Genuine Happiness

Genuine happiness is not easy to find.

People can seem genuinely happy, but in reality be so unhappy with their lives and who they are, the things they do, the friends they have.  It is so easy to get caught up with what your friends see, what your followers on Instagram see, what the world sees.

I used to get caught up in these things.  Pictures and videos were not taken to capture special moments, but so I could make my feed “artsy”. Does this honestly really matter?

This past year, I have really stopped caring what others think of me. I stopped talking to people who bring me down, I stopped wearing clothes or makeup to impress people, and I began doing things that I wanted to do. I began surrounding myself with positive people, wearing clothes I thought were cute, and joined sports and clubs that I thought seemed fun.

Removing the fake happiness has changed my outlook on life drastically, while I still have emotions like any person, my genuine happiness has overall changed my world. I can take on a roadblock without freaking out, and I have started being less fearful of rejection because it does not matter if I get rejected! 

Being genuinely happy is not a forever feeling, some days, I still come home feeling defeated and upset.  But those moments of true happiness are more likely to happen then those feelings of sadness. My happiness can make my cloud of sad disappear with just one smile or laugh.

Moving through the path to genuine happiness is hard, I am not going to lie. I had to deal with losing things and people that once made me happy, but had turned toxic, losing things that were bad for me from the start, and begin changing my identity and morals.

Once I got through the path of change, I began gaining things and people I truly love. I started wanting to do things with my friends and do the activities I was apart of.  My life changed drastically once I stopped letting fake happiness take over my life.

Here are some pictures that capture true happiness in my life

These pictures might not be the prettiest, but they show me at my happiest. I was actually really scared to post these pictures on my blog but I feel like hiding my life on my blog just defeats the purpose of this blog anyway.

So I do not have anything else to say but the moral of this blog is: being really, truly happy is super rad.

Xoxo, Ava

Favorite Things to do in Fall

Happy fall everyone! I hope your October has been as amazing as mine because I am loving this month!

Today I decided to tell you guys all of my favorite things to do in fall! I have so many fun activities and I hope you all try some out!

  1.  Corn Mazes! This one is pretty basic but I love going to a corn maze during fall! When I went with two of my friends, it was FREEZING, but so much fun!  Also if you are looking for cute fall pictures, this is the perfect place!img_3923
  2.  Another thing I love to do during fall is bake cookies or brownies with my friends! Some friends and I had a sleepover and we were going to bake chocolate chip cookies! I was so tired that I fell asleep before we were supposed to make the cookies, but my friends made them! The next morning I had one and they were so yummy! Hopefully, soon I will be able to bake with some friends this fall!img_4072
  3. Carving pumpkins is a classic fall activity, but what about painting pumpkins? You do not have to deal with the gross guts of the pumpkin and it will probably last a lot longer too! I still have not had the chance to paint my pumpkin but I did volunteer and get to draw on pumpkins!img_4061
  4. My all-time favorite thing to do in fall would have to be going to a coffee shop, curling up with some hot coffee and either writing notes for school, reading, blogging, or writing in my journal. This is probably my favorite way to unwind after school and feel 100% because right now is probably the HARDEST time for me. I am getting used to my crazy schedule and trying to figure out what downtime I do have before my competition season for cheer.

I hope you all enjoyed this post! I decided to do some more happy upbeat blogs because some of my last posts have been very deep, while I love those it is nice to switch things up!

Xoxo, Ava

My Morning Routine

Hello everyone! I decided to try something very different than my norm this week and tell you guys all about my morning routine! Of course, my morning is never exactly the same because let’s face it, some mornings no one can get out of bed at a reasonable time. I tried to make this as realistic as possible for you guys!

Onto the good stuff

Of course, I start every morning by of course: waking up. I am that person who cannot get up in the morning, so I normally have to set at least 5 alarms to wake up at a reasonable time. On average I get up around 6:45 AM on weekdays except for Wednesdays, then I get up at 7:30.

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Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

A habit I have been starting to get into is making my bed in the morning, I used to just leave it and make it once I got home from school, but this way, I am less tempted to just jump right back into my bed.

