The Unknown

I had huge dreams of going to college and ultimately “figuring my life out.” I thought that if I could just make it to college then everything would click and I would suddenly know what my future holds along with finding my purpose in life.

9 weeks into college and I am still clueless as to what I’m set on this earth to do. I spent those whole nine weeks pouting about “not having it figured out.” But isn’t that the beauty of the unknown? We don’t have to have anything figured out because that’s simply not our job. When I actually stopped and took into consideration who the master behind my entire life is, I became overwhelmed with peace and joy. God is the potter, and I am the clay. How beautifully exhilarating it is to live in complete freedom and not have to worry about what our future holds because of God’s promise.

I encourage you to do what you love. Don’t live a mediocre life just because it’s the norm. Find a hobby or passion and run with it. You don’t even have to be good at what you love. God gives us talents and strengths. Find yours and use them.

I find myself getting into ruts and I don’t think I’m the only one. It’s okay to be completely clueless as to what we’re called to do. It’s okay to go through trial and error to find what brings us joy. It’s okay to ASK God what our purpose is. We need to stop giving ourselves times in which tasks need to be completed. It’s okay to be in college with an undecided major. It’s okay to be out of school searching for a job. It’s okay to be in a job and realize it’s not what you love. God wants to use us every single day. There’s no need to put a time limit on finding our purpose. Our purpose lies at the feet of Jesus Christ. He gives us purpose every day. The rest is up to us.

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Get to know Karu Pine

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Now that you’ve waited so patiently for an explanation, Mckenzie and I are more than excited to finally tell you all about our project. First things first, let’s explain the reason behind the name.

A small fact that some of you might not know is that Kenz and I are cousins. It was only until recent years when we found out that we were more alike than we thought and became lifelong best friends. One of our similarities is to create. Whether it be filming a video, taking the perfect snapshot, dressing each other up for a photoshoot, or making random things, we found joy in creating. We had this dream of sorts to make different types of jewelry and decor and eventually have our own shop. At first the whole idea was just in the back of our minds until we had our first business meeting in a tjmaxx. I kid you not. We sat in the back of the store in the cool looking chairs to discuss our plans. Anyways, we got super excited and realized that our dream wasn’t completely far-fetched so we took it to the next level: the logo.

I know you probably thought that the last paragraph was going to explain the name but I rambled so just stick with me this time. Let’s begin with Karu. The meaning of Karu is “maker” so we found it fitting to what we were actually trying to do. The both of us are in love with pine trees so Pine was another fitting name. You could also connect that to my last name, Woods. Cause ya know. Get it? Pine trees are in the woods. *Knee slap* Like I said before, Kenz and I are cousins so we thought we would bring our grandparents into the picture. My papaw and McKenzie’s mamaw are both Plasters so that’s how our tagline “a bond with nature” came into play. We knew that we needed a way to tie the feel we’re trying to portray from our products along with how we got connected in the first place. Through the likeless of nature, and our grandparents genes, we somehow came up with this unique, hopefully fitting logo.

Once we started to create, we found a few staple items to get us started. If you’re like us and desire for everything to have a meaning, then you’ve come to the right place. All of our items have some sort of special meaning behind them so that we can all go on this crazy ride together. Our purpose isn’t to bond with nature by collecting as much green as we can (I’m talking about money if you didn’t catch that) it’s about truly bonding with all the people we interact with. 

Another thing that Kenz and I have in common is our likeness of craft vendors. Everytime we go to a festival, we get so giddy about little trinkets we find. And we can honestly say that that is one of our reasonings behind all of this. We want people to get excited with us about our products. And hopefully open their minds to connect and appreciate nature. 

We are more than excited to finally get the opportunity to show/sell our products and we hope that you all will enjoy it as well. We would also love your feedback! We want to know your stories and what inspires you as well so don’t be shy to message us on social media. Or if you’re feeling bold, share your story on your own social media and use the hashtag #karupine so we can on be on this journey together! 

Our first appearance will be June 18 at Decatur’s Downtown Summer Nights at 6 PM so come find us there!

Humans Aren’t Categories

As I was anxiously waiting to walk across the stage at my high school graduation, I got the privilege to listen to my best friend’s valedictorian speech. Megan talked about “The Importance of the Individual” and it got me thinking.

