Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits

Dress: Vintage (from a friend)
Sweater: Vintage (grandmothers)
Shoes: Thrifted
Purse: Sam Moon
**Photos by my uber talented brother who is thankfully willing to take pictures when I ask**

Social media will never cease to amaze me with its ability in connecting people who live in different places, states, and countries. I have met so many wonderful people through social media and I am always thrilled when I meet fellow "Kindred Spirits" who share many of my same loves. The dress I am wearing in this post happens to be a true treasure from a dear Kindred Spirit in Canada! I don't even remember how we even met, but it probably had to do something with Tea, Anne of Green Gables, or The Royal Family (of which we are both obsessed)? And it seems like each time we post something we learn that we are even more alike, for example we are both in the 1%-2% of our personality types (which explains a lot). 
I couldn't get over how perfect this dress was when she asked if she could send it to me! You know people are kindred spirits when they understand your love for vintage, plaid, and also say that the dress is very "Taylor Swift" which I 100% agree with, and was thrilled to add it to my collection. Vintage has always held a special place in my heart, not only for its classic style, timeless prints, and artful craftsmanship, but also for it's story. And while I don't know the original story of this dress and the many adventures it had before my friend in Canada had it, I do know it has been worn to meet the cast of one of my favorite Canadian Period Drama Mystery TV shows called Murdoch Mysteries. It's a treasure in and of itself and as soon as I saw it I knew it would make the PERFECT Thanksgiving dress.
The dress itself has so many rich autumn colors so I decided to draw out more of those hues with my accessories. Since it was a bit chilly on Thanksgiving I paired this vintage mustard sweater (that belonged to my grandmother) with the dress which really drew out the golden yellow tones (which are my favorites). To finish off the look I grabbed my ruby red purse and slipped into my favorite pair of flat loafers and called it a day. You know me and dressing for the occasion :) so this dress was absolutely the perfect piece for a Thanksgiving feast! 

-Madison

Surviving College as an Introvert

Surviving College as an Introvert


Looking back on college I am constantly surprised that I survived in a sea of people! I knew college would be a stretch for me, but I don't think I knew quite how much of a stretch until I moved in and it all became a reality. The strange thing about my personality and college is that when I started I only knew I was a quiet and shy person, but I hadn't yet discovered what that really meant for me. I didn't yet know the expanse of what it meant to be an Introvert and that the word "Introvert" completely captured every emotion and feeling that went on in my head. 

Through being at college I not only learned so much about myself and what I was capable of, but I learned so much about my personality, specifically what it meant to be an Introvert (INFJ) in a heavily "peopled" place and how to survive in a sea of people. 

As an Introvert (if your are like me you can relate) we are people who thrive being alone, doing things by ourselves, dislike talking to people we don't know, and avoiding social events or large groups of people at all costs! So looking at a college campus from an Introverts perspective EVERYTHING basically goes against what we are feeling, thinking, and saying in our mind. Let's see, there are dinning halls with many students every day, you sit in class surrounded by 30-50 strangers, you are put in groups to work on projects with classmates you don't know, everyone around you is involved in clubs and organizations, the "thing to do" is go out on Thursday nights, football games are a common occurance for college students to be surrounded by fellow students yelling and cheering at the top of their lungs, tailgates are tradition, and on campus events draw crowds of students who are usually just there for the free food and Tshirts.......did I miss anything? College for an introvert is everything that makes us uncomfortable, anxious, stressed, and retreat into ourselves. 

So how does an Introvert survive? I think for me, the thing that helped me survive as an Introvert was discovering myself. I discovered who I was, learned about my personality, and came to realize that the way I was feeling was perfectly normal for 26%-50% of the population (and the 1% of us INFJ's). I learned that my need to be alone was normal and I accepted that as a part of myself. When I accepted who I was through my personality, it made me feel more at ease in a world that could be a bit overwhelming & crazy. Fore example, I remember taking a book with me to breakfast and lunch every day my first semester.....there isn't anything quite as nice as dissapearing into a book while surrounded by people, it gives you your own world to thrive in and I loved that. I even continued this book reading tradition into my other semesters and even started bringing a book with me to class and reading while I was waiting. 

