with school before creating blog content. This month will be a true test for blogging with 2 fun trips planned for this month, so many projects due in the next 2 weeks, and a huge project I'm taking on. I'm so excited to see all that I do this month.

At this point, I've lost how many days I've had off because of snow or some other weather-related issue. I'm very thankful that my school hasn't had to extend the school day or add additional days to the calendar like a lot of other schools have to. I'm definitely one of those people who absolutely loves school. I love getting a day off every now and then, but I get bored after a few days off. I'm glad that we haven't had any more unexpected days off.

My school has basketball homecoming. Truthfully, I love that we have basketball homecoming rather than football homecoming as the hype gets built up for a little while. This year, my friends and I decided to get dinner at what we found out was a popular place to eat before the dance. It's hilarious to think we must've seen at least 25 people from my school and even more people were in a different room. The dance itself was super fun. I always love dancing it out with my pals.

After homecoming, I drove on over to my BBYO chapter's kickoff. We had an ice skating themed kickoff that was super fun. I got to see so many people I hadn't seen in quite a while. It's so cool to think about all the awesome friendships I've created because of BBYO. I was so happy to see so many new faces as January tends to be a big recruitment month. I can't wait for all the chapter programs coming up in the next few months.

My friend Catie and I went out for dinner at the new Braves stadium's little town center. It was so much fun. Unfortunately, I got lost driving around the Braves' campus, so we didn't get to hang out for too long. We ended up going to a Mexican restaurant where I tried empanadas for the first time. They ended up being delicious. We also had the most amazing avocado salsa. I'm definitely going back to get avocado salsa.

I ended up volunteering with a special needs organization. I had an amazing time helping out at Tu B'Shevat. It's such a great Jewish holiday that celebrates trees and nature. I hope to celebrate it even more next year.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Skin Care Wishlist Under $25

Skin Care Wishlist Under $25

I'd really like to start taking better care of my skin this year. Currently, I just wash my face and call it a day. I figured I'd put together a collection of all the products I'm interested in getting to give myself a proper skin care routine. I'm pretty sure all of the products featured are vegan and cruelty-free, but I could've accidentally made a mistake. What are your favorite skin care products? Am I missing an essential item on my list?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Step Into My Week: Skiing, Park City, & Atlanta

It's another snow day for me so I figured now was a good time to give a recap of all that I've done in the past week or so. I've traveled all over Atlanta, and I went a little west to the ski town of Park City. With my travels, I've gotten quite a bit of cold weather. Hopefully, we get another snow day tomorrow or it warms up.

My class went to the High museum where we met the curator for the civil rights exhibit named Fire that No Water Could Put Out: Civil Rights Photography. We were fortunate enough to get a tour from the curator herself. It was truly fascinating to hear her talk about why she picked each photo and the importance of each photo. I'd like to start going to curator talks in the future. Hearing her speak about the exhibit while touring it allowed me to have a deeper connection with the history, signifigance, and overall understanding of the exhibit's photos.

On Friday, my class went to the Atlanta History Center. I'd been to the center numerous times but not in a few years. I was excited to learn more about Atlanta during our time there. The center was nice enough to take us into the archives where we got to see maps, photos, city records, directories, and a few other archival pieces. I mostly enjoyed my time moseying around the archives admiring and reading all the books they had in their collection. I'd love to go back to spend some of my own time there.

I went skiing in Park City at Deer Valley this past weekend. It was truly an amazing time. We landed on Saturday, but we didn't go skiing until Sunday. Instead, we went snow tubing at Gorgoza. I loved going up the slopes as you had to go a magic carpet. It was completely insane how fast you went. I'd love to go to Stone Mountain now.

On Sunday and Monday, we went skiing. My sister and I took a group lesson on Sunday to help us get back in the groove again. We started on the bunny slope, but before we knew it we were on some difficult greens. I personally didn't love Success as I don't love steep hills in general. I loved going down Homeward Bound and Ontario. During our midday break, we stopped for lunch at Silver Lake Lodge. I ended up getting an amazing mushroom and tofu pho on both days. I'd love to find a place that serves vegan pho in Atlanta.