Throughout our high school careers, Megan and I had many conversations about individuality. Society has ripped every ounce of uniqueness within a person and has shoved them into a category. When we started to chit-chat about how tired we are of certain “categories” getting all the credit of our individuality, we realized that this judgment has taken place our entire lives.

I first noticed categorization when I was a little nugget in elementary school. I can’t remember many categories, but I do remember being in one. I was always seen as one of the “populars.” This category really didn’t bother me at the time because I didn’t know any better and thought it was good to be popular. And it is. But the connotation of the word is not. I started hearing kids be categorized as “the less fortunate” and “more fortunate.” And those few words have brain washed small children into thinking that those categories can’t mix. Kids started judging each other by the clothes they wore instead of their personality. 

Middle school was a whole different story. This was the time when kids started to grow and find their place in this world. Our middle school required a strict dress code and categorization was one of the main reasons for it. But that still didn’t help. Even though every kid in the school wore khaki pants, collard shirts, and closed toed shoes, we still judged each other from outward appearances. My category through this era was “preppy.” Again, this positive word has overtaken a negative connotation just because of the way it’s said. Maybe there’s another meaning, but when the word prep comes to mind I think about the girls in the “Click” books who not only have name brand things, but flaunt it around with a snooty attitude. If you knew me during this time, you know that I didn’t fit that criteria. Kids would also poke fun at the “nerds” and trash talk the “jocks.” Point being, no one really got to know the people outside of their “category” including me.

High school. Sweet high school. No I’m actually being serious this wasn’t even the worst one. The thing I loved most about my graduating class is that (for the most part) we all got along. We saw past the different beliefs, views, and opinions and became closer throughout the years. The first few years of high school I got to be me. Whoever I wanted that to be. I got to start fresh. Make new friends. Let people really get to know me. For a while the categorizing stopped until my very last year. My senior year. I truly began to “find myself.” I found hobbies that I enjoyed, and made close bonds with new people. I started to become the person that I wanted to become, but of course I couldn’t just slide through my last year of high school without getting thrown into another category.

I found a style I liked, and stuck with it. I usually wore loose-fitting, flowy clothing. I almost always had a braid or a wild headband in my hair everyday. I started to explore God’s green earth more. I fell in love with nature. I found out that I loved making adventure videos. I listened to a different type of music than most people. The banjo became my new favorite instrument. I began to go on more road trips with my friends. And take a ton of pictures. Now that I’ve explained my whole senior year in a few sentences, what category have you already placed me in? If you didn’t think of one then kudos to you! If you did, don’t worry you’re not the only one. Trust me I’ve heard them all: hippie, gypsy, nature girl, flower child, free spirit, etc. Those words are cool and all but that’s just what they are. Words. Words do not define humans. Categories do not define humans. Yea I love nature, but that doesn’t mean that I partake in drugs and lack morals and values because ultimately that’s what these words portray. There’s a lot more to me than my outward appearance and what I allow people to see on social media, but my “category” ends up getting the credit for who I am than my actually personality does. Hippies: 1 Kelsey: 0.

The reason Megan and I had these conversations was because she has just as much appreciation for nature as I do. In fact, she’s been exploring nature at a way younger age than I ever did. But why doesn’t she get thrown into that category? We came to the conclusion that she just doesn’t “look” the part. How silly to say that, but it’s true. Like I said earlier, Megan was valedictorian of our class. That would make her a nerd right? Wrong. Megan never received the nerd label and that’s because she doesn’t fit the stereotype of a nerd. The funky glasses, uneven hair, calculator in hand, suspender wearing person. People were even shocked that she was number 1 in our class because they saw her as a “dumb blonde.” So Megan gets placed into the “sporty” category because she has larger muscles than most men our age. That’s a HUGE shocker that that’s the category she’s placed in right? Wrong. She only gets placed in that category because of her physical appearance. There’s so much more to Megan that most people overlook just because they stick her into a category and leave her there. So why do we do it? Why do we constantly jump into categorizing people without getting to know their heart first? Most importantly, why do we put our own selves into certain categories? It’s okay to enjoy different things. It’s okay to talk to people who don’t have the same hobbies as you. It’s okay to give an actual human the credit for being who they are rather than giving the category all the credit. And it’s okay to have INDIVIDUALITY because after all, we are INDIVIDUALS.