Once my room looks decently put together, I like to run into the bathroom, brush my teeth, put on my contacts (unless I am wearing my glasses to school that day), and wash my face. The cleanser I like to use in the morning is the Morning Burst Cleanser from Clean & Clear which instantly helps wake me up in the morning!

Side Note: I am not sponsored by Clean and Clear, I just really like this cleanser!

Once my face is clean and I am actually starting to feel awake, I go back into my room and pick out my outfit for the day; unless I actually remember to pick out my outfit the night before so I have more time to do my hair.

For me, picking out a cute outfit takes about 10 minutes, cause honestly, my fashion sense is not that good. But once I pick out my clothes, my hair and makeup come together easily for me!

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

After I finished getting dressed, I do my hair and makeup as quickly as I can. Then I spray on some perfume and find my shoes!

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Once I am all ready to go, I go downstairs grab my lunch, fill up my water bottle and head out of the door!

Some mornings, if I actually get ready on time, I like to stop and get Dunkin! I know most people either make their own coffee or get Starbucks but I do not like drinking coffee every morning!

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Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Once I am caffeinated and ready to go, I head off to school! Thanks for following me along my morning routine! I hope you enjoyed!

XoXo, Ava

Rain on Homecoming

Homecoming is supposed to be a magical night. The girls are supposed to put on pretty dresses, the guys putting on their dress shirts. Everyone is supposed to go take pictures, eat yummy food, and go dance the night away.

My Homecoming did not end with me dancing the night away.

At first, everything went amazing, my dress looked amazing, the girl who did my makeup at Sephora was amazing, and my hair looked so pretty and shiny.

Even the Homecoming pictures were fun, I got to take pretty pictures with all my friends. We spent 2 hours laughing, talking, making jokes, and helping each other get our heels out of the mud.

It didn´t get bad until the Homecoming dance.

I walked into the gym feeling extremely out of place, my friends had all went together and did not bother to invite me to come with them so I had to go alone. At first I could not find any of my friends, so I decided to make a quick stop at the bathroom.

After making some awkward conversation with some friends and fixing my hands, I started to get ready to leave the bathroom and face the music of the night when it happened.

My dress broke.

It did not break badly, I sneezed and the hook to my zipper fell off. Causing the zipper to not be able to stay up. But to me? This made my kinda weird night feel TERRIBLE, I loved my Homecoming dress, and all of my friends were acting weird, so at this point, I just wanted to get some ice cream and sleep away this dance.

Luckily for me, my mom was my Superhero that night, and swooped in to make sure that I did not have to hide in the bathroom all night, crying my eyes out.

While I was waiting for her to get to my school, it began to rain. I started laughing because my favorite song from Grease is ¨It´s Raining on Prom Night.¨

I have said this on my blog before but, the rain really makes me think, sometimes good, but on Homecoming, it was bad. I really started to think that maybe, I was not good enough to have a nice Homecoming this year, that maybe, I wasn´t worthy for something as nice as Homecoming.

Now that I am not as upset about my not so great Homecoming, I realized that I am worthy of something nice and special, this Homecoming just was not my time for a magical dance.

And while things might have not worked out the way I hoped, I did still get to have lots of fun at pictures. Some people do not even get the chance to go to a Homecoming, some people do not have friends to take pictures with. My own mom never got to go to a single school dance. Me?  This Homecoming was my 10th school dance.

So despite the fact my Homecoming sucked, I am still grateful for that Saturday.

Honestly? I think that everyone is going to have one bad dance at some point. I am just happy that mine was not that terrible. It is not like someone told me that I looked fat in my dress. I did not have a date so nothing went wrong with that.

The only thing that happened was my dress ripping.

I have always been over dramatic, but on Homecoming? That was a brand new level of dramatics from me.

Looking back, I really see how dumb I must have looked, crying over a silly little dress that was fixable.  I had a great time at pictures, so why couldn’t I have been appreciative of that moment?

Because, like every single person reading this, I am human. I overreact when things do not go my way. All I wanted was an amazing Homecoming, instead I got a ripped dress and a lot of tears that night.

But, that is okay, cause things will not always go my way. As sad as I am that my Homecoming was not what I hoped for, I am so grateful I got an important lesson out of that night.

