The 5 Stages of Grief: Back to School Edition

As always, the sneaky school year is just around the corner waiting to foil our summer fun.

It hardly seems possible that a new year is almost upon us. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were signing yearbooks and making promises to keep in touch during our time away?

Apple and Textbooks

(via StockSnap.io)

Believe it or not, school is almost back in session, and we know exactly how you’re feeling.

Scroll below to see the five stages of grief: back to school edition.

1. Denial

In this stage, you adamantly refuse to accept that summer is coming to an end. No more lounging by the pool? No more sleeping in? It can’t be! You gently explain to your mother that you don’t actually need any school supplies this year because school just isn’t going to happen. Despite the weather growing steadily colder, you have decided that summer is not coming to an end.

Girl with Many Colorful Floaties

(via Facebook @SmokoInc.)

 

2. Anger

Living in the denial phase might be nice, but you slowly start to realize that lounging by the pool in 40-degree weather is not the most practical idea. After the realization hits that summer just can’t last forever, the anger phase begins. During this phase, there’s really no one to be angry at, but you’re angry nonetheless. Irrational questions like, “Why do the seasons have to change?” and “Who even invented school?” flash through your irritated conscience as you stew in the knowledge that summer will be taken from you once again.

 

3. Bargaining

After you realize that irrational anger isn’t going to get you anywhere, the bargaining phase begins. During this phase, you’ll agree to almost any ridiculous arrangement, as long as it delays the homework-filled nights and early morning alarms. Whether it’s promising that you’ll be the perfect student if you can just skip the first month, or pleading with Mother Nature to send a snowstorm in the middle of August and buy you a few snow days, the bargaining phase is a short-lived attempt to dodge the truth.

Girl Eating Watermelon

(via Facebook @LovelyPepa)

 

4. Depression

After your last ditch effort to bargain your way into a longer summer, the depression phase begins. Depression might be too strong a word to describe mourning the end of a season, but this phase is definitely characterized by a few angst-ridden sighs and nostalgic smiles as you reflect on all your summer fun. You feel a kind of sentimental sadness that you must bid goodbye to your favorite season for another year, and you reflect on all your summer highlights to keep the sunshiny spirit alive as long as possible.

 

5. Acceptance

After working your way past the end-of-summer blues, you finally reach the acceptance stage. In this stage, you wave goodbye to summer 2017 and slowly start making preparations for the new school year. New clothes to impress your crush, cute school supplies for enhanced note-taking, and an inventory of topics that you and your best friends must catch up on all make the back to school list. Even though saying goodbye to summer was hard, a new school year is filled with new possibilities and a guarantee that summer boredom will no longer be a problem.

Girl with Backpack Smiling

(via Facebook @Pautips)

 

Do the end-of-summer blues have you down? Check out THESE six reasons why going back to school is actually exciting.

This Los Angeles Cafe Serves Their Beverages in Giant Baby Bottles

Food vendors around the world have been serving their beverages in lightbulbs, science beakers and plenty of other bizarre items for quite some time now.

Just when we thought restaurants had run out of strange ways to serve their drinks, we stumbled across Sunday Cafe in Los Angeles, California.

They serve their fruity juices in giant baby bottles. Yep, you read that right.

Starting with balls of fresh fruit, you can then add your choice of their strawberry, pineapple or watermelon juice into your giant bottle.

You can’t actually drink from the tip of the baby bottle, which is a bit disappointing, but at least you’re provided with a rather large straw to slurp it all down.

You better believe we’ll be making our way down to this café to drink from a giant baby bottle in the near future, even though we’re not quite too sure how we feel about this trend.

 

If drinking from giant baby bottles isn’t your thing, you might enjoy eating THIS ice cream burrito.

The One Product You Need to Keep Your Body Glitter on All Day

I love glitter.

I hardly wear makeup, but I will happily slather glitter all over my body like it’s nobody’s business. The only problem is I’m not too good at applying it, as it generally always falls off within seconds.

While at Beautycon this past weekend in Los Angeles, California, I had my face all done up by the wonderful ladies from the Gypsy Shrine—a company that specializes in face and body glitter.