My reasoning for this post is to allow you to reflect on how many categories you throw someone into a day. I do it just as much as the next person. It’s what we’ve been trained to do. Instead of making assumptions about people, get to know their heart and soul first. It might surprise you.

5 Things I Learned from a Coffee Shop

This past weekend my friend Lauren and I took a small trip to see our other hardworking, dedicated, and might I mention old, college best friends. College is a stressful time in life. Who am I kidding I haven’t been to college yet, but by the looks of Twitter, it’s pretty challenging. On our visit, we decided to mosey on down to a coffee shop to take away the stress of finals. The name of the shop was “Awaken.” That simple name got my brain juices following. Yes our brains have juices. I think. But anyways during that short time we were there, I learned many deep philosophical things. And here they are.

1. WAKE UP!!!!!                                                                        

Great! Now that you’re awake, get up and do something. Anything. Give your pet a bath. Play with your kids. Call a friend and talk to them. Go outside without your phone. Take a shower. Cook a meal. Get some exercise. Do something adventurous. My point is that life is too short. Duh. You only live once! Duh. But seriously. It’s good to have days when we can just kick back and rest, but we can’t kick back and rest every day of our lives. Our world needs us! Most importantly, we need our own selves to stay motivated and creative on days that feel like the end of the world. So if you’ve ever dreamed of doing something daring or extravagant or spontaneous, take the advice from the coffee shop and awaken yourself! YOLO!

2. IT’S OKAY TO BE HAPPY                                                  

Sometimes us humans like to hide our emotions because that’s what society tells us to do. We’re always being told that someone has it better, or what we’re doing isn’t good enough, or that we shouldn’t be happy for ourselves when we succeed because succeeding is already expected. Over time we start to listen to the world and lose the calmness that God has hand delivered to us in a pretty package. If you’re happy and you know it, don’t be afraid to clap your hands, stop your feet, and say “amen!”  

While my friends and I were sitting in this coffee shop sipping on our coffee and making our own s’mores. Yes you heard right. We had a little campfire going inside. Here’s proof.Back to the point. If you’ve ever been to a coffee shop it usually has many photo ops. For the people in the back with troubled hearing (I’ll say that instead of calling out all the old(er) people), ops means opportunities in modern-day language. So my friend Kenz and I started to scope out our set up and we found a few spots that had potential. Naturally, we started moving around the decor to use as props for the photos as you can see in the pictures below. The man who was working at the time just laughed at us the whole time. And so did everyone else that was in the shop. The thing about all the laughter is that it showed that we had something to laugh about. Something to help us forget about whatever stress we had in the back of our minds. Something that allows us to have a moment of peacefulness. And something to show us that in the midst of this messed up world, there are nice people who encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing. Like the kind people in the coffee shop. So don’t be ashamed to do something fun that you enjoy. If people stare, then good job you’re doing something right.



3. fuhgeddaboudit                                                                   

Take Donnie Brasco’s advice and just… wait for it… fuhgeddaboutit. Life tends to get busy and run away from our reach sometimes so it’s important to just forget about it every once in a while. I’m not saying to just keep pushing off your work and become a couch potato. Sometimes we just need a day to soak in everything we’re blessed with and get rid of the stress that hangs over us. A good book, a nice bubble bath, some yoga, or even a short walk should do the trick. Point being that every person on this earth, or might I say every hard-working person, deserves time off from his or her work whatever that may be. So don’t get caught up on things that aren’t pushed for time. Instead, take some time living in the moment. After all, we aren’t promised tomorrow.