Thank you for reading! I will be posting the positive of that night this weekend! I just felt I should let out my sadness about what happened, it may have been a small issue, but like everyone, I needed to sort out my emotions.

Talk to you all later!!





I Might Be Actually Growing Up

This post was not supposed to be like this.

I was going to tell you all about my amazing college tour that I took this weekend, I was going to talk about how excited I am about the future.

That is until I realized, I´m not ready.

I´m not ready to leave my hometown. I´m not ready to leave the friends I have had since kindergarten. I´m not ready to not be able to see my parents every single day.

People always say I live a sheltered life, and they are 100% right. I have lived in the same town my entire life. I have only moved once, I was 3 years old, so I barely remember it happening. I went through elementary school, middle school, and so far, all of high school, with the same 275 kids.  Everything in my life has been the same for so long, and I can see that I´m coming close to the end of this chapter.

Not that I am not excited about college, I actually started crying on my tour of the University of Missouri, because I am almost confident I will go to school there in 2 years. I loved the school so much, I was actually sad to come back home and realize that I will not be back until spring when I do my private tour.

It´s just weird.

I´m not used to having to actually think about my future. Normally my biggest worry is if I got a decent grade on my math test, not if I am 100% sure on what field I want to go into.

The thing is, I am one of the lucky ones. I know I will go to college, and I know what I want to major in (Sports Journalism), most kids my age have no idea what they want to do with their lives.

But I am still terrified.

All these thoughts have been running through my head, on what I want to do with my life, what exactly I want to be. What do I want to be known for?

All I know is that I want to set this world on fire.

I´m still not sure exactly how, last week it was investigative journalism, this week it is sports journalism.

It will probably change again soon.

So, that is all I have got to say. I promise my travel blog will be up SUPER soon, I just had a lot of word jumble stuck in my head, and I had to get it out some way or else I would have exploded in APUSH.

I hope this may help anyone who is feeling the same way I am, we are all in this together. Yes, I just referenced High School Musical, deal with it.

My Junior Year Bucket List

Hello everybody!! I hope you all are having a wonderful week and that your school year is going great! This week, I´m doing something a little different. Last night, I decided to make a bucket list of all the things I want to do and accomplish junior year. I hope you all enjoy my bucket list!

Junior Year Bucket List

  1.  Get all A´s and B´s first and second semester.
  2. Get a 10 on a math quiz that is not in the stats unit
  3. Have a solid A in chemistry before the final, so I do not have to worry about my grade during the last week.
  4.  Drink 8-9 cups of water each day (about 2-3 bottles of water).
  5.  Work out at least 3 times each week, unless it is competition week and I am at the gym more than normal.
  6. Win at least one or more major cheer competition, WSF, Cheersport, US finals, Summit.
  7. Find a prom dress I really love.
  8. Try something new, either a club, an activity, or a new hobby.
  9. Become close to friends I only see in my classes.
  10. Drift away from toxic people in my life and surround myself with positive people, just completely erase toxic people and behaviors from my life.
  11. Go on my first college tour, talk to my first college professer, and narrow down the colleges and universities I am interested in
  12. Get a 32 on my ACT, or a 1320 on my SAT.
  13. Figure out my toxic traits, and attempt to fix those traits to better myself, and be a better person for the people in my life to be around
  14. Form a true bond with my teammates.
  15. Travel more often, try to get out of my town, even if it is just for cheer.
  16. Hang out with friends more, don´t push them away just because fear kicks in.
  17. Sleep more often.
  18. Make more time for family, even if it is just telling my mom and dad how my day went.
  19. Be truly, 100 percent, happy.

Thanks for tuning in on my bucket list!


Coffee Shop Thoughts

Right now, I am sitting in a tiny coffee shop in my tiny town trying to get my chem homework done. While I am failing miserably at that, I am thinking about some things I am beginning to learn this year.


One of those things is the fact that we as a society, especially high school/college students, are extremely quick to judge and make fun of people. I try my hardest to be kind to everyone, but just last Friday I giggled over a tiny freshman yelling at me for accidentally bumping into him in the hall. While that is not the meanest thing, that type of making fun is still not the nicest.

