TCA x Tobi: June Gloom

Hello everyone! It's been quite a long six months since I've been able to post on here. So much has changed since January that I don't even know where to begin. I'm transferring to San Diego State in the fall, I turn 21 TOMORROW, and I've been working like crazy. My life is finally at a point where everything has finally fallen into place.

June Gloom has hit San Diego hard and this has forced me to rethink my entire summer wardrobe for this month and I was able to do that with ease thanks to Tobi!

You guys have heard me rave about this brand for the longest time. They have reasonable prices, great quality, and the best deals I have ever seen. They do 30% off of new arrivals and have 50% off sitewide almost all of the time! They also offer free shipping and free returns which is impressive especially for an online-only retailer. It's made it possible for me to dress cute with a budget. Below are some pieces that I put together to get through the gloomy June month.




This ensemble is my favorite from all of the looks so I decided to show it first! I took my Tobi "Take It Back Cross-Front" bodysuit and layered an LA Hearts cardigan. Below I have my favorite piece I've purchased in a while: my Zara Denim embroidered jeans. For shoes, I went simple with some Billabong sandals.




I made this look with the San Diego Fair in mind. It's super comfortable and the white Vans sneakers are perfect for walking around during those Summer days. On top is the Tobi "Madison Lace-Up Crop Top" which is such an adorable piece I get to add to my wardrobe. Lastly is the Zara Denim shorts that are SO comfortable, by the way.


For my third look, I thought this would be perfect for brunch or going to a bonfire or beach party. I have on top the Tobi "Sugarland Crochet Halter Top" which has the most gorgeous detail I've ever seen. I paired it with my Ingna kimono I got from Japan (future post *wink*) and then my Zara Denim high waisted shorts. For shoes, I went with my Marc Fisher Lace Up Sandals.



My final look is more of a formal one. I took the Tobi "Otherwise Engaged Mesh Shift Dress" and my Soda Lace Up Sandals. I also have my favorite Quay x Desi Perkins Aviators to tie it all together. This is a perfect dress for graduation or anything that's semi-formal!

For makeup, I used ColourPop for all of my looks.

I hope you guys enjoyed these looks and make sure to go to Tobi.com to get literally the BEST deals on the cutest clothes.



FTC: This post is sponsored by Tobi. All Tobi items listed in this post were sent for free, I was not paid to make this post.

2016 Reflections

2016 forced me to do a lot of soul-searching. It was a challenging year for everyone, but it also made me grow up a little bit. The transition from teenager to adult was hard, things became darker and more complicated, instead of the usual simplicity that correlated with the teenage lifestyle. Because so many bad things happened this year it made it almost impossible to acknowledge the good.

My fall semester was the toughest trial I had to go to. While it was hard and I had a few emotional breakdowns and existential crises, it was a time for many firsts. I began to get to know my teachers and form a relationship to better myself, I actually managed my time efficiently between school, work, and down time, and I entered the application process to transfer, which was intimidating at first. In the middle of this semester, I wondered if all of this was worth it, my thoughts then validated when I saw my 4.0 GPA pop up on the computer screen. I finally made it to the end of the beginning, and my hard work is what made this possible.

For me, this year consisted of loss. I no longer consider some people as friends, I've burned some bridges, and I had to deal with the passing of my cat of 12 years. None of this was easy, in fact, I wondered if my life would ever get better. I sometimes joke that I peaked back in 2014, I had a lot of friends, my family life was pristine, and I was graduating high school. I truly believed that 2014 was my last year of happiness.

Fast forward to 2016, my 20th birthday was also my first day at summer school, my friend group has shrunk dramatically, and I barely keep in touch with my high school friends. I became so stressed that it began to affect my physical health. My social life was declining and I felt more alone than I ever have.

Yet around a month ago I finally asked myself, "So what?". I truly wanted to finally be honest and real with myself and decided "F**k it". That's when I wanted to find the true value of life: love, happiness, and success. These three things have different meanings depending on each person, but for me, I just wanted to be happy, a feeling that I haven't felt in years.

With all these tough times, I had to reflect on the moments that did bring me joy, even for a brief moment. The staff at my work has become my second family, I worked with CollegeFashionista -- my dream internship, my best friend and I are now closer than ever, and now I'm even up for a promotion.

