Style & Sunshine

a florida girl living in a sunshine state of mind

Category: Design

Weekly Sunshine: Positive Thoughts

Designed by Jen White

Designed by Jen White

Hey guys!

For this week’s #WeeklySunshine post, I wanted to share this little quote with you because it has helped me through a lot.

My freshman year of college was probably the worst year of my life. I was on top of the world senior year, had just met the love of my life and spent an amazing summer with him, and was so excited about starting at Northwestern. I had no idea how stressful and overwhelming it would be, let alone how much the weather would have an effect on my mood. I got pretty depressed beginning in the winter and even going into spring – the lack of sun was really what got me. I had no idea what it felt like to be up north during the wintertime – I had only ever experienced maybe 30 degrees, and I was in for a big shock.

Things weren’t going well for me in school (I was convinced I was failing Macroeconomics although I ended up passing), I was incredibly homesick, I missed my boyfriend like crazy, and I felt really out of place. Long story short, I woke up every day just trying to get through, going to class, going to practice, just going through the motions.

That summer, although I considered transferring, I decided to stick with NU – I really did like the school and the people I met, and I knew that my freshman year journalism courses were over and I could really start diving into what I love to do, design. My sophomore year, although it ended up being one of the worst Chicago winters in almost 20 years, was one of the best years of my (still relatively short) life.

And I drew a lesson from that experience: I needed, more than anything, to focus on making myself happy. Although I’m surrounded by the best support systems ever (my family, my boyfriend, my frisbee team, my sorority), I needed to be able to support myself. It’s tough (especially for a Florida girl like myself) to wake up on a gray day and know that you won’t see the sun at all. But simply having one positive thought as the first thing through my mind on days like that, and every day, made a world of difference.

Now, I try to focus on all of the amazing things that are going on in my life right now. I’m loving my classes (I even really like doing the reading and writing for them), I’m basically a senior in college, I have my own cozy room in one of the most beautiful houses on campus, and I have the most amazing boyfriend in the world. I’m not saying there aren’t days when I don’t want to get out of my bed, especially days like today (rainy, gray, and freezing), but even picking out the smallest detail like being excited about a certain outfit or looking forward to an exciting discussion in class that day really makes a world of difference.

So, my goal this week and my challenge to you is to start each day with a positive thought. You’d be surprised at how just the tiniest shift in perspective can make a big change in your life.

~ follow me on Instagram @style.and.sunshine for new looks, fashion & beauty picks, and little glimpses into my life ~

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Weekly Sunshine: Good Energy is Contagious

Designed by Jen White

Designed by Jen White

Hi guys! I realized that I hadn’t made a weekly sunshine post in a while, so here’s one for a beautiful (yet cold) Sunday morning.

I came across this quote on Pinterest, and it really made me smile. This week has had a lot of ups and downs for me – I filled out my petition to graduate earlier this week and had sort of a panic attack as it kind of set in that this really is my last year of college. I realized that there are so many things that I still want to do and accomplish while I’m in college, and that time is slipping away so quickly.

Also: having a single room this year is awesome, but it’s also kind of an obstacle for me. I love having my alone time, but sometimes it turns into too much alone time, and then I end up upset because I haven’t been around people enough. So that’s something I’ve been working on, and the second half of my week was much better for it.

I’ve learned that not only is good energy contagious to others around you (sometimes a smile and a “how are you?” can literally make someones’ day), but it can also be contagious to yourself. If I focus more on the positive things that are happening in my life (like the fact that it’s looking more and more feasible for me to spend my summer in NYC), then I’ll be in the mindset to see the sunny side of things that go wrong.

If I’ve learned one thing from being a college student, it’s that happiness is something that you need to make for yourself. It’s awesome to have things in your life that make you happy (take Dylan for instance – he makes me smile every day), but when it comes down to it, if you allow the world control over your emotions, then you won’t ever be content with yourself.

Life updates: In other news, I just bought the new Adobe Creative Cloud subscription through Northwestern – and it came out to only a little over $10 a month which is an insanely low price considering all of the amazing programs that come with the subscription. I now have TypeKit which I’m SO excited to explore, and I’ve been working on migrating my portfolio from Wix to Behance (it’s kind of Adobe’s portfolio/social networking platform for artists and designers). I’ll post a link for you guys once it’s completely finished!

STITCH Applications are due tonight so I’m looking forward to reading over those and adding a few new members to the design team! I’m also applying to a student-run marketing firm on campus called Form & Function because I want to get as much design experience as I can before I go on my Journalism Residency.

Alix and I just shot another batch of outfits for you guys, so look out for those in the coming days! ❤

~ follow me on Instagram @style.and.sunshine for new looks, fashion & beauty picks, and little glimpses into my life ~

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Weekly Sunshine: Be Bold

Designed by Jen White

Designed by Jen White

Hey guys!