My sister's friends we're also skiing, but we didn't end up seeing them until we got to the airport. We all ended up on the airport which was definitely a little funny. I was truthfully a little sad to hear school was cancelled as I was really excited for my field trip on Wednesday, but I had a blissful day playing in the snow, relaxing, and unpacking and organizing my ski clothes.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Blogging Goals for 2018

2018 Blogging Goals
I'm back today showing all that I want to accomplish this year related to blogging. This year, I chose to make my own resolutions blogging related. I'd like to dedicate a large chunk of time this year to improving and growing my blog. I also want to take a minute to celebrate the fact that I got serious about my blog about a year ago. I'm so proud of all the amazing content I've created on my platform. I'm so pumped to see all that I create this year!

Double my pageviews // I'm so proud of how many views my content got this year. I had to make several pageview goals for 2017, so I'd love to knock my goal number this year out of the park.

Create an editorial calendar // I keep a Google doc for any ideas I have for content creation. I try to sort the ideas into months so that I have somewhat of an idea to post each month. I did a really great job of making an editorial calendar last year, but I struggled with sticking to the calendar. I'd like to create more a more practical calendar as I've been reminding myself that I'm a high schooler who does tech theater every day, participates in BBYO, volunteers a lot, spends time with her friends and family, and runs a blog. I shouldn't expect myself to create content for every single weekday as that's just not practical.

Post consistently // I did a really great job posting some months and a not so great job posting other months in 2017. I'd like to work on improving my consistency. I think having an editorial calendar will help me achieve this goal. I also need to remind myself that I'm a teenager, so sometimes I won't have content up. I do think it would be great to spend one Sunday a month creating content for the blog. I always have an amazing week when my posts are written and scheduled ahead of time. 

Improve blog photos // I worked really hard to pay for a nice camera all by myself, but I don't use it as much as I'd like to admit. I just need to go out and practice taking pictures in order for me to improve. Along with this, I'd like to work on creating beautiful blog graphics. I focused on creating great graphics for my gift guides, and I'm extremely proud of how they turned out. Canva has been really helpful for creating graphics so far.

Make videos // Video creation has been on the rise in the last few years. I'd love to be one of the pioneers in the blogging community who also creates videos. I've been practicing making videos, and its much harder to film than I expected to be.

Create social media // I'm very excited about this goal as I know its super important that Gold Clutter have a social media presence. I only really know about Instagram, so I plan on starting there before growing to additional social networks. I can definitely say this one will be happening sooner rather than later.

Find blog besties // I'm very proud to be a teen blogger, but it's very much a niche community that not many people are aware of exists. I initially struggled with finding other teen bloggers, but I've begun to find many others that I really like and admire.  Once I've found my blogging bestie, I think it would be really fun to collaborate with them on a post together.

Attend a blogging conference // I really wanted to attend Her Conference last year, but I was working then so it couldn't work out. I'm almost positive I'll be attending camp during this year's conference, but I'd love to start going to blogger meetups. It would be a great way for me to meet more people in the community and grow my blog.

Create a newsletter // I always love seeing the creative content my favorite bloggers create for their newsletter subscribers. It would be such a fun time to create my own newsletter. I know it will create a great deal of time, I really hope I can create one this year.

Use a blog planner // I have a Day Designer that I absolutely love, but I think it would be helpful to have a dedicated space for organizing blog related information. It will help me live an even more organized life. Additionally, I'd like to create an inviting space to blog at. Currently, I use my desk, but I'd like to spruce it up a bit.

Work with companies // I had the great privilege of working with several companies this year. The opportunities I've gotten through blogging excitement me so much, so I'm thrilled to continue working with companies this year.

This year is going to be an amazing year! I'm so excited to see all that Gold Clutter accomplishes this year. I was consistently blown away by all the positivity and love I got towards Gold Clutter, so I'm thrilled to be creating even more content this year.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

2017 Resolutions Recap

I thought it would be fun to take a look back at my resolutions adventures for 2017. 2017 was truly a remarkable year where I became extremely passionate blogging. You can read all about what I did in 2017 here.