4. Friends are Valuable                                                          

Do you ever find yourself saying “wow my friends are weird but I like them anyway”? Me too. But that’s what makes our friends… wait for it again… our friends. We get to bond with people who have the same hobbies and likeness as us. It’s just awesome to me that different humans with different views, morals, and attitudes can easily become a shoulder to lean on. A best friend is what most people call it. But what is a best friend you may ask? When I think about it, a best friend is someone who sees all of your flaws, but loves you anyway. Someone who always keeps you in the loop. Someone who you call or text at 3 in the morning to share a story that happened earlier that day. Someone who encourages you in all that you do. Someone that can dish your sarcasm back to you without hesitation. Someone that will tell you the truth about what outfit/ hairstyle looks best on you. It’s a person that will adventure with you whenever the time allows. Most importantly, a best friend is someone who you can sit in complete silence with and it not become awkward. That’s when you know that person is your BFF. When I was looking back at the day I had, I felt extremely blessed with the awesome friends I was surrounded by. You never know how much your friends rub off on you until years have passed and you’ve grown so much as a person. If you haven’t grown any (not physically), and you’ve instead went the opposite way down the root into the ground, then that’s probably a hint that your “friends” probably aren’t really your friends. If you caught my flower metaphor then great, but if you didn’t here’s a small visual. You begin as a little seed that can either rot and not grow at all, or grow into a beautiful sunflower (or the flower of your choice). Outside objects will try its best to knock you down, stomp on you, or just flat out eat you. But if you have strong support and get the opportunity to grow beautifully, then you’ll most likely be picked. To be someone’s best friend. Say it with me. Awwwwww. That’s the whole point of friendships. We couldn’t get through certain situations without their continuous support and patience. And overtime they help us grow for the better. So if you have that type of friendship, never take it for granted. And thank your friends right now for being awesome.

5. Coffee is Confusing                                                              

I think I can speak for everyone on the fact that coffee names are quite confusing to figure out. Of course the coffee can’t just speak to us and tell us what they are like because, like I said, they want to be confusing. Some people would compare it to a teenage girl. You can ask my friends, I literally always order what they order because they have way more knowledge than I do on what sort of coffee is needed at the moment. I have learned about a few facts that pertain to the confusing words written on a chalk board in a different language at a coffee shop though. Be prepared to be enlightened. Black coffee is just coffee that’s black- I only added this one to make my list longer. Iced coffee is just coffee with ice- this one as well. Chai has a spicy taste to it that doesn’t go well with a raw tongue. I learned that the hard way. And people get mad when “espresso” is pronounced as “expresso.” As you can tell, I’m a coffee pro. But really, if you’re stuck at the front of the line and don’t know what to get, you have 2 options. Ask the person taking your ordering their favorite drink and get that, or just simply get what your friend gets. I know by experience that 99.9% of the time neither of these 2 options will end well, so it’s best to just find out what you like before ordering.                                                                                                                       

Who knew that a simple coffee shop would contain so many life lessons. If you didn’t get anything out of these life lessons, then at least you found out a few coffee facts that you probably already knew. Shoutout to all the coffee shops out there. Keep up the good work!

 

God is the Realest

Every year a couple of seniors that are active in FCA at Meigs High go to the middle school to lead the school’s last FCA meeting of that school year. The meetings now have to be student led so a few of my classmates and I were asked to lead the meeting. Unfortunately, everyone involved with Meigs Middle School, along with our whole community, are suffering from the loss of one of their fellow peers who decided to take her life. Knowing this, we were very nervous as to what to say and what not to say. Long story short, we serve an AWESOME God who never left our sides during the whole meeting.

Coach J, my FCA huddle leader/ freshman english teacher, asked me about a month ago if I wanted to speak to the middle school FCA on May 29th. I of course said yes then started scrambling as to what I would say to them. I surfed the web for different ideas to try to get some inspiration for a devotion (that’s what my job was) but came up short. Nothing clicked. I then remembered that I forgot to do the most important thing, pray. I immediately prayed about what to talk about and a small thought came to my mind. It was something that only a handful of people knew about me. It was super personal and I liked to keep it hidden. So I told God no. There was no way that I could possibly have the courage to talk about that. So I continued to search for ideas and I got nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing came to my mind. Again, I came up short.

Two weeks later I heard about the news that a little girl in 7th grade at Meigs Middle had taken her life. As my heart dropped and my mind went blank, God spoke to me. Much clearer this time. I knew that I could relate to these kids with my own struggle so I finally took a huge leap of faith and listened to what God wanted me to say.