Looking back at college, I am still dumbfounded at the things I did! Knowing so much about my personality now I always wonder if I were to go back, would I be as sucessful as I was? Sometime I think being so naive about my personality for so long helped me push myself beyond my comfort zone? Other times however, I think it was the recognizition of my personality that actually helped my push myself beyond my comfort zone to try new things (like become an RA). 

Whatever the case, I believe the one thing that helped me survive college as an Introvert was accepting who I was. Being in a world of people who were constantly doing things, constantly meeting new people, going places, and being involved with clubs an organizations, I learned to accept that I wasn't like everyone else. Sure, I eventually became an RA and got involved with my staff team as well as an on campus small group and Bible study, but beyond that I was just me. I didn't go and do all the "things" the "typical" college students did, but I was okay with that. 

I had discovered a few years before starting college that I was different than a lot of people my age, mainly because of how I dressed. However, as the years went by I discovered that wasn't my only difference from other college students. Not only were my views of relationships, fashion, modesty, language, actions, and hard work different, but my view's of "fun" were to.....it was confirmed (as I had already known) that I was VERY old fashioned! 

Call me a grandma, crazy cat lady, whatever you want, but for me those terms encompassed who I was and the way I spent my time outside of class (or in class)...LOL:) With that, I had one Best Friend in college who I met my first day (she was a blessing & God send) and she was also an Introvert so we did a lot of stuff together whenever we were not in class. Honestly I don't know what I would have done without her? I think we would both agree that we would have become hermits if we hadn't met, so it's a good thing we did. 

That's the second thing that helped me survive college as an Introvert, having someone that understood me. Not everyone understands Introverts, but fellow Introverts always understand (for the most part) and that helps you feel like you are not alone. Most days I was perfectly fine going back to my room after class to study, or staying in on Thursday nights with a movie and Icecream, or traveling home on the weekend, but when I was feeling like I should probably talk to another human, she was always the person I turned to. We had standing lunch dates during the week and always had a schedule we stuck to so we knew when we would see each other and when we both needed time alone....it was great! 

So here's my GRAND takeaway.........embrace who you are! You know the Dr. Seuss quote "why fit in when you were born to stand out!" that is 100% how you should approach college as an Introvert. If you spend your time trying to fit into the typical "college life" and "college routine" that everyone else falls into when they go to college you will find yourself lacking, feeling disconnected, loosing yourself, and probably having a severe case of anxiety or panic attacks, so don't do it to yourself! As an Introvert we view the world differently, and therefore college for us is a whole new world in itself, but it is a world we have the ability to thrive in and conquer. BE YOU! Embrace your quirks, habit, and nights in, because that is who you are! Find someone who understands you, you don't have to have a TON of friends, all you need is one and you will both be there for each other when you need it! 

While college was a HUGE STRETCH for me as a person and as a Introvert, I wouldn't change the experience because I learned so much about who I am. Because of my experiences in college, I know why I feel the way I do at parties with tons of people I don't know. I understand why staying at home in my room with my cats and a movie or a book is my favorite pastime. I can laugh and make fun of the fact that I only ever went to one football game in college and didn't live your typical college life. However, embracing me, embracing my introverted personality is one thing I am proud of and will forever make me a more confident person (as odd as that sounds).

Were you an Introvert in college?
What were your tips for surviving college as an Introvert?

-Madison 

My Favorite Hallmark Christmas Movies

My Favorite Hallmark Christmas Movies


If you know me you know I am OBSESSED with Hallmark movies, especially Hallmark Christmas movies. If I had cable I would definitely watch Hallmark Countdown to Christmas 24/7 but since I don't, I pick a LONG list of my favorites to re-watch each year and always make sure to catch the newest originals (there are 33 new ones this year). With that being said, I thought I would share some of my FAVORITE Hallmark Christmas Movies full of heartfelt stories, fuzzy feelings, predictable moment, cheesy beginnings, and pure happiness + Christmas spirit. So get ready, grab your favorite snacks, a bowl of popcorn, a cup of tea, hot cocoa, or coffee, chocolate (its a must) and any junk food you can find! Put on your sweatpants, your coziest sweater, your fuzzy socks, and if you have a cat invite them too (trust me, they love it) and get ready for a Christmas movie binge......(p.s. don't forget to click the pink links for movie trailers):