Volunteer // I feel like I knocked this goal out of the park. I spent so much of 2017 volunteering whether it was playing with special needs kids or planning service days or being a camp counselor. This year really showed me that I want to work in the non-profit world when I'm older. I want to be able to say how my job is benefiting the community I'm serving every day.

Find a physical activity I enjoy // I definitely didn't make exercise as much of a priority in my life as I should've. I did take PE for a semester where I easily saw what I didn't enjoy. I personally don't enjoy working with weights and weight room equipment as I got easily overwhelmed by them. I love working out with friends when I can chat with them while we workout. I've been going to the gym these past few weeks, and I'm beginning to find somewhat of a groove.

Make my voice heard // I definitely made my voice heard this year as I was very active in the blogging and journalism front. I also stood up for what I believed in numerous times.

Go tubing // I didn't succeed with my goal for this, but I went on plenty of other adventures.

Watch the sunrise // I already knew going into this year that I'm not an early bird, but this year proved it more than anything. I, unfortunately, didn't wake up early enough to see the sunrise. I'd like to make this more of a priority this year, especially when I'm traveling.

Watch the sunset // I got to watch the sunset several times this year. I'm always amazed by the beauty of nature whenever I get to see a stunning sunset. I'd love to go out and watch more sunsets this year.

Try new restaurants // I tried my fair share of restaurants this year, specifically, I tried more vegan restaurants. I've become obsessed with Herban Fix and Upbeet. I cannot wait to see new vegan restaurants popping up around town.

Read more // I definitely did not achieve this goal or come anywhere near close to achieving this goal. I absolutely love reading, so it hurts my heart to know I didn't meet this goal. I'd like to spend a few minutes before bed reading each night and keep a book in my bag to read whenever I have a few minutes to spare. I think publishing a post of books I'd like to read would be helpful motivation for me to read more.

Find/create a blog design I love // I found a blog design that I think is so cute! I'd love to learn some HTML so I can customize it a bit. I'm so lost on anything relating to coding, but I know it's a useful skill to have in this fast, changing world.

Blog every day for a month // I didn't achieve this goal, but I'm so proud of all that I achieved with the blog this past year. I hope I can publish articles every day for a month this year, but I've learned that I'd rather put out quality content rather than lots of content.

I'll be back tomorrow with my blogging goals for this year. In the meantime, be sure to check out my post that has all the information on my 2017 resolutions.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Step Into My Week: Tea Shops, No School, & Atlanta

I'm definitely one of those people who believe in the start of a new year will result in change. This week, I've been focusing on spending more time with my friends and family, exercising more, and documenting the everyday.

My sister and dad had gotten Korean BBQ several times without me, so I was wanting to go for quite a while. The stars aligned for me to join them for a lovely dinner. I wasn't quite familiar with Korean BBQ so I had a great time cooking my own food. We ended up going to Char as it had more vegan-friendly options. I wasn't too hungry so I ended up just getting mushrooms to grill. They came cooked, but I decided to grill them for a minute or two as I wanted to experience the grilling part.

On Wednesday, I got to go on a tour of the Beltline. It's truly remarkable to think of how this was just an idea 10 years ago to see all the progress that's been completed in such a short time. After our tour, I sparked a discussion with a few of my classmates that has me interested in doing some research on the impacts of the Beltline.

I visited an older home that is now a home for people to tour on Thursday. Our tour guide was the sweetest old lady who shared her life story throughout the tour. I'd never thought about how older people who've lived in Atlanta their entire life have experienced so many different times in history.

On Friday, a few of my friends, Brian and Olivia, and I went to get tea together. We ended up going to Tipple + Rose. Olivia and I decided to share #77, a fruity tea with lime that was just divine. We were all delightfully surprised to see they had lots of vegan foods and desserts. I chose to get a piece of chocolate mousse cake as a treat to end the first week back at school.

I spent most of Sunday at confirmation and volunteering. Confirmation has turned into an activity that I look forward to on the Sundays I can attend. It's always interesting to me to hear people's different perspectives on aspects of life-related to Judaism.