Here’s an overview of all the ways God used my peers and me. The meeting started off with a song sung by Ally and Ashley Clark. Alec McKenzie then spoke about high school FCA, and Kaley Meadows followed by giving a powerful testimony. Alec, Kaley, Megan Holmes, Taylor Boggess, Tristan Fischer, and Tyler Lawson acted out a hilarious but powerful skit called “The Sin Box.” The skit specifically talked about how nothing or no one can pull you out of the sins in this world besides Jesus Christ because he took our sins to the cross a long time ago! Whew!

So the time came, and it was my turn to speak. Oddly, I had a sense of peace overflowing my mind and body. And this is what God laid on my heart not only for those suffering middle schoolers to hear, but for people in my own school, community, and even the people who follow me on social media.

Everybody has at least one struggle. Maybe you have friend drama, family problems, relationship problems, or you’re scared of failing a test. Maybe your pet just died and you don’t know how to cope. Maybe you’re struggling with temptation, addiction, finding your identity in Christ, or maybe you’re struggling with anxiety and depression. No matter the situation or hardship you’re going through, you’re not alone. Here’s what God says about struggle.

“‘In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,’ says the Lord”

Okay stop there. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but that verse gave me chills. So God is telling me that the pain we go through has a purpose??? And we’re sure he really said that? Yes! It clearly states, “says the Lord” so it’s plainly written out for us. Whew! Again!

The personal struggle that I was talking about earlier came about my sophomore year. I began to have an urge of sadness following me around wherever I went. I didn’t think much of it so I just played it off because my life was great, my friends were great, school was great, and basketball was great so I told myself I didn’t have a reason to be sad.

So I let it go into my junior year. This year was a tad bit worse. I began to have breakdowns and meltdowns throughout the year. I missed out on different things that my friends invited me to. I didn’t have any feelings or emotions during my spells. Again, I pushed it off because my life was still great. I just thought I was stressed from school. I told myself that I could just be happy if I got through junior year. Summer ball would back up and senior year would be fun so I continued to hide this hovering feeling of mine.

Summer rolled around and it got worse. I slept all the time. I missed a few ball practices. I didn’t go to camps that I had already paid for. I missed the 4th of July celebration. I knew something had to be wrong. So I told a few people about my struggle. Some blamed it on me being a girl and how us girls get “emotional.” Others said that it was just a side effect of my sleep disorder that I have-which is hypersomnia. I heard “but Kelsey, your life looks perfect on the outside,” or “you always look like you’re having fun on what you post on social media though,” or my favorite, “someone always has it worse.” I listened to what they were saying and told myself the same thing. That it was normal and harmless and it was expected because of my conditions.

My senior year rolled around and fall break came. This was the roughest spell I had ever been through. I was scared. I felt hopeless and useless. The little urge of sadness became a hanging cloud that wouldn’t let me go. I sat in my room either staring at a blank wall or trying to sleep to forget about my pain. My friends tried to come over and I wouldn’t let them. I barely ate. I became overwhelmed with anxiety. And I became the worst version of myself and blamed God. So I knew I had to do something. I finally called this “thing” what it really is. Depression. Of course depression can be a side effect for many different things. It can also occur during hardships. Or even a simple imbalanced chemical in your brain. Whatever the circumstance, depression is still depression, and it’s not cool.

Before I let it overcome me I finally got the courage to tell my mom. She cried with me and comforted me during this rough time and I didn’t know why I didn’t tell her sooner. I got help and was doing great. I pushed it into my past. I found hobbies and activities that I enjoyed doing. I kept myself busy with numerous of things. But I also became selfish. I still didn’t tell anybody about my struggle because I didn’t want anyone to look at me differently. I wanted to be the happy-go-lucky Kelsey that everyone saw on social media and in my community. I didn’t use this struggle to reach out to anybody until now. Of course I regret not spreading awareness sooner, but I feel as if God was preparing me with what to say and how to approach it. When I went through those hardships I questioned God. Why me? What did I do to deserve this? I’m a good girl. I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink. I don’t mess around with boys. I don’t party. So what did I do to deserve this?