The girl who did my face glitter created this super awesome crescent moon-esque design with iridescent glitter around my eyes. She produced a similar design on my friend Shawna, but with gold glitter. Stunning!

Shawna and Ashley wearing face glitter and flower crowns at Beautycon LA

I never thought I’d be able to recreate this look myself. I mean I tack 99 cent glitter from CVS on my eyelids and/or lips when I’m feeling adventurous. But then I learned a fascinating little tidbit about the best way to get glitter to stick onto your face and body.

The secret? Hair gel. Who knew, right?

Apparently using a paintbrush to apply glitter to your body or face will help the glitter stay on longer than you thought possible.

You want to spread the gel onto your body first and then use the same brush to pat the glitter on top of the gel.

The brand that was used on my face was V05’s Wet Look Styling Gel, which you can purchase for $14 on Amazon.

V05 Wet Look Styling Gel

Walking around Beautycon for 4+ hours, I figured the glitter would fall off within minutes. Surprisingly, it didn’t.

There were a few flecks that fell off throughout the day, but most of the glitter was stuck like glue.

Ashley's face glitter at the end of the day

And getting it off was way easier than I expected. I just hopped in the shower, put my face under the running water and it melted right off. Though some glitter did stick behind in my hair. Definitely not mad about that though.

Another plus is the gel didn’t irritate my skin. I have pretty sensitive skin, so I was worried I would break out because of the gel, but I didn’t.

You better believe I purchased some gel and tons of glitter after this experience. I’ll be sporting glitter on my face and body more often, especially now that I’m aware of this hack.

 

The Gypsy Shrine wasn’t the only thing I loved about Beautycon LA. Head over HERE to see all of the amazing products I discovered from my attendance.

Here’s What Type of Sister You Are Based on Your Zodiac Sign

Have you ever stopped to consider what kind of sister you are?

We have a few guesses. Keep reading to find out what your zodiac sign reveals about your relationship with your siblings.

Sisters smiling in front of wall

(via Shutterstock)

Aries (March 21 – April 19): The Adventurous Sister

You were born to lead, and even if you’re the youngest sister, you’re often dictating exactly what the plans are for the day. You’ve got a magnetic charm, and people listen when you speak. You’re rarely satisfied to sit still and are prone to boredom. You tend to start lots of projects but rarely finish them, as you’re always looking for the next exciting thing. You’re always optimistic that the next big discovery is right around the corner.

 

Taurus (April 20 – May 20): The Practical Sister

Always the realist, you’d rather take action than sit around and talk about doing something any day. You’re sensible and down to earth, always making realistic plans and having a fallback plan if things don’t turn out the way you expected. You don’t buy into your siblings’ hare-brained schemes, and whenever their ambitions start looking too impossible, you’re always there to reel them back to reality.

 

Gemini (May 21 – June 20): The Multifaceted Sister

As a Gemini, there are two sides to your personality, and no one knows that better than your siblings. You can be shy on some days and outgoing on others, and you can be excitable and loud one moment and thoughtfully quiet in the next. Whatever your mood, you manage to succeed in whatever you put your mind to. Even when you’re not sure how you’re going to feel for the rest of the day, your siblings always know how to make it work.

 

Cancer (June 21 – July 22): The Empathetic Sister

You’ve always been sensitive and intuitive, and you always can sense when something isn’t right. You’re the first to know when your siblings are coping with a struggle or having a bad day, and you’re also the first to hear them out and lend a listening ear. You have lots of friends because people feel like they can tell you anything and you’re always willing to listen. After all, your feedback is valuable to them.

Sisters laughing on couch

(via Shutterstock)

 

Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22): The Social Sister

You’re definitely the most extroverted of your siblings. You’re friends with everyone you meet, and you want to make sure your family is in on the fun, too. When it comes to social situations, you put yourself up front and center, and you really don’t mind when all eyes are on you. Still, you always take steps to make sure your shier siblings are making friends, too. After all, they’re the most important part of your social circle!

 

Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22): The Protective Sister

As a Virgo, you analyze every situation carefully, which can sometimes lead you to envision absolutely anything that can go wrong in a situation. You can be a bit of a worrywart, and even if you’re not the oldest sibling, you can be overprotective of the people you care about. You should let loose a little, but don’t let it change your ways. After all, whenever your siblings need some sunscreen, a snack or a phone charger, you’re always prepared. 