This week’s Weekly Sunshine post is simple but meaningful. This is my last year on campus at NU, and I want to be able to look back on my college experience and know that I did everything I wanted to do. This doesn’t mean stretching myself too thin and trying to go to every single event or be involved in as many activities as possible (freshmen, listen up!). It means giving 100% to the activities and relationships I already have, because as sad as it is, this is my last year being in such close proximity to so many things I love to do and people I love to be with.

To me, being bold isn’t about being the center of attention. It’s not about having the craziest experiences, or “going out with a bang.” To me, being bold is about not being afraid to fail, which sounds like the simplest thing to do but really isn’t. I (and a lot of people) have the tendency to limit ourselves to our comfort zones and not put ourselves out there as much, especially when we know we’ll be leaving soon. This year I don’t want to do that – I want to look back on my junior (senior, really) year of college and know that I kicked ass and accomplished the things that I wanted to accomplish.

So that is my challenge to you all this fall – if you want something (like a few summer internships I’m eyeing) then go for it. If it doesn’t work out, at least you know that you tried and didn’t sit back and limit yourself before you even knew the outcome.  I know this sounds like such a cliché, but it really is more difficult to live out daily than I ever thought.

To all you NU students, I hope you have an amazing fall quarter!

P. S. I’m doing my first fall shoot for the blog this morning! Look out for my fall style posts and instas!

~ follow me on Instagram @style.and.sunshine for new looks, fashion & beauty picks, and little glimpses into my life ~

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Weekly Sunshine: Take Time

by Jen White

by Jen White

Hi everyone!

Recently, I decided to buy myself a nice set of calligraphy pens. Because I love typography and art so much, I want to learn how to create those beautiful hand-made prints I see on Pinterest all the time. Every few days I sit down and practice – hopefully someday I’ll get good enough to start doing these Weekly Sunshine posts by hand!

The point is, it is so important to take small amounts of time out of our busy lives to do what makes us happiest. Because I’m still on summer break (I don’t go back to school until the 16th), I have a lot of me-time to do with as I please. But once I get back to school, life gets in the way and I find myself rushing to get a bite to eat in between classes, practice and meetings – there’s little to no time for me to sit down and be creative.

That’s part of the reason that I started this blog; I wanted a place where I could continue to write and create things outside of summer break, whether it be these quotes or outfits that I put together for you guys. Blogging really is relaxing for me, and I would 100% say that it makes my soul happy. And I’m definitely going to make time for it even when my life gets hectic.

Of course, one thing I know as a Northwestern student is what it’s like to be stressed. There is not one person at NU who is relaxed all of the time, I can promise you that. I definitely think that we all need to slow down sometimes, take a breather and take some time for ourselves. You love swimming but never have the time? Schedule it in, and go do it even if nobody can go with you.

I am going to make time for photo shoots (I already have an amazing photographer lined up to help me out in the fall, you guys are going to love her work!), sitting down and writing great content for this blog, creative projects that I dream up when I’m not paying attention in class, and of course quality Skype time with Dylan. Knowing that I have those things to look forward to always adds a little calm to my life, even on the most stressful days.

~ follow me on Instagram @style.and.sunshine for new looks, fashion & beauty picks, and little glimpses into my life ~

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Weekly Sunshine: Choose to Shine

Designed by Jen White

Designed by Jen White

I know, I know, this week’s weekly sunshine post is a little late, but it’s for a good reason! I was with Dylan all weekend, and a little unable to sit down and design something nice for you guys. But it’s finally here!

It’s a simple one this week – and I’m happy about it. In the midst of everyone going back to school, preparing for my last year on campus at NU and watching the last few weeks of summer slip by, it’s easy to get anxious and nervous about the school year. It will be my first time taking a full load of classes since fall of last year (I’ve been interning like crazy for the past two quarters and over the summer) and I won’t be seeing Dylan until Thanksgiving, which is a solid three months from now.

But it’s also really easy to choose to be happy. My freshman year, I learned (the hard way) that it really is up to us to be happy, and I’ve tried to live with that in mind ever since. If we all just chose to “shine” rather than be down on ourselves or negative about our lives, where could we be and what could we be accomplishing? Just a little thing to think about this week!

~ follow me on Instagram @style.and.sunshine for new looks, fashion & beauty picks, and little glimpses into my life ~

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Weekly Sunshine: Be The One Who Smiled

Design by Jen White

Design by Jen White

Hi all! I wanted to try something a little different with this week’s sunshine post. Typography is one of my biggest loves, and I wanted to use an actual paintbrush this time rather than a “brush” in Photoshop or Illustrator. I just used plain black acrylic paint on white printer paper, then scanned it into Photoshop and touched it up a little bit.