  • Love At The Thanksgiving Day Parade: A must see movie and not just because I am practically the girl in the story. This movie was probably one of the most influential movies in regards to my love for vintage because the main character wears vintage throughout the movie and I even went out and bought her white hat after watching it:) It follows the story of wrong first impressions and mutual respect and understanding. 
  • Princess For Christmas: Ugh....I could gush about this movie for days! If anything let me throw out that Katie McGrath and Sam Heughan are the two main characters, so if that doesn't sell you then the fact that it is the story of an ordinary girl and a guy who just so happens to be a prince should. Full of fairytale perfection and just the right amount of drama I watch this movie multiple times each Christmas and even own it on DVD!
  • A Royal Christmas: Why not continue the royal Christmas movie theme with this heartwarming tale of a girl who isn't like by the mother and a prince who stops at nothing to be with the woman he loves, despite what others think. I love this movie because Lacy Chabert (Mean Girls) stars as the lead opposite a dashing prince and the movie actually starts out with them together, which I love. 
  • 9 Lives Of Christmas: Maybe it's the fact that this movie has two cats as supporting characters, or the sweet love story, but this is definitely one of my top Hallmark Christmas movies and a Purrrfect holiday romance! 
  • Bride For Christmas: She has left 3 guys at the altar, that is, until she met Aiden; but what she doesn't know is that he made a bet with his friends that he could get a girl to fall in love with him before Christmas.....but you will have to watch it to see how it turns out:) 
  • My Christmas Love: I am a sucker for best friend love stories....you know, the ones where the guy is in love with the girl but she totally doesn't see it until it's almost to late and then she realizes what was right in front of her all along....yeah, that basically this movie plus a whole lot more of Christmas cheer! 
  • Matchmaker Santa: Santa always has a way of showing people what they never thought to see, and this movie is full of two people discovering that the person they have been waiting for is right next to them. 
  • Crown for Christmas: Another royal Christmas movie that is just as heart warming, if not more. NY maid gets hired as the governess for the Kings daughter only to find there is more that awaits her at the castle. 
  • A Boyfriend For Christmas: I think this was one of the first Hallmark "chick flicks" that I saw and is definitely a few years old (or more) but the storyline is still a classic in my book. Santa once again brings two people together in a sweet and romantic story. 
  • A Christmas Prince: Okay, so this one isn't actually a Hallmark movie, but the story line fits perfectly as if it were one. This movie is a Netflix original this year and I LOVE IT! I kind of have this thing for "royal Christmas movies" (if you haven't noticed) and this one is perfection. Moral of the story is that what people assume about others isn't always who they really are. 
  • The Christmas Card: This is a Hallmark classic and the sweetest story. Girl writes soldier a Christmas card and he travels to her town to find her, only to learn that she has a boyfriend and is getting engaged.......you will have to watch it for yourself to see what the ending is. 
  • Christmas With Holly: Toy stores, fairies, and Holly, a little girl being raised by her two uncles. Holly hasn't talked since her mom died, but her life is about to change for the better as a special toy store owner enters her uncles life:) 
  • Hitched For The Holidays: This movie follows Lesson #5 learned from Hallmark movies "don't pretend to be engaged to someone unless you want to eventually end up together!" Full of crazy families, traditions, and two different worlds but one perfect ending, this movie is funny and heartwarming all at the same time! 
  • Naughty or Nice: Hilarie Burton (One Tree Hill) stars as the crazy girlfriend who REALLY wants her boyfriend to propose, but life doesn't go according to plan and it takes a mix up of her last name and Santa's Naughty or Nice list to show up in her mail to change things up a bit. 
  • 12 Gifts of Christmas: She can pick out the perfect Christmas presents, so when she is hired by a handsome executive to help him with Christmas presents for his friends and family its only fitting that they spend time together. 
  • A Christmas Kiss (netflix): On repeat ever year for me, this movie follows rule #1 learned from Christmas Movies "Elevators are match makers, and if you kiss in one it is fate!" Holiday parties, The Nutcracker, Charles Dickens, and jealous girlfriends this movies is a must for me and you need to watch it too! 
  • Let It Snow: Dislike on first sight turn is how this story starts, but it soon turns into something more in this fun Christmas movie with ice skating, skiing, holiday traditions, The Feast Of St. Thomas, and families reuniting. 
  • A December Bride: What do you do when your fiance marries your cousin and your are invited to the wedding? Remember lesson #5......just keep that in mind for this movie! Oh, and did I mention it stars Daniel Lissing from When Calls The Heart:)  
  • Karen Kingsbury The Bridge Pt. 1 & Pt. 2: (a Hallmark Movies and Mysteries movie event) Truly heartwarming, this two part movie is one of my favorites to watch every year. The Bridge is a special book store owned by a special couple, Wyatt and Molly are two college students who meet on their first day and develop a close bond, but life has a plan of its own and things don't always go according to plan. However, even if paths go separate ways, life has a way of bringing them back together! 
Are you a fan of Hallmark Movies?
Have you seen any of these movies?
What is your favorite Hallmark Christmas movie?