I want to use 2017 for improvement. I want to be healthier, inside and out. I want to go outside more love more. This is going to be the year of changes; I'll be turning 21, going off to university and putting myself in an entirely different environment-- something I haven't done in my 20 years of life. But most important of all, I need to get off of social media, not entirely, but enough so that the negativity the comes with it doesn't brood on me. I'm not doing resolutions, the pressure gives me anxiety, these are simply lifestyles changes. I want to live gracefully.

What the changes you want to make? And what do love, happiness, and success mean for you?

xx

I Have Accepted Trump as my President-Elect


I have had this blog post in my head constantly during the past few days, and it took time for me to piece it together so I won't offend anyone. I am not a Trump supporter, but I have accepted his presidency.

So before you start screaming at me in the comments or threaten me with harsh rhetoric, here's a little background about my political views:

I am a registered Independent, socially liberal, and economically conservative. I am not racist, sexist or homophobic in any way. I am an Asian-American female student. My first choice for office was Sen. Bernie Sanders. While I originally did not want to cast my vote this general election, I was truly afraid of what a Trump administration could do to this country. Therefore, I cast my vote, reluctantly, to Hillary Clinton.

In my mind, having a female president clouded my mind to the point that her flaws were indistinguishable. I never truly realized how dangerous it was to utilize a private email server during her time as SOS or act poorly with Benghazi. The fact that she was female going against a man who cringes to the idea of a woman taking the White House, made me make the decision to vote for her. While I admit she made many mistakes in her past, I believe Hillary Clinton, still, would make a great Madam President. Her qualifications speak for themselves and her passion for this country is fierce and unique.

Several days have passed and the reality of Hillary Clinton as president is no more. Donald Trump won fair and square, and I think a lot of people are having a hard time processing that.

When I found out, I wept. My dad had to hold me and calm me down because I was so fearful of my rights getting ripped away. I concluded that he would never by MY president before I even gave him a chance.

Throughout his campaign, he erected a national movement dedicated to political incorrectness and "making America great again". While some of us don't believe America isn't great, there's a large number of citizens who beg to differ. He's offended multiple minorities, proposed a ban on Muslims, and was determined to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. These proposals are close to impossible, and yet he ignited a fire within his supporters that could never be put out.

He started a movement, which makes him stand out among other candidates. Now that he is the president-elect, those radical statements he made in the past have suddenly died down. Three days later, and I have not seen a horrid tweet or demeaning action. He needed to win this election to realize that the President of the United States can't just say those things.

While he has said the most radical things in a presidential campaign, those things have led him to the presidency. I need you liberals, NeverTrump-ers, and social justice warriors to see this in a bigger picture.

First, Trump is now President-elect and there's no going back. I appreciate peaceful protests as much as the next guy, but when protests turn to riots (e.g Portland), I can no longer support that. Protesting this issue with violence conflicts with your views on peace in America. If someone disagrees with you, you don't beat them in the streets (this applies to Trump supporters and protesters), you learn to understand. If you haven't been kept up to date on the following days after the election, here's a little roundup:

Obama has said that his meeting with the president-elect went "extremely well" and wants him to "succeed because then the country succeeds". Trump has also said that Obama was a "great man" and is "hopeful with working with him" (c).

While repealing Obamacare was one of the main actions he planned to take in his first 100 days, he is now backing off of that plan. After his meeting with President Obama, he has decided to keep certain parts of the Affordable Care Act and simply find a solution to lower prices (c).

He wants to bar elected officials from lobbying for at least five years after they've served, and ban it permanently if they are lobbying for formal governments, leading to more merit-based elections and laws (c).

Withdrawing from TPP, an agreement that could destroy the working class and our freedom of expression (c).

Strengthen our immigration laws. Whether you agree or not, it is simply not okay for immigrants to illegally enter the country. They are breaking the law. I, however, do agree we should also make legal status more attainable for those who contribute (c).

Praised protestors for exercising their first Amendment right to free speech (c).

While I don't expect everyone to suddenly support this man, I do urge you to see this situation from a different perspective. He wants to prove to ALL Americans that he is the right man for this job.

Another thing to consider: Trump is not president yet, so is it fair for us to already judge him as the Commander in Chief? He hasn't even been sworn in and people are already expecting the worst. I sincerely hope he proves all of us wrong.