 

Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22): The Peacekeeping Sister

You’re a Libra, so peace, fairness and harmony are incredibly important to you. Whenever there’s a disagreement in the family, you’re there to keep the peace. You also love to make people happy, so it’s tough for you to say “no” to them. Remember that it’s okay to refuse every once in a while! Even if you’re happy to carry the pressure of every person’s problems every once in a while, it’s time to just do you.

 

Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21): The Driven Sister

You’re a hard worker, first and foremost. You’re the most driven and ambitious in your family, and you’re rarely seen taking a break or goofing off. You have a hard time understanding how your siblings are so relaxed and spend so much of their time doing frivolous things. It must be that they’re just not as interested in making it to the top. Don’t worry—that intensity will pay off.

 

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21): The Philosophical Sister

You’ve always been more into ideas than tangible things, and you often get lost in your own train of thought. You can talk about an obscure subject at length, always spinning up new theories about what is and what could be. Sometimes you can drive your siblings up the wall with your endless search for truth—but they’re always there to listen and lend their two cents, and you’re eternally grateful for it. One day you’ll travel the world, and maybe your siblings will come along for the spiritual journey with you.

 

Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19): The Reliable Sister

You’re someone who always gets the job done, no matter how much is being asked of you. You always put family and your siblings first, but your studies take a close second. You’re super results-oriented and can be more focused than anyone when you put your mind to something. People might see you as boring, but your siblings know better than anyone that you’re just super committed to what you care about.

 

 

Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18): The Altruistic Sister

As an Aquarius, you’re extremely conscious of the world around you and are constantly thinking about how you could make the world a better place. Whenever you see someone in need, you’re the first to step in and offer your help. You’re always the one to remind your siblings to turn off the water while they’re brushing their teeth or to put their soda cans in the recycling bin. After all, if you can get the people you care about to take care of the earth, it’ll make a big impact in the long run.Sisters laughing together

(via Shutterstock)

 

Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20): The Sensitive Sister

Pisces tends to feel their feelings more strongly than any other sign, and your siblings know well that you’re totally in tune with your emotions. You’re not afraid to cry during a sad movie or be the most excited person when your local sports team is winning the big game. Your siblings appreciate that you always let them know exactly what you think of them because they always feel warmly loved.

 

Want to learn more? Click HERE to find out what your zodiac sign flower says about you.

We Feel so Much ‘Younger Now’ After Listening to Miley Cyrus’ Latest Single

After much anticipation, Miley Cyrus dropped her newest single “Younger Now” off her upcoming album of the same name.

You guys, this track is incredible. If it’s any indication of what’s to come from her new tracks, we are in for a huge treat.

Listen to Miley’s new song below, along with a few of our other fave New Music Friday releases from Rachel Platten, Neck Deep, Little Mix and Echosmith.

1. “Younger Now” by Miley Cyrus

An upbeat, cheerful tune about embracing change, it feels as though Miley has really found her footing with this new track. It’s different from her past releases, but still so Miley.

 

2. “Broken Glass” by Rachel Platten

Rachel Platten is no stranger to writing anthemic hits (hello, “Fight Song”!), and her latest single is no different. A song that celebrates the power of women, you can’t listen to it without feeling like you can take on the world.

 

3. “19 Seventy Sumthin'” by Neck Deep

Pop punkers Neck Deep released their album The Peace and the Panic, which perfectly captures all that’s going on in the world in 11 incredible bangers. Our favorite is definitely “19 Seventy Sumthin'”—a heartfelt tune about the importance of being there for your family. Heads up, you’ll for sure cry while listening to it.

 

4. “Reggaetón Lento (Remix)” by CNCO & Little Mix

We never thought we’d hear the lovely vocals of the Little Mix girls on a Spanish song, yet here we are. Needless to say, we’re all about this dancey tune. It’s always nice to see artists venture out of the comfort zone, especially when it works in everyone’s favor.

 

5. “Future Me” by Echosmith

Though the title of Echosmith’s new song is “Future Me,” the track is all about embracing the here and now. A joyous and optimistic song, this song will remind you that now’s the time to be the best version of yourself.