-Madison 

Happiness In The Details

Happiness In The Details

 Sweater: Target
Jeans: Thrifted + Upcycled 
Jacket: Forever 21 (old)
Purse: Coach (thrifted)
Shoes: Target
Hat: c/o Gamiss
Earrings: c/o Happiness Boutique 


Something about fall has me trying out new styles and this look is definitely one of them! While this look is quite new for me, it's something that I have loved seeing on others, specifically on Olivia who always rocks Beret's with cutoff jeans and simple gold hoop earrings. I decided to try my hand at styling something modernly 70's after receiving these perfect gold dangle hoop earrings from Happiness Boutique and I can't get over how much I love this combo.

Happiness Boutique was created to be "inspiration for positive and authentic women; a place to make women not only look good, but also feel good," and through this they created a business where women could be happy and spread happiness! When they reached out to me I was curious to see their jewelry and the different styles they offered and I absolutely fell in love with everything I saw. The styles of Happiness Boutique blend timeless classics with a charming vintage touch and I love everything about them:)

I often forget about the small details of earrings when it comes to outfits and I know this look wouldn't be complete without these dangle hoop earrings that pulled everything together. You know the phrase that goes something along the lines of "its the little things in life....."? Well I think it is the little details in every outfit that add a pop of excitement and happiness to any ensemble. For me, the happy detail in this look is the earrings and I can't get enough of them! With all the details of this look it's quite french meets modern, meets 1970's artist and I'm obsessed :)

With happiness as their mission, Happiness Boutique is offering 10% off to all my readers with the code minniemuseblog, so I hope you go and find a pair of earrings that makes you just as happy as these make me. Also, stay tuned for another post coming soon, featuring my second favorite pair of earrings from this lovely brand!