But right now, I am not talking about myself (for once), today I am talking about the average person, I am talking about all of us.

This rude habit we have came heavily to my attention today, while I was minding my business, working on my chem lab. This couple came in, and I looked up because the bell on the door rang. I instantly thought ¨aw they are such a cute couple¨ and moved on with my day.

Once they ordered and sat down with their coffee I started to here snickering and odd whispers. I looked up to see them laughing and pointing right at me! I do not look my best today, seeing as I am you know, studying, but I just moved on with my day cause she does not matter.

After that, I looked up, and realized she was also taking pictures of me. Right then I realized that people are so cruel they are willing to go out of their way to make random strangers feel horrible about themselves.

But this post is not about me, this is about us, as a society. We all instantly judge, it is just apart of our nature. But if we really think and digest it, isn´t it extremely messed up? We just look at someone or something and assume we know everything about that person? How is that acceptable at all?

When we judge someone, we instantly assume what type of person they are. Yet, nobody is really the stereotype we put them into.

If no one is the stereotype we think they are, why do we put people into those boxes? All it does is harm them and their self esteem. For me, I constantly feel the anxiety that everyone is judging me and putting me in the box I tried so hard to escape.

So instead of laughing at the tiny freshman, or the girl in the weird looking outfit, maybe instead we should just all be kind to eachother.

How to Actually Keep Up a Planner

Hey everybody!

I hope you are all having an amazing start to your week! Since school is starting up for most people, I figured I would give a little bit of advice on staying organized with planners!

7f553816-2946-437f-8b70-3e1c8fd88694 I am NOT a very organized person, my room is a complete mess and I am terrible at making sure by bags are organized. Planners are the one thing that help me stay organized, I can track my schedule, all my homework, and just things I need to get done.

I am even trying to use it to remind me to write and schedule my blogs! It is kinda new so I am still not great at it but I am getting better!

onto the good stuff

When buying a planner, you have to get the planner that is right for you and what you need. Think about how much stuff you need to put in, when are you starting your planner, and if you need monthly, weekly, or daily spaces.  Another major thing to think about is how much you are willing to spend on your planner.

I spent about 5 dollars on my planner, and it has monthly and daily spaces to write. I got my planner at Homegoods, you don´t need to spend a lot of money to get a good planner!

In my opinion, the key to keeping your planner organized is coloring coding everything. I know some people can just write everything in pencil and it works great for them, but I can never seem to easily check my planner if it is all in one color.


Most of my pens are either from Paper Mate or Pilot, and the highlighters I use are from Yoobi, any pens or pencils will work though, just make sure what you are doing makes sense to you, it doesn´t matter how cute or ¨artsy¨ something is if it does not help you stay organized!

Something else that really helps me keep up with my planner is just planning ahead! If its August and I know when my AP tests are in May I just put it in so I don´t have to think about it. (Well I am thinking about how stressful my AP tests are going to be) but you get what I mean. Don´t wait until the last minute or else your planner is not really helping you!

Another reason people dislike or never keep up with their planners is how boring it can be when you are writing down the monthly things you have to do, which is what in my opinion takes the longest. But I think if you make it fun, it can actually be really enjoyable! I like to go to Starbucks, get some coffee, turn on some music, and write out my plans for the week! It is honestly so relaxing to see what you have planned for the week on paper.

I hope these tips helped you start considering starting a planner! I know it can be extremely hard to keep up but I promise it is worth it!

Thanks for reading!


Back to School Supply Shopping List

Hello everyone!

It´s that time of the year again.

Back to school commercials are coming, you probably had to register for your classes, or you are going to anyway, your mom is nagging you about finishing, or in my case starting, your summer homework, and you are starting to get that annoying itch behind your ear.

It´s time to go back to school.

As much as everyone hates it, back to school shopping has to be the most fun I have the entire school year. I love the thrill of going to target and picking out a bunch of pens, highlighters, and notebooks  that I am going to probably lose the 3rd day of school.

Freshman year, I went to Youtube videos and preppy blogs to figure out what I needed for my freshman year of high school, and honestly, it was a waste of my time AND my money. I got so many dumb, extra things that I never used.