If you can't get behind this, rise above it. Don't let this election hinder you from succeeding. Mental toughness is key when dealing with hardship. Life will consistently throw you major curveballs like this because life is not fair and will not feel sorry for you.

To the radical Trump supporters: stop the assault on minorities, Donald Trump does not condone these actions and you are going against the very man you support not to mention basic human rights. Don't stand by, get involved. The only people you should be afraid of is each other. Nothing can change overnight. Do not judge based on what god they worship or what their skin color is.

To the peaceful protestors: I commend you. Make your voice be heard, that's what makes our country so great. I urge you to rise from the ashes and prove that even Donald Trump can't silence you. Love. It's what we need most right now.

Politics: Why College Students MUST be Interested


Hi, guys!!

How has everyone's summer been?!

Mine has consisted of school, internship, applying, and dying of heat. Basically, it's just your average San Diegan college kid summer, nothing special.

Now to the good stuff. I am writing about quite a controversial topic today: politics.

Ah yes, politics, the usual argument arising from places like your family dinner table to the snarky posts on Facebook from that one person you went to high school with five years ago. All-in-all, it's best to take caution to discuss politics with anyone you know.

But I'm not here to get in the nooks and crannies of policy, I am here today to tell you that if you don't care about politics as a student, then you should.

The reason why I am limiting my audience today to college students is because, cliche or not, we are the next generation and the people in office will be the people who dictate what policies will or will not be in action when we enter the job force, need homes, and have children.

Fortunately, there is no time better than now to become interested. It's safe to say that the current presidential election is the most controversial to date; people's true colors are showing, including mine.

Now look, if you are in your late teens or early to mid-twenties, you NEED to be into politics and current events. I'm not say you should make it your top priority, but don't you think that the events happening now that will eventually be put in history books deserve to be known?

If you have no idea what's going on right now, research and know your stuff. Employers and older colleagues will take you more seriously. If you really think about it, the current political events happening now will be shaping all of our futures regardless of age. We're all technically adults now so unfortunately, the time has come to be interested in adult things!

I'll tell you how you can get started:

First, you should be reading/watching more than one news source. On one side you have Fox News, who is notorious for their right-winged rhetoric, and then you have CNN, which is mostly left and there is a bunch of people yelling at each other. Right: conservative Left: liberal.

Second, find out what party you belong to, or if you belong to one at all. I personally don't identify myself with a specific party because I have views that are very scattered. Use this link to take a quiz and they will put you in a party, kind of like the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter!

Also, know who your local senators and representatives are. You may not think that they will ever respond, but I actually have gotten prompt responses, whether it be from a secretary or not.

If you come across someone you disagree with, please don't be that person and fight with them about the issues. It comes off as immature and that person will probably lose respect for you. If you do have opposing views, discuss them in a professional and respectful manner. Who knows? You might even learn something from it.

Make sure you watch the news, MULTIPLE sources every day. America is moving fast so missing out on one day can make a huge difference. Also, no offense, but BuzzFeed is not a news source. Try New York Times or CNN.

Each news source is going to have some type of bias because they're human just like us, so getting multiple sources is going to give you a more well-rounded view on things. I could honestly never be a conservative, but I still find their opinions and views valuable and I understand them.

I recommend you take it slow, make sure you're getting well-rounded information, and you become passionate about today's events!

Our generation is living through the history our children are going to learn in school, so make sure you're involved!

Love you, guys x

Negative Stigma: Community College


Hey guys!

I'm back with another college related post it has been on my mind a lot lately. This summer has been very hectic with an internship, college applications, and a very grueling summer class. It seems like nowadays those are the only things that matter to me now. These thoughts are definitely due for another post coming soon.

But today, I wanna talk to you guys about community college.

Coming from a somewhat elitist* high school, most of my former friends have moved on to university, while I'm still stuck in San Diego commuting to a CC that's 25 minutes away. Out of my group of friends, I was only one of very few people that ended up going to community college while the others left.

This can take a toll on your mind, and especially on your self-esteem.

I feel lucky that I went to community college when I did because I think that was when it was becoming a more accepted situation. I remember being in middle school and thinking that going to community college was the equivalent of impending doom and it was just because you're stupid, but that's not exactly the case.