-Madison

My 20 Tips for college success

My 20 Tips for college success

  1. Be PREPARED but be FLEXIBLE: As much as I would like it to be, life isn't perfect, and as much as I frugaly plan things ahead of time they don't always go according to plan. Being prepared and planning ahead helps me not to be stressed or get anxious, but I also realize that things don't always go according to plan so I have to be flexible when things dont work out or go my way. 
  2. Your Planner is your best friend: Visualizing my daily schedule helps me stay on track and writing out my class schedule and events in my planner help me make mental notes and see what all is happening in my life. With everything you are cramming into your mind in college you barely have room to keep a mental schedule. 
  3. Don't study past 10:00 pm: I think I am the only one who feels this way, but after 9:00pm my mind usually shuts down and no matter what I do I won't be able to focus, study or remember things. I would always try to get my work or studying done earliar in the day, and with this approach I was able to go to be earlier or could spend my evening relaxing or reading a book. 
  4. Manage your time wisely: This goes back to making sure you know what is happening every day and planning extra activities around it. I knew so many people who would immediately agree to hang out with friends or go somewhere forgetting they had to study for a test, or thinking it wouldn't take that long. Studying should be first priority and taking extra time with friends or for outings should be second.....it's already in my nature and personality to say No when I have work to do, but there were times that I had to make a bigger effort. 
  5. Take a break: This is VITAL to your sanity! If you are in the midst of a major study session and feeling totally overwhelmed take a break! This can be as simple as getting up to make a cup of coffee or listen to music, but it's even better to get up and go on a walk, jump up and down, do some yoga, or whatever else will help you refocus and relieve stress.  
  6. Set an alarm and wake up every morning: I knew to many people who would sleep their life away at college. Okay, so yes, college is tiring and yes there will be some late nights, but if you manage your time you should be getting a decent amount of sleep, and I hate waking up late because I feel like I have lost so much of my day. Therefore, the best way to start your day off right is to actually set an alarm for a decent time (no later than 8:30) and faithfully wake up every day. This starts your morning off productive. 
  7. Find what makes you confident and LIVE IT: College is a world full of stress, pressures, and overwhelming lifestyles, so in the midst of the craziness you still need the ability to feel confident. For me, my confidance came through my style, because my style is self expression of my personality. Maybe yours is something different? Whatever it is, find what make you confident and faithfully live it every day! 
  8. Don't let yourself become someone else: I saw to many people change in college. I saw people become different people to fit into a certain friend group, I saw girls compromise their values and beliefs to make it into a group or organization, and I saw people easily let go of living their faith because it wasn't considered cool. 
  9. Find a friend who supports you: Having someone who is there for you, who understands you and supports you is what will help you succeed and get through the hard times. I don't know what I would have done without my college roommate, because we both helped each other when times got tough. 
  10. Get connected: I think this was the hardest part for me in college, but once I got connected with my staff team through being an RA and also joining an amazing small group college definitely felt different. I am definitely not someone who needs a place to belong, but it was great having people around you who understood what you were dealing with and who could support you. The best thing I ever did was start attending Chi Alpha which was a weekly worship night/Bible study that definitely helped me connect with God and other believers more. 
  11. Pick a night each week to have fun: As an introvert I loved staying in my room with a pint of icecream and a good movie, but most nights you are busy studying so make sure to set aside one night each week to have fun. When I say have fun I don't mean go crazy (that was everyone else in my house and on campus) but I mean this in saying that when everyone else goes out dancing or goes to the bar on Thursday nights you stay in and have your own party, invite a friend over for a movie, paint your nails, do a craft, etc.....you need to take personal time for yourself! 
  12. Have something to look forward to every day: for me this was a project, getting done with a test, making a bulletin board, creating door decks, or even just brewing a cup of coffee. 
  13. Set reminders on your phones: YOU WILL THANK ME LATER!!!
  14. Leave extra early for class: It might seem ridiculous, but trust me, if you leave early for class and then get there only to realize you forgot your calculator for the chemistry test you will still have plenty of time to run back to your room and won't be nearly as stressed as you would if you had left five minutes before class:) TRUST ME! 
  15. Always bring a book with you: This is what I call my "Rory Gilmore moment" because she always brought a book with her everywhere and I loved that! In college I would always carry a book with me and read a few chapters as I was waiting for class to start. 
  16. Set a weekly schedule: When I say set a schedule I mean know when your classes are and plan your life around them accordingly. My college bestie and I had a set schedule every week of always meeting on certain days for lunch, going to yoga on Tuesday nights, and attending Bible study on Thursdays.
  17. Find your stress relief....yoga, running, reading, drinking tea, etc. 
  18. Your room is your home, so make it homy! I had banners, an entire gallery wall, Christmas lights, rugs, flowers, you name it in my room and people always commented on how cute and cozy it was! That was my whole purpose in decorating it how I did, was to make it cheery and inviting since I spent so much time there:) 
  19. Never say no to opportunities & believe in yourself! .....because you never know if the person you meet ends up being your best friend, or the job you apply for ends up being the best thing that happened to you or that you are able to accomplish more than you ever thought you would! 
  20. Coffee is your best friend (at least for me and 95% of all other college students)

- Madison 

My favorite NY fashion bloggers

My favorite NY fashion bloggers

I think my favorite part of the blogging world is all the amazing people you come across! I remember when I first discovered blogging and quickly fell in love with the unique styles of so many bloggers and through them came to know more delightful souls that inspired me daily. One of the best parts about following other bloggers is learning about their lives, seeing their cities, and noticing how they are all so unique and different in their personal style, but how they each have something I LOVE!

The Decision That Changed My College Experience Forever

The Decision That Changed My College Experience Forever

Shirt: c/o Four:Eight Shop
Skirt: The Skirtery 

Everyone goes into college with ideas of what it will be like. Sometimes those ideas are lofty and far reaching into great achievements, new friend groups, on campus organizations, and a boat load of fun. However, I was never one of those typical college bound girls....my ideas of what college would be like consisted of classes, studies, projects, surviving without my family, traveling home on the weekend, the uncertainty of new friends, and no real desire to get connected with on campus happenings or Thursday night shenanigans. Nevertheless, college proved to be so much more than I had imagined. Not so much in the way of it being to much to handle, but rather that God had another plan of what he wanted me to accomplish in an unfamiliar place and boy is he the craziest!