I've been getting into working out more per the usual exercise more resolution. I've learned that I enjoy working out much more when I can talk to someone. So far, I've just been going on the elliptical bike, rowing machine, and an arm machine. I'm excited to try out more machines as I get more comfortable at the gym.

I'm including Monday in this week's addition since the post is going live today. On Monday, schools across Atlanta were canceled due to the forecast of ice. No ice ended up coming into town so I definitely enjoyed the day. I ended up finding Brighton's Instagram. I was completely enamored by her Instagram story where she talked about cleaning her closet. I got motivated to clean up my closet a little bit. I'm so happy with how it turned out.

I'm quite excited for this 4 day week. Once this week is over, I leave for my first trip of the year. I'll give you a hint that it's somewhere out west and lots of sporting events have occurred here. Stay tuned next week to find out where I went.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

My Favorite Posts of 2017 + 2017's Top Ten Blog Posts

The new year is alive and well, but I want to spend the next week or so recapping 2017. 2017 was truly a great year personally for me and the blog, but you can hear more of what made 2017 so amazing another time. In the meantime, I want to share the top blog posts of 2017. This year was truly an incredible year for Gold Clutter. I became confident in my blog, began to publicly share it with people, reached numerous milestones, had the most amazing readers, got to work with some amazing brands. Just that short little recap has me so ecstatic for all that 2018 has in store. My editorial calendar is full of ideas for this year, but I'd love to include any of your ideas so comment them down below, please. Really quickly, I wanted to add that Gold Clutter amassed over 500 comments on the blog this year. It's truly amazing to think about how many connections have been sparked by Gold Clutter.

How to Have a Great Semester // This was the post that started it all. I managed to post quite consistently all of January after creating this post. I'm definitely going to look at these tips again when my semester starts in a few weeks time.


Homecoming Week // This was such a great week in my life. I had an amazing time celebrating all of the homecoming festivities this year. I'm very excited for homecoming week in a few weeks.

I have to give a few honorable mentions this month. Valentine's Day: What to Wear proved to me that I can write about fashion. For some reason, I had doubts about writing about clothes, since I'm not the biggest fashionista. I'd love to bring more style content to the blog this year. I also want to shout out my trip to Dallas for BBYO IC. I had an absolutely amazing time, and I'm truly looking forward to reuniting with all my friends in Orlando soon.


What I Got at BBYO IC: T-Shirts, Shuk, Spirit Wear // BBYO has given me so much in the short time I've been involved, so I always love writing about my BBYO experiences. I showed everything I got from the IC shuk.

This was also the month that I changed my URL from a to a .com. I'm so proud to think of how far I've come in the world of blogging in such a short timespan.

April Lust List
April Lust List // I absolutely love this post. I'd still love to receive so many of these products now. I think the hat with Kermit drinking tea is so funny and I'd love to prank my sister with the tiny hand soaps.

Graduation Gifts for SeniorsGraduation Gifts for High School Seniors // This post was so fun to look back on. I plan on referring when I give Seniors gifts this year for graduation. I love how the visual turned out because it was my first time using stock photos.

I spent my spring break volunteering with Give Kids the World, and I had an absolute blast and a half interacting with the families. I wrote a recap of my time there that fills me with so many smiles to read.

Step Into My Week: Boston and Rhode Island // This was my first post that I wrote truly relating to travel (it's kind of like a guide on what to do in Boston and Rhode Island), so I was a little taken aback by how well received it was. I'd love to incorporate more travel blogging this year.

This month Gold Clutter turned 1. The first year of Gold Clutter brought so much joy, and I have to say that so far year 2 has been even better. I'm excited for all that happens in the coming years.

Step Into My Week: Camp & Honeysuckle Gelato // This month wasn't my greatest month content wise as I was at camp and working the whole month, but I managed to get a post up sharing an update of what I'd been up to.

Step Into My Week: Kiawah Island, Charleston, & Family Visits // This update brought so much happiness to me. I adored getting to spend time with my family, friend, and campers that week. I'm so excited for this summer after reading my recap of the week.

Step Into My Week: MIT Intake, Big/Lil Reveal, & Confirmation Retreat // This week was also another great week. It was an exciting week with several sleepovers that brought tons of fun.