 

Listen to these tunes on the go by following the playlist below:

 

A fan of Bebe Rexha and Grace VanderWaal? Listen to their latest music releases HERE.

7 Reasons Why Breakups Are Actually Good For You

Let’s be honest: breakups suck.

Whether good, bad, or ugly, the end of a significant relationship is always difficult to come to terms with. In the moment, it’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of pity and hopelessness, but breakups can actually be a very positive thing.

Smiling Girl in a Field

(via Unsplash)

I know, I know. The last thing anyone wants to hear while they’re trying to pull themselves out of a breakup slump is any variation of “everything happens for a reason.” But, having lived through a few tough breakups myself, I can confidently say that every breakup cloud has a silver lining.

So ditch that tissue box and scroll below for seven reasons why breakups are actually good for you.

1. You Learn What You Don’t Want in a Relationship

No matter how perfect you assumed your relationship was, a breakup is always a good reality check. Stepping away from the relationship allows you to see the full picture, and to pick out the not-so-great details about your ex. Whether it’s stronger texting skills, improved listening skills, or just someone who’s overall better, you’ll walk away with an enhanced understanding of what you’re looking for in the future.

Girl Pulling on Her Braids

(via Unsplash)

 

2. You Learn to Depend on Yourself, Not Someone Else

Half the fun of being in a relationship is having someone to rely on for life’s everyday inconveniences. While having someone to support you is nice, it’s also important to learn how to stand on your own. Breakups are a lot like being thrown into the deep-end when it comes to learning independence, but you’ll emerge much more capable of handling your own problems. As an added bonus, that new level of independence will only make your future relationships stronger!

 

3. You Realize Who Truly Has Your Back

Breakups are often messy, and the days following the split are usually characterized by many tears and a desperate desire to talk about your situation to anyone who will listen. The sad truth is, most people just aren’t going to care. But thankfully, the period of time that you’re a blubbering mess is also the time that you realize who is truly there for you. Your true friends will sit with you while you cry, make sure you have plenty of ice cream in your system and monitor your interactions to make sure you don’t do something you regret. You may have lost someone important to you, but it brings into focus all the other people who truly have your back.

Four Friends in a Greenhouse

(via Unsplash)

 

4. You Get Your Social Life Back

In addition to realizing who your true friends are, a breakup also means that you get to spend more time with those people. No matter how much you try to split your time evenly, being in a relationship chips away at your social calendar. But following a breakup, you no longer have to commit a chunk of your time to another person, leaving you free to strengthen your important relationships with your friends. At the end of the day, friends are the people who will support you no matter what, and more time to spend with them is never a bad thing.

 

5. You Develop a Greater Sense of Self-Worth

An important part of any breakup cycle is the moment you realize that the person who let you go is just a total idiot. I mean really, that’s the only explanation for letting such a fantastic, kind and caring person slip away. While your ego may take a hit to begin with, breakups help you reflect on all the positive qualities you have to offer. Just because one person didn’t realize your worth doesn’t mean that someone else won’t.

Smiling Girl with Two Buns

(via Unsplash)

 

6. You Can Focus on Yourself

A necessary element of being in a relationship is committing half of your time and energy to another person. During a breakup, however, the resources that you’ve been giving away can now be used to focus on yourself. A breakup is one of the best times to focus on self-empowerment and self-improvement, and picking up a new hobby or reflecting on all your likes and dislikes is the perfect way to get to know yourself better. When you have a good grasp on who you are, you will be much more equipped to build strong relationships in the future. 

 

7. You Get To Do the Fun Part Again

While there’s a lot to be said for becoming comfortable and relaxed with another person, the excitement and exhilaration that marks the start of a new romance is hard to beat. Losing someone is never fun, but it does open you up to a new relationship in the future, filled with its own set of butterflies, first kisses and other magical moments. A breakup is the end of one relationship, but it leaves you with an entire world of possibilities for a new love! 

 

Think you’re ready to start dating again? First, take a look at THESE five signs that you’re not over your ex.