For my case, it was. I was a horrible high school student as I have said before, and I didn't really have a choice for school; my grades weren't even eligible to apply. I'm not saying I'm stupid, my grades now can vouch for that, but school just wasn't a priority like it was for most.

What some need to realize is that going to CC if due to many reasons. It could be finances, transferring, or some people just aren't ready. So I think it's time that we put that stigma that community college is for "idiots" to rest. When I told people that I was going to CC, I can't tell you how many times people said, "Good for you!" when I could literally see the judgement through their fake-ass smile. Here's some of the advantages:
cc: mycareerfocus.org

Honestly, if you're going to judge me for it, at least be honest and tell me, at least some did.

My best advice I could give to someone who is just like me two years ago: don't listen. Believe me, karma will bite them in the ass sooner or later. When you transfer to that awesome school, or land a bomb career, you won't even have to worry about those negative people ever again.

Many of America's greatest people went to CC: Walt Disney, Eileen Collins, Tom Hanks, etc. So why is it that in this modern society, community college is still frowned upon?

Now while you scroll through your Facebook and see those sorority photos and frat parties, remember that you have goal, and whatever that is, it will bring great things.

Going to community college was the best decision of my life, with a solid GPA, I can pretty much transfer to most schools with ease. There's always a struggle before the finish line; staying home with my parents is not my most desired situation, but it is what it is.

I have realized that I've become a much more independent person with my studies and I think that is really going to prepare me for the real world. It's going to only get harder, and I can't wait for what life is going to throw at me.

As always, I love you guys and I hope you enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Stay beautiful .x

How I Went from a 2.0 to a 3.7 GPA in College


HEY GUYS!

How is everyone?! 

A little catch up, I'm close to being halfway through my internship as a Style Guru at CollegeFashionista and I'm having so much fun. I have met so many great people and I just feel SO blessed to do what I love: writing and fashion.

I have also taken up an accounting class over the summer and oh my god it's so stressful, you guys. Doing 12 hours of numbers and balance sheets every week can really take a toll, but it's gotta be done! Other than that, I have quit my retail job because I also need to apply to transfer to university (*sigh*) but I'll most likely return in the fall.

Now that we're all caught up, I think it's time I finally get to the actual point of the post.

Grade. Point. Average.

I always thought how scary it was how one little number literally affects your future, that number is your GPA.

So a little backdrop: I used to HATE school. I know a lot of people say this, but I actually despised it with my entire being. I was that student that just sat on their phone in class and wanted to talk to their friends instead. School, for me, was a social thing with the option of being studious.

I was so bad at school that I wasn't even eligible to apply for college (pathetic, I know) and I saw all of my friends getting accepted left and right. It didn't feel too great. I found myself living at home, going to community college.

So now I'm in college finally (community college), and I thought that I was ready to become an adult and actually make an effort. 

BOY, was I wrong. I finished my first semester with a...1.92 GPA. I'm serious. Didn't think it could go that low? Neither did I. I got an F in remedial math, a C in humanities, an A in remedial english, and a B in chemistry. I was so disappointed because I finally thought I could prove I was ready to succeed but once again I failed.

Fast forward two and a half years, and I now have a 3.65 GPA unweighted, three partial scholarships, one acceptance, and 4 grants. I really wish I could admit that it was a unique comeback story, but it's as cliche as you can get. I'm pretty sure the majority of my audience is in college so I really hope this is relatable.

Now for the solution: How did I raise my GPA so drastically?

My simple answer: I worked my ass off.

But, you're not here for a single sentence solution, you need to know the specifics of how to become a successful student. Duh.

Before I go all TEDtalk on you, please know that I am in no way, shape or form saying this will have the same effect it did on me, but I truly believe it will help.*

1. Determine your long-term goal with three subgoals.

We're all in school for the same reason, to get a good job and a good life. However, you need to pinpoint a specific goal that will fuel your motivation to succeed, in whatever way success means to YOU. Here's mine: 

Long-Term Goal: Get a job in the business-fashion industry. 
                             Subgoal: Transfer to a great university. 
                             Subgoal: Graduate with business degree.
                             Subgoal: Move to the East Coast (NY).

Having these goals will act as your conscience to continue to succeed in college. Shoot for the stars! Don't ever settle.