What I Got My BBYO Little
What I Got My BBYO Little // Sorority Big/Little // This post is a perfect example of what to get your BBYO little. I accidentally haven't printed my Big/Little picture, so I need to get on that right away.

DIY Hamsa Necklace
Hamsa Necklace DIY // This post was my first DIY post. I was so surprised by how easy it was to make, so I'd love to try making other jewelry.

Fitness Gift Guide Under $100 // I discovered that I love making gift guides. It's seriously so much fun to create graphics. I'd love to receive any of these products on this list, so I'll be keeping my eyes open for a good sale to shop.

Here are the top ten blog posts of the year:
10. Step Into My Week: Theater, Ponce City Market, & Upbeet
9. October Lust List
8. Fitness Gift Guide Under $100
7. Hamsa Necklace DIY
6. Step Into My Week: Boston and Rhode Island
5. My Holiday Wish List
4. September Lust List
3. Step Into My Week: Snow Day, Finals, & Theater
2. Teen Holiday Wish List Under $100
1. What I Got At BBYO IC: T-Shirts, Shuk, Spirit Wear

What were your favorite posts of 2017? I love that some of my favorites were reader favorites. Be sure to let me know in the comments what content I should create for this year.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Step Into My Week: Winter Break, Wisdom Teeth Removal, & Asheville

Happy Tuesday and Happy New Year! I took a little break from blogging because I wanted to truly enjoy spending time with my family over winter break and to relax and recharge a bit! I'm back and ready to share tons of great posts in this new year. Since it's been a while since my last post, I figured I'd share a Step Into My Week post to update y'all on what's been going on!

To start off my winter break, I had mouth surgery to get my wisdom teeth removed. I definitely didn't expect to be so lazy for the days following the surgery, but I was a little out of it. I had a great time hanging out with my sister and eating way too much ice cream. My doctor said the pain wouldn't really kick in until the second or third day, and he was definitely spot on. I'm thankfully all better now and just have a check-up this week before I can put this behind me. After all, it's so 2017 - haha.

I had a really relaxing break as a result of my surgery. After I was back to normal, I spent my fair share of time navigating the mall. My sister absolutely adores shopping and all that the mall offers. I personally like to do my shopping online and go to the mall for returns. It was definitely a little weird frequenting the mall so much, but my sister and I had lots of fun shopping around.

Speaking of my sister, I thought it would be fun to share what I got my sister for the holidays. I always like to take note of what my sister likes throughout the year so I can get her a great gift she'll love that's not on her list. I was having a difficult time brainstorming what gift to get her but after much debate, I landed on getting her a pair of sunglasses. She picked out a pair of Ray-Bans that will last for years to come. I'll definitely be borrowing her sunglasses when I want to change up my look. I've linked the pair that I got for her, but I can't find the great deal I got from Sunglass Hut online. If you're in need of sunglasses, I have a post featuring my favorite sunglasses under $150.

I love spending time with my cousins so I was delighted to spend time with them in their town, Asheville. We had a great time goofing off together per usual. We ended up going to Sky Zone one day an hour before they closed. I'd been to Sky Zones previously in Atlanta but I hadn't been in years so I was amazed by all that Sky Zone offers now. We had a great time jumping around on their classic trampoline squares, playing dodgeball, trying out the obstacle course, and skyjousting. It made for a great afternoon that was filled with exercise. I'd actually love to go back to the Atlanta one because I truly enjoyed this form of exercise.

I want to let y'all know about a new shampoo I've been trying out for the past several weeks. Maple Holistics was so kind to send me their Argan oil shampoo to test out. The shampoo gets super sudsy when you mix in a little water so I know my hair's getting squeaky clean. I also love the not too overwhelming smell that smells great. Also, the shampoo has lasted me for quite a while considering I normally go through shampoo a little fast. I'm definitely very impressed with their Argan shampoo. You can test out their products with their free sample program to make sure you're getting the products that will work best for you.
Maple Holistics Argan Oil Shampoo
Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Maple Holistics. I received free product in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Gold Clutter!