He told me that this was the reason. To talk to people who have the same problem as me. To maybe even touch someone and give them courage to come out of their shell and speak about how they overcame their struggle. Or maybe to give strength to someone who feels like there is no way out to tell someone reliable that can help them.

Before the meeting, I was nervous that my message wouldn’t touch anybody. I was scared that I would say the wrong thing or that people wouldn’t believe me. God granted me reassurance after I finished my message at the conclusion of the meeting. Ally and Ashley played a song of invitation and encouraged the students to come to us and let us pray over them. During my 3 years of going to that middle school, I vaguely remember any students coming out of the stands to ask for prayer, or even raise their hand in the air to praise our God. This is how awesome the power of God is. As soon as the music started playing a 7th grade girl came down to pray. I asked if she would share her struggle with me and with teary eyes she looked at me and said, “depression.” At that moment I knew that taking that leap of faith was worth it, and I knew that I had the ability to reach out to this young girl. We cried and we prayed and she went back to the bleachers. When I looked up, I saw that girl with her arms reached towards the sky, unashamed. She started a flame and eventually more students lifted their hands high. I looked around and saw students talking to their teachers. I saw these young middle schoolers singing their little hearts out and being unashamed about praising their God. I saw tears and hugs from friends making up. And it only got better. As the students were walking out of the gym, a boy came up to me with his friend by his side and gave me a huge bear hug. He said “thank you, I really needed that,” with tears flooding his eyes and his friend rubbing his back. All of those actions are enough to speak volumes on how real our God is. It goes to show that there truly is a purpose for your struggles. God calls us to be open and raw about our faith so I encourage you to not hold back because you never know who needs it. And if you EVER feel like your struggle is about to overcome you please tell someone. Trust me, people care about you. Especially our Lord and Savior. So bring all your burdens to Him.

“The sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be shown to us.” Romans 8:18

 

 

Prom on a Budget

I recently attended my last prom as a high schooler. I went through many trial and errors since my first prom to make sure my senior prom wasn’t a disaster. My mom was even impressed on how much money I saved preparing for prom since my brother’s prom experience was more expensive than mine. She was so impressed that she kept nagging me to make a blog post about it. So here I am. A week after prom. Sharing the easiest ways to be nice to your bank account on prom night.

As we all know, prom has sadly (or happily) come and gone for most of us high schoolers. Although the glam and the glitz allows us girls to finally have our princess fairytale, the money that comes along with being a princess (we’ll pretend that we’re actual princesses) is over-the-top. I think our parents can agree with me on this one. It actually isn’t fair how guys can just rent out a tux for the night and brush through their hair one swift time and bam they’re ready and rushing their date out the door (or if you’re like me and didn’t have a date, moms do the same thing) and us princesses need weeks of preparation. What? Weeks? Are you out of your mind? Well maybe, but if you talk to any girl who has went to prom they will agree with me. So you might be saying “okay Kelsey get to your point, I’m trying to save money here.” Well good news, hold onto your panties because your mind is about to be blown.

The first thing girls need for prom is a freshly coated set of fingernails and toenails. Most of the time, we call a few weeks or even months before prom to get a nail appointment. So yes, I lied earlier it takes longer than weeks to prep. Oops. Here is the first hack of how to get pretty nails without spending a fortune. You paint them. But Kelsey why would I paint my own nails when I could just pay 40 bucks for them to fall off eventually. Exactly. Prom is one night. Your nails will hold up for one night I promise. But Kelsey what if I want a cute design on them? Good question. Walgreens has the answer so check there for easy stick on prints to add that glitz to your nails.

The next problem that us girls encounter is HAIR. Maybe you have too much or too little or just enough. Still, the perfect up do can make or break our emotions for that night. The key is to not pick your hairstyle the day of or it will result with tears on your light-colored dress. Nobody wants an emotional break down on their prom night so save yourself the tears and the Clorox sticks and choose your hairstyle before hand. Then have whoever plans to fix it on prom night to practice a few days before to make sure you like it. But Kelsey how does that save money? That’s the easy part. Just don’t pay. It’s that easy. I’m not saying to dine and ditch with your fresh locks. I am saying that there is SOMEONE you know of that can fix your hair for you whether it being your mom, friend, or even yourself.

