2013 - Prep Essentials





College & Post-Grad

College & Post-Grad
College & Post-Grad

100th Post Milestone

I can't believe that this is already here, but today is officially...

Hooray!! Part of me can't believe that it has already been 100 posts...I feel like I just started my little ol' blog a minute ago, and part of me feels like I have spent so many countless hours tapping, deleting, resizing, adjusting, tweaking, and OCD-ing my poor little blog to pieces that I must be at my one millionth post by now, right?!

The weirdest part is that I swear I didn't plan it to be this way, but my 100th post falls on New Years Eve - no really, I didn't plan it! I realized it last week when I looked at my posts and saw that I had 97 published and couldn't believe it! 

If that's not a spooky instance of fate I'm not sure what is!

I never really knew what to expect when I started this blog - more than anything I was feeling incredibly lost and in desperate need of a project or distraction to help me gather my thoughts and at least give off the illusion that I had it all (somewhat) together. Piece by piece and post by post, this blog  has helped me put myself back together and find my way back to whatever path I had been unceremoniously knocked off of somewhere in the midst of the trials and tribulations that were my sophomore year of college.

I'm still not sure exactly where this blog will lead me, but for now I am most definitely enjoying the ride.

Happy Milestone Day, Prep Essentials!
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Playing with Baby Tigers

I have no idea why it has taken me so long to write this post...but you will never believe what I did over Thanksgiving Break! (Alright fine, my title kinda gives it away, but try not to steal my thunder).

Go ahead and bump that to the top of my 'Things I'm Thankful For' list...

It was totally random and unexpected and WAY too much fun! My best friend Layne had a friend from school tell her about this random little place in Indiana that had baby tigers you could pay $20.00 to play with for an hour...Helloooo money well spent!

They were so small and adorable, and the cute little purring noise they make will have you absolutely melting. (Apparently their purring is called "chuffing" - youtube it and you'll see exactly what I mean!) They are literally just like fluffy big kitties - not aggressive at all. They just crawl all over you and play with each other. One of them even nibbled on my bracelet through my sweater for about 20 minutes! Needless to say I was officially in heaven, and definitely annoyed every single person I am friends with on snapchat and Instagram that morning.

Naturally we took approximately 5000 pictures and even a few videos...but here are just a select few of my favorite ones!

My best friends Lyle and Layne making some new friends!
This little guy wouldn't stop nibbling on my bracelet/sleeve, but I got him to stop long enough for a selfie!
And of course we couldn't leave without getting the world's greatest Christmas Card!

So Happy Holidays from us and our new tiger friends! Hope yours have been wonderful!


New Year, New Look

Pardon the dust for the next few weeks while Prep Essentials gets a little bit of a new-year makeover to kick off 2014! You may have noticed the new logo at the top...
*and I only pulled out a few clumps of my hair while making it*

So if you see random glitches or cosmetic problems please forgive my poor little blog as I attempt to navigate the blogging world with my minimal knowledge!


Give More Than You Receive

Many bloggers are probably excitedly posting about all of their beautiful and exciting Christmas gifts they received, and believe me I was more blessed than I could have ever imagined! But instead of telling all of you about my exciting new belongings (which I am sure you will see popping up eventually in my OOTD posts) I am going to tell you about my favorite gifts that I gave this year. 

I genuinely believe there is nothing more exciting than finding the absolute perfect gift for someone, just to get that brief moment of gratitude from them where they know that you pay attention to detail and cherish them enough to find something that they can be truly excited about. 

One of my favorite pieces of advice I have ever gotten was to always give more than you receive. My wiser-than-ever grandmother told me this, and if I could choose one person in the entire world to still have in my life as an inspiration and mentor through my 20s, it would be her in a heartbeat. 

If you give more than you receive, you will be receiving more than you ever could have anticipated, and in a much better form. 

So here were my favorite gifts to give this Christmas season!