I Went Skydiving—With My Mom!—And It Was Terrifying

My mom has always wanted to go skydiving, so years ago, I promised her I would go with her for her 60th birthday, as I would be turning the big 3-0 just a few weeks later.

At the time this just seemed like one of those things we both said we would do, and not a pact that we would actually keep—but much to my surprise, as our landmark birthdays drew near, my mother informed me that she would be coming to visit me in L.A., so we could fulfill her birthday wish.

Skydive Plane

We decided to go to Skydive Santa Barbara because I had already seen a friend complete a jump there, so I felt it was safe, and it promised views of both land and sea during the jump. If I was going to willingly jump out of a plane, I definitely wanted to have a good view!

On the nearly three-hour drive from L.A. to Lompoc (the hangar is actually slightly outside of Santa Barbara) I went through a series of emotions: excitement, denial and, as we got closer, pure terror.

Upon arrival we were taken to a small room where we had to sign legal documents acknowledging that we were putting our lives at risk and that even if we died, we could not sue the company for any reason. As we were signing about 10 pages of legal documents, we watched a 20-minute video reinforcing the fact that we could die and we could not sue if it happened—comforting!

Next, we purchased our skydiving packages. You have a choice of jumping from 18,000, 13,000 or 8,000 feet, and we decided on the middle package. You also have a choice of getting still photos, a video or both, which would be taken by your tandem skydiver. We both decided on still photos—I didn’t want to see video footage of myself screaming/looking weird from the extremely high-speed winds warping my face.

After a short wait, we were brought into the main hangar area where we suited up in a harness-like contraption and meet the people who would be jumping with us (unless you are an experienced skydiver, all skydives are done tandem style, meaning you are very tightly secured to someone who is an experienced skydiver). My tandem skydiver, Casey, informed me he had done over 3,000 jumps, so I knew I was in good hands.

Even though I didn’t actually think I would die or get injured—I already inquired about how many people had died at Skydive Santa Barbara and was relieved to know the answer was zero—I was still scared out of my mind. My mom actually didn’t seem as nervous as me, but I couldn’t tell if she was staying calm to keep me calm.

Once everyone in our plane was suited up, we were taken to a very small plane, which we rode up to 13,000 feet for our jump. I was afraid to look out the window but finally did at around 4,000 feet, and was dismayed to be informed that we were less than a third of the way to our final altitude. It already seemed extremely high! I was definitely freaking out at this point, and asked Casey if anyone had ever passed out mid-air. Once again the answer was no, so I felt a little better knowing I would (most likely) not faint on the way down.

Finally we reached 13,000 feet—and it was high! I am talking above-the-clouds high. The plane door opened, and before I knew it, two of the solo skydivers were standing at the edge and soon disappeared out of the side of the plane. Everything happened in a matter of seconds after that.

Next, my mom and her tandem partner scooted to the door’s edge and disappeared out of sight. Then it was my turn. Fortunately there was no time to think about what is happening—because if there were I probably would have backed out at this point. Casey scooted me to the edge of the plane, and tipped me over. There was no jump, there was no moment to realize what was happening—one moment I was safely in the plane, and the next I was literally freefalling towards the ground.

Skydive Freefall

For the next 50 to 60 seconds, I was literally free-falling, without a parachute to slow me down. I was a slave to gravity, and it was pulling me down fast. Friends who have gone skydiving before told me that free-falling was their favorite part of the experience. Despite what friends have told me, I did not enjoy the freefall. It was terrifying. I closed my eyes for most of it, wanting it to end. After what seemed like an eternity (but was actually less than a minute), Casey pulled the parachute cord and we began floating down at a much more doable pace. I could finally breathe, relax and enjoy the incredible views.

skydive parachute

skydive view

While I really enjoyed the parachute part of the fall, my right ear popped during the initial descent and it was killing me. The pain was detracting from my overall experience, but I focused on not letting it overshadow the thrill that I was actually skydiving. I jumped out of a plane, and now I had an amazing bird’s-eye view of the world below.

skydive view

The whole descent probably lasted less than five minutes, but that was enough for me! I was so thankful to see the landing area come to focus below me, and watched as my mom touched down a few moments before I did. I had never been more thankful to have my feet touch solid ground!