If you have been around here for awhile you probably can recall me mentioning that I was an RA (Resident Advisor) while at college. I got the job half way into my second semester and kept it up until my last semester of college (this fall) when I moved home for my student teaching. However, while that might not seem like that big of a deal to you, it was a HUGE deal to me because I never could have foreseen getting a job on campus, and much less being in charge of students who lived on campus.....the whole timeline and occurrence was truly ordained and destines by God to grow me in more ways than I could have known and put me in the midst of the biggest opportunity for witness I had ever experienced!

I still remember the day I received the email which said "We are pleased to offer you a Resident Advisor position beginning immediately!" And while getting the job wasn't all that much of a shock it was the process that was CRAZY! You see I randomly decided that I should apply for an RA position on campus (I think I just took a leap of faith and didn't even know what I was doing) which meant submitting an application and going through two rounds of interviews which included a panel interview with 3 people and a group interview for half a day (that in itself was not a typical Madison thing to do...talking to people I didn't know.....WHAT!). If that didn't push me out of my element enough, the fact that I immediately got one of the vacant mid semester openings a week later did.....oh, and did I mention that my RA placement was in a sorority house (insert wide eyed and shocked face emoji here)!

Here is the background on all of this:
1) I was (and still am) the person who didn't understand the need for sororities. I thought they were a waste of money, changed and conformed girls, sometimes put them in bad situations, and thought the idea of hand signs and chants was bit ridiculous. 
2) The RA positions I was interviewing for were for the next spring, but I was offered a position to start IMMEDIATELY which meant skipping all the training that new RA's typically go through to prepare them for the job and just being thrown into the midst of it! 

Now that you know a few facts, you can see how getting the job and then finding out where my job would be were all HUGE surprises and pure humor on God's part. So after completing my paperwork I started the job, which in itself had a lot of responsibilities, but responsibilities that nonetheless helped me grow:

RA Job Responsibilities:
1) Hold daily office hours.
2) Enforce the university rules and policies and make sure all resident follow them. If they fail to do so you are required to document and/or fine them based on the policies broken. 
3) Attend staff meeting ever week and all staff meetings once a month. 
4) Plan events with your staff team for all of the residents in your area. 
5) Complete rounds on your assigned night(s) with another RA. Rounds consist of walking through ever house in your area (our area had 8 houses....4 of them were sorority houses), both upstairs and downstairs. Rounds during your assigned shift were at 9:00pm and 12:00am. 
6) Respond to any calls on the duty phone while you were on call (this means 2:00 am phone calls about broken toilets).
7) While on call you must report any major policy violations (drugs or alcohol) or unsafe situations to the University Police, wait for them to arrive on scene, and stay close by to write a report. 
8) Handle roommate, suite mate, or resident complaints and disagreements. 
9) Complete safety and maintenance checks every month within your house. 
10) Hold floor meetings two times a semester for residents to go over policies and checkout procedures. 
11) Make fun and creative door decks with your residents name every month
12) Design and make a fun and creative bulletin board for your house every month. 
#11 & #12 were my personal favorite parts of being an RA :) 

Maybe you are still curious about how this decision changed my college experience forever? Here's the thing, getting the job as an RA put me in a place where I was daily outside of my comfort zone. I was no longer just the random college girl who lived two doors down, I was the RA of the house and knew all 25 girls who lived under my roof. I had to daily challenge myself to say hi to my resident, talk to my co-workers, and acknowledge the many faces I now knew.

Not only that, but I joined a staff team, surrounded by over 9 people that I didn't know, and for this introvert that was something I never had worked through before. I had to learn to work with new people, get to know them, plan events with them, back them up when they were on call, ask for help when need be, express my opinions, and at the same time be completely different than everyone else around me. I don't think I ever expected to know that many people at college, but after becoming an RA I not only knew people on my staff team, but I got to know other RA's who worked across campus.