Recycled Wine Bottle Tray // Tortoise and Gold Chain Link Necklace

My stepmom absolutely loves these fragrance diffusors from Williams-Sonoma, and I guiltily admit its become a bit of a staple item amongst my gifts for her, but only because I know they run out easily and that she loves them so much! 
For my stepbrother, I went with Cards Against Humanity. This game is way too raunchy and way too much fun to not have in your cabinet at home. Think Apples to Apples, except all of the cards were written by Samantha from Sex and the City. 
For my darling Little, I got us matching initial pendants from BaubleBar - it was their buried bauble during Cyber Monday and I just couldn't resist! (And yes, this one was also a gift to myself because we got matching ones, but that is only because neither of us buys anything with a monogram or initial without getting the other one to match!)
For my other stepbrother and my sister-in-law, who just purchased their very first home (the world's cutest home outside of Chicago, might I add!) I got them this recycled wine bottle serving tray as a little housewarming/Christmas gift!
And lastly, for my close friends from school, I found an amazing tortoise and gold chain link statement necklace at this incredible jewelry store in Naples, FL called Best of Everything (which explains why there is no link to this necklace!) I love that store - it has amazing jewelry and accessories for super low prices. I probably get half of my jewelry there every year when I come down here for Christmas!

By far my favorite thing I got for Christmas this year was the satisfaction of knowing that I was able to spend time with my family and show the people I love how important they are to me.

"Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!"
-The Grinch

What were your favorite things to give this year?


'Misunderstood' Christmas Ad

Oh, I just can't resist sharing this video. I keep seeing this commercial as I am snuggled on the couch at my family's home in Naples, FL for the holidays, and it has to be my favorite commercial for anything I have seen in years.

Something about the way Apple takes such a relatable topic and turns it into something heartwarming that manages to capture every single essence of the meaning of the holiday season just gives me goosebumps. Definitely worth watching!

Excuse me, I seem to have something in my eye...*tear*

Props to you, Apple. For a technology company, I think it's great that they spin a modern negative connotation associated with teenagers and family togetherness caused by tech products like iPhones and turn it into something positive and heartfelt.


A Christmas Dilemma

Oh, I fear this post will be the world's biggest "first-world-problems" post but I need some help from my fabulous followers! My family did part of our Christmas a little bit early this year because my brothers have to split their holiday time between a few different places, and I got the most amazing gifts from my parents!! 

Unfortunately, one of these gifts comes with a catch: I have to choose one, and return the other one to the store! (A truly cruel fate in the eyes of someone who worships Kate Spade the way I do...)
This way I could choose which item I wanted more, since my parents are brilliant and didn't even ask for a Christmas list this year - they are so good at finding stuff I will love!

So now I need help choosing between:
A gorgeous emerald green cross-body bag, or a matching envelope wallet!

SERIOUS apologies for the horrendous quality of these pictures...I took them on my phone just to show my Little when I was asking her advice, and never ended up taking better ones! (I was hoping to be lazy and find pictures online but according to Google and about 2 hours of searching, these items never actually existed...eep!)

Wallet vs. Cross-body

Here are the interiors as well!

                                            Wallet Interior                      Cross-Body Interior

What is a very lucky girl to do?! I have a remarkable gift for losing wallets this semester, which makes me want to lean away from such a beloved item because I would be devastated if I lost this one...yet it also makes me want it since I currently find myself (yet again!) without a wallet!

And the cross-body is just such a fabulous color, and being in college I use a cross-body every single time I walk out the door, especially when I am going out to dinner or uptown to the bars! I feel like I might get the most use out of that one! 

Ahhh! Please help the world's most indecisive girl out and comment with your opinion! 
I hope all of your Christmases are as blessed as mine!


Measures of Happiness

I often draw inspiration from the most startling and unexpected areas, whether its a thoughtful advertisement while perusing boutiques in Naples, a striking quote in a book or magazine, or through one of the countless hours I spend browsing Pinterest looking for something I can relate to. Inspiration can strike at any moment - I like to think that knowing this has forced me to keep my eyes, and heart, a little more open since I have started this blog.