Now that we’ve saved a small amount of cash, we have room to splurge only to save even more cash. Makeup meltdowns happen when someone else does your makeup and you’re too afraid to tell them that you don’t like it so you wait until the moment you see your mom to cry it all off. We don’t want makeup meltdowns so here’s how you avoid them. Do your own makeup. But Kelsey I don’t know how to do winged eyeliner and I don’t know which eye shadows, lipstick, or blush will match my dress. Have no fear because Pinterest is here! Hop on the Pinterest train and search “prom makeup” and then you’ll be a pro. Once you’ve found the colors you think you want on your face, head down to your local convenient store and purchase whatever makeup you don’t have of your own. The tricky part is to by the cheapest but best quality product because, again, you’ll only need it for one night.

Now that you have your Pinterest inspired prom look, you see that the girls in the photos have all sorts of accessories. Bracelets, necklaces, head pieces, you name it. So you look at shops to find your perfect pieces only to find out that it all costs an arm and a leg. Don’t feel intimidated. There is a solution. Make it. But Kelsey I don’t get it make what? Make your own jewelry. For example, this year my friend McKenzie insisted that I have some sort of head-piece in my hair. So we surfed the web to find the perfect “Vanessa Hudgens bohemian Coachella inspired hair piece” only to find out that there was no way we would have time to order one online. So we put our brains to work and realized that we had all the supplies to make one ourselves. All you need is old necklaces and a chain clipper. We popped that hair piece out in 5 minutes tops. If you don’t have the skills or time or patience to make your own, you can always just look for a cheaper alternative at a thrift store. Trust me, no one will notice.

Now the most important part. The dress. Buying the perfect dress is torture and I think most girls can agree with me. There’s nothing better than being surrounded by beautiful girls trying to find their dresses with their moms gasping at how beautiful they look and you’re wishing your mom would’ve taken you out to lunch after the dress extravaganza instead of before so you could actually fit into the abnormally small dresses. Just kidding I could think of a lot more things better than that. However after the day is over and we have our perfect dress, the stress and bickering has finally come to an end and we realize how fun it actually was to try on dresses. Kelsey, you’re rambling again get to your point. Oh, right I almost forgot. Instead of trying on the dresses you like before looking at the price tag or noticing the price tag before hand and trying it on anyways just for funzies. Don’t. Just don’t. I know it will be hard but it will be worth it. Find cheaper alternatives instead and think of ways to fix the parts you don’t like. You will find one dress that has potential and then you’ll know what I’m talking about. If your grandmother is a sewing pro, ask her to help you. If not, take it to an alterations store. Get the dress altered the way you want it and boom you have your Cinderella-dressed-in-yella dress.

After prom, you start to head toward your eating destination that you’ve already reserved. Yes, that’s me telling you that it’s a great idea to reserve a table before hand. But you realize that the restaurant that you’re going to is super expensive. No problemo! Just order off the kid’s menu, or better yet just order the cheapest meal. Also, order water. That’s a given.

Once your tummy is nice and full, it’s time for activities. During your prom planning meeting with your friends you notice that their suggestions involve paying your other arm and leg. We don’t want that to happen so collect yourself. Stay Calm. Don’t worry. Gently tell them that you read a blog post about how to save money on prom night. That will catch their attention. There’s plenty of wholesome things to do for fun after prom without getting arrested. You could go to someone’s house that’s in your group and have a bonfire and laugh (or cry) your night away by telling stories and catching up. Or you could project a movie onto a white sheet outside. The only advice I have is to not tell your siblings about your plan to watch a scary movie. Outside. In the dark. Next to the woods. From one scaredy cat to another, just avoid telling the pranksters in your family. This next activity is for all the competitive people out there. A scavenger hunt around your town. This, too, can be found on Pinterest by simply searching “prom night scavenger hunt.” It’s that simple.

Bada bing bada boom. There we have it, folks, a nice quality, common sense list on how to save money for prom. I have no doubt in my mind that over half the girls that go to prom already do these things. For the girls that have many proms left to go to and are desperate to save a buck or two, these tips will save your lives. And here’s the finished look.

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