I no longer walked to class seeing faces I didn't recognize or know, because I now actually knew people.....by name (I think my mom is still shocked by this). I knew my fellow staff members, my residents, and even my team members residents. I actually hung out with people other than my ONE friend at college because as an RA we would have "staff bonding" days, dinners, all staff events with all the RA's on campus, and random grocery store runs.

With all of that being said, I still today believe that this all happened for ONE reason! God ordained this to do something in me that I never would have allowed him to do otherwise. He ordained it to STRETCH my introvert self beyond my limits, instill the confidence in myself that I really could do hard things, gave me the courage and strength to talk to new people, the wisdom to deal with difficult and hard circumstances, and the boldness to share my faith. I think if anything he allowed me to become an RA to give be a platform to be a positive influence. He took me (Madison), this quiet and old fashioned, high value, strong moral girl and placed her in a Sorority house where I daily had contact with girls who lived much differently than me. He took me (Madison), this quiet and sometimes ridiculously nervous girl and placed me on a staff team of which there was only one person who shared my same faith (until another girl joined us two semesters in) and thus gave me the BIGGEST stage for witness......whether that witness was in sharing my faith with fellow staff members and my boss, praying with a resident, sharing my relationship views with the girls in my house, or even just living a different life in the choices I made and expressing my views on a few occasions. Through being an RA I learned BOLDNESS and I learned how different I was from the world and nearly every other college student on campus, but I also learned that as an Introvert I could still thrive in an environment filled with people.

If my decision to become an RA taught me anything, it taught me about the REAL MADISON. It showed me the courage, strength, and boldness I possessed that I didn't even know I had. It showed me that God can do the unimaginable in your life and grow you exponentially more than you could have ever foreseen. It showed me that by being yourself, people respect that as being a unique part of who you are and that being yourself is the best thing you can ever offer the world (or college for that matter)!

Sure, I was exposed to more "college life" than I had originally expected by becoming an RA (I will forever be able to bust people for smoking marijuana....yes, you read that right), but I also got to do a lot of cool stuff and use my creative skills as part of my job. And sure, there were times that I didn't make the most of the opportunities that I had, but in the midst of it all I know that the opportunities I did take were defining moments in my life that forever changed me and changed my college experience. I could seriously write an entire book on this topic (as you can tell from this long post) but I will end it here, because through it all God taught me to see the open doors of opportunity around me, muster the courage to walk through them, and trust that he would keep them open for more of his crazy plans.

I always believed God has had CRAZY plans for my life and college was just many of those plans rolled up into one that reminded me that when I think I have control over the future, it is never really me, but God who succeeds!

- Madison

A Day At The Corn Maze

A Day At The Corn Maze

Overalls: Forever 21
Sweater: Thrifted
Cardigan: c/o Tobi
Neck Scarf: Vintage
Boots: Thrifted
Socks: Kohls 
Lipstick: Revlon Color Stay Matte

Can you believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner!!! Its CAZY, and what is even crazier is that my birthday is in less than a week!!! This fall has definitely been one of my favorites since being in college, specifically because I have been able to do a lot of things I wasn't able to when I was living on campus. Remember the Fall Bucket List I created, well I have been working my way through it and it has been so much fun! Sadly, Texas once again can't make its mind up about the weather, we have had both record breaking cold weather for October and at the same time record breaking warm weather for November, talk about a bipolar atmosphere. However, even with the lacking crisp air and fall scented breezes I have still been able to enjoy this autumnal season and have gone on many fun outings.

On this particular day, I was finally able to go to my church's corn maze! While the corn wasn't as lush as I am used to seeing in the country, it was still fun to wander through it with one of my good friends. Like pumpkins, corn is another one of those basic fall attributes for which it is known, so spending an evening wandering through the corn maze was such fun:) Afterwards we headed back home to check two more things off of my bucket list: pumpkin carving and roasting pumpkin seeds!

For my evening at the corn maze I decided to go back to my country rooms with a hint of 1940's Land Girl vibes and put together this fun look. I have always loved these overalls, so I decided to pair them with a dark forest green sweater, my favorite fall neck scarf, a jumbo rust colored cardigan, lace up ankle boots, and a pop or red lipstick.......it definitely turned out to be the perfect outfit for exploring a corn maze and carving pumpkins. 

What has been your favorite thing this fall?

-Madison