2.  Manage your time/prioritize.

Probably the most important step, managing your time is crucial to college success because if you can master the art of time management, you're pretty much unstoppable. Do whatever it takes, get a good planner, a time cube, set alarms on your phone for tasks, etc. Be realistic, too. Don't just schedule two hours of studying and then go straight into an hour at the gym. You aren't a robot; plan some time to relax for a bit, even if it's just ten minutes. If you can't afford a planner or it's not your thing, here are some free printables that I swear by!

3. Don't cram.

OMG I can't emphasize this enough, cramming is honestly the equivalent of taking the road down to hell. Cramming = Failure. If you have a test coming up, study for it twenty minutes daily two weeks prior to exam day. I have crammed until 6 AM before and imminently failed the test. I began the gradual process of understanding the information, DON'T memorize.

4. Wake Early, Sleep Early.

Sorry for all you night owls out there, but many studies have shown that the most optimal time to study is between 8 to 10 AM. I'm not staying it's wrong to study at night, because I do it all the time. BUT, our brain is most alert in the early morning so if you are stressing on test day, wake up a bit earlier to knock out some terms. If you're interested in optimal studying, I suggest you go to bed at 11 PM and wake at 7 AM. You feel so much better health-wise and you get more of the day to do things! Waking up early will also get you ready for that 9-to-5 job.

5. Maintain a Balance.

My last step is more about wellness, but it has made me a more successful student so I'll share it. Don't ever close off your other activities for school. If you want a part-time job, get a job. Same goes for going out. If it's a Friday night and your friends want to go out, say yes. Want to travel? Go travel. It doesn't have to be workworkwork all the time, no matter what Rihanna says (lol). Last summer I was an idiot and closed everything off except for school and I went into the darkest depression. Pick two days a week to just do whatever you want. I hang out with friends, write, work out, SHOP, and pamper myself. Don't ever let one thing dictate your entire life, that is the recipe for failure.

These are just a few of the steps I took but honestly I could write a book on college success and this post is already pretty lengthy. A small tip: if your school offers personal growth as a class, TAKE IT. Even if you have good grades it is the most enlightening class and I recommend it. I have learned so many life lessons from it and it counts as a General Ed spot! Win-win.

Also look at my productivity board on Pinterest for more tips. :*

You can also always email me at rachelhlewis1@gmail.com or message me on tumblr or instagram for specific help!

I hope to be more active in the summer time and I think this is a great start!

Love you .x
*This process in no way guarantees equal results. Everyone is different, take these tips and calibrate them to fit your personal schedule.

OMG: I Gained Weight


WOOOOOOOOW.

Has it been a while or what?! Two months and ten days to be exact.

I think its safe to say this semester totally kicked my ass this time around, and I'm so grateful its finally over.

Like you probably know, I'm one of the millions of struggling college students and this has led me to take a pause with blogging. Seriously, I can't remember the last time I used any social media and actually posted content.

I've always heard the saying "go big or go home" and that's what I really want to do with this blog. With the summer ahead I think I could possibly do a shrivel of that but I will be on more frequently!

I'm also going to be applying for university so please wish me luck!

Now that the formalities are out of the way. OH MY GOD I GAINED FIVE POUNDS.

Most people would be ashamed of this fact but honestly, this is life and it happens to everyone. Each and every day of this semester I mostly spent slaving inside so it's no surprise that the sitting has led to weight gain. I also noticed I have been eating a lot more. WHERE ARE YOU, SELF CONTROL?!

So now I'm really going to try, five pounds may not seem like a lot but as someone who's weight has been pretty stagnant their whole life, it's a pretty big deal. I don't want to seem conceited either, but I had a pretty good body thanks to genetics. Also, it's f****** summer, so now my body chooses to look like a whale at the same time I have to wear less clothing?

Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I have been researching ways to get that badass summer bod as soon as possible. And I hate to say it, but working out and eating right is the only way to go.

I'm not worried so much about the working out part because I have a free gym and more time. But the eating part? Oh, god. What will I do without my ramen and burgers and anything good? I couldn't tell you, but something needs to change.

I'll be re-calibrating how much I eat and what I eat, because both of those are the sole reason I've blown up.

Of course in a perfect world I would get a Gigi body within a month, but life just isn't fair.

So I'll most likely be recording my progress every week or so,  sharing my meals and workouts! Shoutout to me for starting work on my summer body two weeks before June. Woo.

See you next week :) x

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