What’s the Roast | Vol I

Hello! Like Hannah mentioned last week, we’ve decided to rotate on Wednesdays to give you personal updates on what we’ve been doing and what we’re into from week to week. When we polled everyone using our annual reader survey [we’re keeping it open in case you still want to give input], an overwhelming amount of people asked us to do more chit-chat type posts. This is great because they are some of my favorite and ~frankly~ easiest posts to write. Catch me every other week with some updates, resources, and tips that I picked up on in the previous two weeks.

Life Lately

ICYMI, I started my final semester of my undergraduate career. I’ve managed to slip in some pretty cool electives into my schedule this semester. I never really experienced the whole “college lets you take some really cool and priceless classes” because I’ve been knee-deep in the hard sciences. Not that I don’t love those classes, but I’ve been itching to take something different and outside of my academic comfort zone.

I’m currently enrolled in an Introduction to Graphic Design course and Introduction to Web Design and Development. As y’all are all familiar with the blogger side of my life, I don’t even have to really explain why these classes are going to be so beneficial for me moving forward. Hannah and I are contemplating a rebrand moving into the post-graduation period, so it’s really freaking awesome that I’ll be able to do some of the behind the scenes legwork with the skills I’ll be learning. So pumped!

Graduate school interviews are starting up for me in the next week and I’ve been doing a lot of prepping and planning for those to make sure everything goes smoothly and that I’m ready to dazzle ‘em. I plan on doing a whole recap of this process once I finish up, but I’m excited to take some weeks to really focus on my future. I have a huge decision to make and I know that I’ll be ready to tackle it come April.

Currently Loving


My Amazon Alexa has made my life in the mornings go so much smoother. I’ve been really trying to utilize the skills and routines feature of my Echo Dot to assist in the mornings. I’d like to thank my good friend Alexa for making my transition back to 6 am wake up calls that much easier. My current routine has an alarm go off at 6:15 am followed by the weather report and the CNN Flash Briefing.

I’ll have to share an update morning routine soon because I’ve been able to mix in some delicious breakfasts {catch them on Instagram stories}, informative podcasts, and Youtube videos. My skin has been cooperating with me and that’s all thanks to my favorite First Aid Beauty products. Also, I’ve been pretty obsessed with keeping up with news stories.

Hannah got me hooked on The Morning Brief from the New York Times and I also still read emails from my OG TheSkimm. I’d highly recommend reading these tips on beating out the winter blues [and weather] that popped up in one of this week’s Morning Brief. I’ve also been listening to the Millennial podcast and have gotten some rad recommendations for ones to try out. I think I’ll be trying this one next. If you have any of the Amazon Alexa capable devices, start utilizing the app now.


Justin released another single and I loveeeeee it. Also, I’m having a major Lana moment— thanks to all the study music I need to use now that I’m back on the school grind. As always, check out my Spotify playlists for each month. I’ve also heard my work out playlist is pretty good!

I binge watched the entire sixth season of Scandal after 8+ months of avoiding it. Needless to say, I don’t want it to end. The Bachelor has been hilarious and I’m hoping to get some watch parties going for the rest of the season. Catch me on my couch, with a glass of wine and the #TheBachelor live twitter feed hot and ready.

I haven’t picked up my next book yet, but I’m probably going to buy The Big Little Lies book and go ahead and dig into that before watching the show which killed it at The Golden Globes. Can we just take a moment for the brilliance that is Oprah Winfrey? Everyone got some motivation after that incredible acceptance speech.

Health & Fitness

I cook up a mean spinach mozzarella omelet; 10/10 would recommend. I’ve also been doing pretty well with eating the food that I bought from the grocery store. The Complete Cookie that almost every health-conscious Youtuber bakes is actually super tasty and the perfect cheat day dessert. I tried the Snickerdoodle and the Chocolate Chip cookie is next on my list.

Zumba is still my favorite form of cardio. I’m contemplating training for the Tar Heel Ten Miler in April so updates on whether or not I make myself into a runner in the next 4 months. I also recently balled out in the Old Navy active section and highly recommend this pullover and these leggings.

Style & Beauty

I’m seriously considering buying another color of these Steve Madden platform sneakers that I got for Christmas. So dang comfy and easily takes a V-neck tee and jeans to the next level. Y’all also know that Old Navy jeans are my new favorite thing and I wear them with leggings to class and that’s MAJOR.

On the beauty side of these things, I’ve recently gotten so many questions on my foundation. The only two face products you need are: Maybelline Fit Me Liquid Foundation and the MAC Studio Fix powder foundation. These two products are the wonder twins and correct my skin discoloration perfectly.

From My Lens

I’ve been trying to snap more pictures of my food after being inspired by health-conscious Youtubers: Remi and Liv. I haven’t done any shoots just yet, but I reworked my photography website and I’m gearing up for graduation season. I may even invest in some senior models, but I’ll worry about that later. Over break, I did get some great photos of Hannah. You can see them in real time on our Instagram @theswirlblog and my photography Instagram @gabbywhiten.

I haven’t felt super connected to my personal account. I don’t know if I want to use it exclusively to show my portrait work or to just be an avenue for people to see content similar to our blog account just from my perspective.I’m also hoping to reach out to some local creatives for some fun sessions and coffee dates. I love talking with people who just understand.


That’s what’s been going on and what I’ve been loving. Oh and our series titles are definitely supposed to be coffee centered. I figured I’d share a fun coffee pic from my camera roll each week and shout out my favorite coffee shops. This one is from my favorite coffee shops in Norfolk called Cure. Much thanks to Hoang-Kim for introducing Hannah and me to this cute little shop with the best Lavender Mocha Lattes in town.

keep on keepin’ on,