Madeline & Company


photos by Bill Payne 

Back to school season just got even better! When I met Madeline, I was so inspired her kindness, creativity, and passion. She wanted to design a backpack with equal parts style and functionality, and she did just that. It has plenty of room and a square base so the bag always stays upright. How smart is that? And because it's so spacious, it will be great for weekend trips home too! I went straight for the navy with blue and gold since it matches UCLA's colors, but there are so many other cute color combos too! What I love most is how each backpack has a unique quote. I have a feeling that I will really appreciate the reminder that "nothing is impossible"... especially during midterms and finals! 

I've raved about the bags, and now I have to rave about the girl behind the brand! How amazing that she spent the summer before her senior year bringing her passions to life and starting her own business? Keep Madeline on your radar, because this girl is going places. She even plans on launching a  clothing and gift line this winter! 

Be sure to check out Madeline & Company and use the code "practicallyimperfect" for free shipping!  


Brooklyn Blues


top//jeans//kimono (similar)//flats//earrings//bangle//necklace (similar

Today I'm sharing another fun set of photos from my shoot with Kevin Kim! Every time I have been to New York, I've mostly just stayed in Manhattan and the more touristy areas. This past trip, however, we ventured into different boroughs, and Brooklyn may have been my favorite. I've never been anywhere with so much charm and authenticity! This pier in front of the Manhattan Bridge was so gorgeous. There was a little park and the most adorable carousel next to the pier too! My outfit ended up being absolutely perfect for the day. One minute it was sunny, and the next it was storming. A kimono kept me mostly dry, but was light enough to keep the heat and humidity from being too unbearable. Although the weather was a bit unpredictable, it made for great photos! I owe a huge thanks to Kevin for capturing the day so beautifully. Want to see more of Kevin's work? Give him a follow on Instagram! 


Stripes in Paris


photos by Kevin Kim

I've been really missing Paris lately. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'd move to this magical city in a heartbeat! I think I wore some version of this outfit basically every day during my trip this past June. There is something so classic about a striped top, ballet flats, and simple gold jewelry!

A bit of backstory behind these photos... Shannon, my mom, and I had just come down from the top of the Arc de Triomphe and were standing in front watching the sunset. I randomly met Kevin Kim when he came up to us, said he was a photographer from New York, and asked to take a few photos of me for his street style series. With my mom making sure he wasn't going to pickpocket me (haha), I agreed and we took a few photos. After we went our separate ways, I looked him up to make sure he was a legit photographer and discovered how insanely talented he is! We emailed back and forth, and decided to shoot together again when I was visiting NYC. It was so much fun and I cannot wait to share more of Kevin's photos in the upcoming weeks! It's incredible how our random, chance meeting in Paris sparked a great friendship!


College Application Tips


Welcome August and welcome college application season! After completing eleven applications last year, I had practically memorized the Common App website and definitely picked up useful tips for the application process. With most college applications now released, I thought I would share a few tips that would have been so helpful to know at this time last year!

Find Your Passions 
College applications are about capturing what you, as a student and a person, are all about. In addition to staying focused academically, hone in on a few passions instead of a multitude of interests. It is much more impressive to see that you've taken on leadership roles, spearheaded projects, and essentially made a difference in a couple areas. Don't try to fake it or get involved in a billion extracurriculars just to look good on the application. Do things in life/school that genuinely interest you and I guarantee it will translate well on your college application.

Plan Ahead 
Brainstorm personal statement topics and make time to free write when you feel inspired. Tour many different types of schools and decide where you could actually see yourself going. Ask for recommendation letters from your teachers, bosses, and other mentors months in advance so that your letter is the first they write and isn't generic. Keep your resume updated so that you can easily transfer all of your activities to your application. And lastly, as boring and time consuming as it can be, actually study for standardized testing! I was able to bring my SAT score up by 200 points thanks to those lovely little practice tests! 

Be Aware of Deadlines 
On the left side bar of the Common App website, I sorted the schools I was applying to in order of their due dates. That was great for quickly referencing, but I also had a much more detailed list of deadlines physically written out on in my day planner. I highlighted things as I completed them. This includes deadlines for submitting test scores, transcripts, and any additional information a college may have asked for. 

Have three people you trust proofread your application. If you have many more review your application, critiques and notes can become a bit overwhelming. Before you submit, proofread one more time by reading every section of your application word-for-word out loud and slowly. Trust me; I picked up two mistakes (a digit wrong in my phone number and a word missing in my essay) by doing this. Make it a personal goal to submit your application one week before it's actually due. That way if you forget to do something or make a mistake, you will still have time. 

Have Faith  
I don't think I'll ever forget when I hit the "submit" button on my first college application! I'm not going to lie, it's stressful to let go of something you've worked so hard on and give up that control. Celebrate your marathon of applications with a cupcake, have faith, and trust in what's meant to be. If you put in the work, you will end up where you're supposed to be! I applied to eleven schools and was accepted to ten. Everyone has a unique experience with college admissions, but for me, each acceptance letter felt like the biggest affirmation that the time, energy, and countless essay drafts had been worth it! To those beginning this crazy, busy, exciting journey, I wish you the best of luck! The college admissions process is like nothing else, and it marks the beginning of such an exciting chapter of life!