This quote really speaks to me because I am always that awkward person walking by a stranger who smiles. I usually am not even looked at, or if I’m lucky, I get a blank stare. When has smiling at strangers become a weird thing to do? As awkward as it may be sometimes, I think it’s worth it to  give a smile or even a “hello” to someone as you walk by them. You never know, but that little gesture could make their crappy day less crappy, or their wonderful day that much happier.

~ follow me on Instagram @style.and.sunshine for new looks, fashion & beauty picks, and little glimpses into my life ~

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DIY “Live Colorfully” Letters

Photos by Jen White

Photos by Jen White

Hi all! In case anyone didn’t know yet… I’m a little obsessed with Kate Spade. As a graphic designer, I pay close attention to the design of their promotional materials – emails, web ads, and of course the design of their website. “Live Colorfully” is one of the brand’s most famous slogans, and it just makes me really happy. So, I decided to add a little Kate Spade color to my life as well.

I started off by searching for the font that the slogan is in – and realized that it’s just Futura! The “V” was manipulated to be pointy, but other than that, just plain old Futura (pretty sure it’s bold too). I designed myself a desktop background, slapped the Kate Spade logo on there, and voilà, a custom and very upbeat wallpaper for my laptop. Now every time I open my computer, I’m reminded to live every moment to its fullest potential.

When I was at Michaels’ the other day, I came across this bright colored cardstock and fell in love. I decided to buy it for myself and make a larger version of my desktop background for my room in my sorority house at school. I attacked the different colors with my ruler and scissors (while watching Sex in the City of course), and created the letter cutouts that you see above! I’m just going to tape them to my walls and have another beautiful reminder every time I walk into my room.

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This is the desktop background I designed, feel free to use it if you want!

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The “R” took a lot of measuring to get perfect, but I did it!

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~ follow me on Instagram @style.and.sunshine for new looks, fashion & beauty picks, and little glimpses into my life ~

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Weekly Sunshine: Expectations

Design by Jen White

Design by Jen White

Hi guys! I stumbled across this week’s weekly sunshine this morning while (of course) scrolling through Instagram. Marc Jacobs is one of my favorite designers – in fact, my laptop sleeve is Marc by Marc Jacobs (surprise! it’s pink).

This quote caught my eye because I, along with a lot of people I know, sometimes struggle between choosing what we want versus what we think other people want for us. Since high school, I’ve realized so much that nobody cares what you do. But really, nobody cares! And that’s an amazing thing, because it means that we can do whatever we want and be whoever we want to be.

I know this sounds like a simple truth that everyone knows, but I still see myself affected by what I think other people will think, and that’s no way to live. I think we all need to take more risks and be ourselves a little more. So that’s my challenge to you and myself this week! Try not to imagine what other people are thinking, and do as you please <3.

~ follow me on Instagram @style.and.sunshine for new looks, fashion & beauty picks, and little glimpses into my life ~

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Weekly Sunshine: Nameless Moments

by Jen White

by Jen White

This week’s weekly sunshine is simply about appreciating the moments you get with those you love. For example, I’ve been dating my boyfriend Dylan for about two and a half years now – and about half of that time has been long distance. Every time we see each other, even if it’s just for a small amount of time, we try to make the most of it. Dating long distance is difficult but not impossible, and it really hasn’t been that hard for us. But this quote above is an important lesson that I’ve learned from our relationship: cherish those small moments with your loved ones.

Whether it’s unloading the dishwasher with your mom after you’ve just come home for a visit, or grabbing lunch with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, remember to enjoy every minute of it. It’s hard nowadays in the time of the smartphone to stay completely present during a conversation – I know that I tend to text or scroll through my Instagram feed when I’m hanging out with friends, but that’s something I’m trying to actively change. I wouldn’t want to miss one of those moments for anything.

So that’s my challenge to myself and you: try to stay off your phone unless you’re by yourself. I’m sure it will improve the quality of both of our relationships with other people!

~ follow me on Instagram @style.and.sunshine for new looks, fashion & beauty picks, and little glimpses into my life ~

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Things to Smile About

http://www.pinterest.com/jenwhite76/things-to-smile-about/

My happiest Pinterest board.

I believe that everyone deserves to have a little sunshine in their lives, thus the second half of my blog’s title. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in your problems – believe me when I say that I’m the queen of worrying.

One way I combat the stresses of everyday life is through my inspiration board – and what better place to inspire yourself than Pinterest? This board might have to be my favorite because it has a much looser theme than my others. Anything I see that makes me smile and doesn’t necessarily fit into any of my other boards, I put in here to look through when I’m having bad days.

I definitely encourage you guys to create inspiration boards like this – and they don’t have to be just online! My next DIY project is going to be creating a real-life version of this board for my room in my sorority house next year. I think it’s the perfect way to remind yourself of the things that make you happy.

~ follow me on Instagram @style.and.sunshine for new looks, fashion & beauty picks, and little glimpses into my life ~

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