Skydiving was an incredible, one-of-a-kind, bucket list experience, and I am so happy I did it, and that I got to experience it with my mom. With that said, both my mom and I agreed that we will never do it again!

 

If a road trip is more your speed, HERE’S what to expect when you travel cross-country by car with your bestie.

11 Foolproof Ways to Make Your School Day Fun

School sometimes feels like a necessary evil. You need it, but you definitely don’t want it. The days become so monotonous, and after a month or two, that early-hour alarm clock seems possessed.

If you ride the struggle-bus to school each day, you need to check out these foolproof tips for making your school day more fun:

1. Go All-Out With Your Supplies

Whatever this means for you, do it. For some people it may mean glamming out their supplies with Lisa Frank folders or decorating their binders with clippings and photos of friends. To another person this could mean going full business mode with planners, agendas and a fancy pen. Personally, I love a good list because crossing off your tasks is highly rewarding. Think of this as your “when you look good, you feel good” motto.

Backpack filled with school supplies

(via Shutterstock)

 

2. Make Friends In Your Classes

Sometimes we get lucky enough to have classes with friends, and other times we walk into a room devoid of any familiar faces. Let your friendly side shine and make new friends because class will be so much more tolerable when you have a study buddy who can appreciate your eye-rolls.

 

3. Plan Passing Period Rewards

From fun little snacks to planned meet-ups in the bathroom with your bestie, having these small rewards between classes can lighten your spirits. You don’t have to spend hours planning huge rewards—no Pinterest necessary—just sprinkle in some small bonuses to make you smile throughout the day.

 

4. Take On All Your Upperclassmen Privileges

The rules differ from school to school, but at my HS only the juniors and seniors were allowed off campus during lunch. But even the upperclassmen needed parent signatures for this privilege, which some of my friends failed to get. Whatever rights your class status brings you, use them up. Get those permission slips signed and say sayonara for roughly 40 minutes every day.

Two friends laughing while driving in a car together

(via Shutterstock)

 

5. Get Involved In Activities

Becoming a member of a club or taking part in extracurricular activities will help sprinkle your interests into your daily educational schedule.

 

6. Offer to Take Things to Other Classes

It’s a small but significant thrill to leave class for a few minutes to deliver notes (etc.) to another teacher. Don’t question it, just shoot your arm straight in the air each time your teacher asks for a volunteer.

 

7. Be Deliberate About Your Classes

There are some classes that none of us can avoid, but when it comes to picking electives, be deliberate. Sure, you could attempt to sign up for identical classes with your bestie, or you could choose fun subjects you’ve been wanting to try, such as drama or art.

Girl painting on canvas during art class

(via Shutterstock)

 

8. Ride To-and-From With Friends

Start the day off right by carpooling or walking to school with friends and end it on a fun note by cramming into one car and grabbing a milkshake at the drive-thru. Friends make everything better so try and spend as much time with them as possible.

 

9. Save Homework for Home

Lunch is your chance to unload and simply hang for a bit. Try not to leave 5th or 6th period homework assignments for lunch because you’re effectively ruining the one time of day that is just for you.

 

10. Be Present During Class

Ummm, come again? Okay hear me out: The more present you are during class, the better you’ll retain information, and the easier homework/studying/tests become. If you want to have a really lousy time in class, spend the hour (which will feel like three) clicking your heels and wishing to be anywhere but there. If a watched pot never boils then a watched clock never ticks. By being present and actively engaged, the class will go by much faster.

Teacher helping student with lessons

(via Shutterstock)

 

11. Have Something to Look Forward to Each Day

It won’t be so hard to struggle through Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday if you’ve planned something to look forward to at the end of each. For example, if you’re starting a show from the beginning, allow yourself one or two episodes every Monday instead of bingeing the whole thing in one sitting. For Tuesday, perhaps you can plan an outstanding friend date each week where you get together after school and hang. Each Wednesday could be a “treat yo’ self” day where you get a special dessert or indulgence. This will help you look forward to your days rather than dread them, and in turn you’ll have a better outlook during school. Consider this your silver lining.

 

From following these tips you may discover new interests that are super fun, but that you aren’t necessarily too skilled at doing. Click HERE for reasons why it’s okay to be bad at something you love.