I decided to spare y´all the pain I had to go through and just tell you guys what I actually bought for my junior year of high school!

  1.  Notebooks, not one for every class, but enough for the classes I knew I would need to take notes in. For APUSH, I got the largest one I could find. But for Journalism? I did not even bother buying one. I would just guess which classes you won´t need to take that many notes in, and if you really need to, buy another notebook later in the year.
  2. Highlighters, do NOT, and I repeat DO NOT waste your money on ¨cute¨ or artsy highlighters. I got 10 mini highlighters from yoobi for 4.99 and I am so happy I did not get the 3 highlighters for 8.99, this advice also goes for pens, pencils, and any other stationary you might need.
  3. I already had like 45 pencils, so I decided to skip buying those, but make sure you buy lots of pencils because you WILL lose them.
  4. Along with that, make sure you have at least a few colorful pens along with black pens, these pens will help make your notes more organized, and make you have a little bit of fun while writing your notes.
  5. While pencil cases can seem very middle school, you really do need one. I did not use one freshman year and I must have spend 75-100$ on replacing the pens and pencils I kept losing. So deal with not looking cool and get a pencil case.
  6. Finally, make sure you get the little things you normally would forget about. Things like gum, earbuds, car fresheners, etc. You might not care if you have those the first day but 1 week in and you will be regretting not buying them when you were shopping for your school supplies.

That is all I got guys! Thank you for reading and I hope this helps y´all who haven´t gone back to school yet!

WJMC 2018: Day 2

Hello everyone! It is my 2nd day here at the Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University and I am having an amazing time. If you haven already, check out my Day 1 blog post!c96a2502-6b27-4e22-bdce-b072fd0891c075b7d891-4994-4521-b740-7f6535289e36Somehow, I managed to wake up 30 minutes before my alarm clock, might not sound that crazy for most people but it´s a good day for me if I get up before noon back in Chicago.

Once I got up I met up with someone from my color group and we went off to breakfast! Breakfast did not look that good so I stuck to cereal and a banana, which is still a pretty good breakfast.

After breakfast we walked downstairs where I made a really graceful tumble down the stairs, knocking over everything in sight. So once I fixed my bruised ego we went off to find our color group. We had our color group meeting, and finally, we got to load the buses and leave for the Newseum.

I have already been to the Newseum, so I assumed I would be bored, but it is crazy how much of a difference it makes to go with people who mock the press versus people who´s life goals are to become the press. I got to see so many interesting photographs, walls, reports, and afterwards me and a few friends would talk about everything we thought seemed interesting.

 My favorite exhibits had to be the Berlin Wall or the Memorial for Fallen Journalists.

Once we finished up at some of these exhibits, we got to stop and have lunch at the cafe with these ¨Newseum bucks”. I had a burger with some fries and honestly, it was a lot better then I expected. Me and some new friends sat, talked, laughed, and told stories, whether they were happy or sad, about our lives. It was so crazy to see how similar, yet different our lives were.

After lunch we finished up around the Newseum and geared up for dinner. At dinner me and my friend Cate had to sit alone cause the tables were all 2-4 seats so we couldn´t fit our entire group into the mix, luckily our friends still included us in their conversations and we realized a mutual love of Harry Potter! I have never really had the chance to bond over a story that has done so much for me like Harry Potter, and it made my soul so happy to know others loved the story as much as me. (Please ignore my sap it is 2 am)

After dinner it was time for our second to last activity of the day, which was our New Voices panel. Here we learned about censorship in each states, and how it has affected student journalism.

At my school, my press can publish basically anything unless its disrespectful to a certain person or a group of people for a reason that they cannot change. It was so crazy to hear the stories of censorship that I have been lucky enough to never have to deal with.

For our last activity, we got to take a night tour of all of the monuments. To some people, the monuments may seem boring, but they are my favorite thing in D.C.

Nothing is more humbling then looking up at a giant Abe and wondering how he created such a strong legacy for himself. After taking some pictures, we all got on the buses and went back to GMU.

I hope you all enjoyed my post! I am behind on blogging right now due to my long days here at WJMC, but I am pushing to make sure all of my blogs get out!

Thanks for reading!