Recently, while spending a much-needed relaxing evening with my parents in Naples, Florida sitting out on our porch cuddled up with some wine and the latest issue of Cosmopolitan, I came across a quote that really resonated with me. 

"Measure your success by how much fun you're having"
(God knows I'm having way too much fun anytime I'm with my little, Courtney, like at our America-themed semiformal in this picture!)

I like to think that if I have absolutely nothing else in this world, I'm having fun. It might seem trivial or immature to prioritize fun as the single-most important thing I seek in my life, but in my experiences it seems to be the one thing that is a consistent and unrivaled measure of happiness. And in my mind, the greatest success a person can achieve is happiness. If you're achieving that, and nothing else, you're doing something right. And that speaks miles in my world. 

A life without happiness isn't worth living. Just take this as a small reminder anytime you feel so frustrated you could scream - I've had my fair share of those moments in the past few weeks, so I am beyond grateful to have come across this quote on this particular evening. So every once in a while, take the time to rearrange, re-evaluate, and realize, that even if everything seems to be going all wrong, if you're having fun in the meantime, life just might be worth it.


Gossip Girl Icon

Any of you who are as devoted of Gossip Girl fans as I am are going to absolutely freak about my latest purchase! It is by far my favorite thing I have ever bought for myself - ever! Each and every time I look at it I fall in love with it a little more. 

I was walking uptown with my friend Haley after a truly brutal Accounting final...we were pretty much speechless and on the verge of tears, so naturally we headed straight uptown to our favorite Sushi place for some much-needed wine and sushi to recover from a painful slap in the face to kick off finals week. On our way there we happened to walk past a super quaint antique shop - and keep in mind this is in the middle of Oxford, OH, aka the middle of nowhere - and we both stopped dead in our tracks.

There we saw the ultimate icon of Gossip Girl. I don't think there is anything more perfect or more desirable to own if you love the show the way we do. (Is there anyone on this planet who doesn't totally worship Blair Waldorf?!)

It's the painting from the Van der Woodsen's apartment!! I couldn't even believe it, and it was such a steal! By far my most impulsive purchase of my life, and by far my favorite!

It's called "Spectrum" by Richard Phillips. I am so in love. It fits perfectly with the color scheme of my room and really pulls everything together. 

Here it is hanging in my room next to my bed!

I still can't believe I own this. I can't wait to move into a real apartment after I graduate and find the perfect spot to hang it - I know I'm going to love this piece for a really long time. 

Now if only my apartment could be as amazing as Serena's when I graduate... *wishful thinking*


Skate Into Winter

Until very recently, I've never been a very big "skirt" person. I can't quite place my finger on a single reason, but despite the fairly extensive skirt collection I've acquired over the years, I never seem to gravitate towards that section of my closet when selecting an outfit. The only time I seem to wear a skirt is when I need to look more professional or respectful, such as interviews, presentations, or religious events such as Church.

Lately, however, a new outfit combination has been catching my eye. Skirts with sweaters! In particular, skater skirts, which seem to have just the right shape and flow to pull this look off. This trend is the perfect way to transform a normally 'spring and summer' style piece into a cozy but stylish fall and winter outfit, especially when paired with a cute pair of patterned tights or a statement necklace!

My favorite way to wear this trend is with a flouncy A-line skirt, tights, a cozy cable knit or patterned sweater (anything with a little texture, such as sparkles or waffle-knit sweaters), a wintery statement necklace and an adorable pair of ankle booties! 

(Excuse me while I go copy this outfit to a tee! Too perfect for words!)

I am definitely going to be on the hunt for some adorable skirt and sweater combinations for the holiday season. I'm especially loving this adorable sequin ribbon sweater from Nordstrom!!

What do you think of this trend for the holiday season?


Midweek in the Midwest

Last week was unusual to say the least...I wrote this from my brother's apartment in Chicago! I had a job interview so I drove up to Chicago Tuesday night and am headed back to Oxford right after my interview Wednesday so I can get back home to study for an exam! Lots of driving, but totally worth it, if anything just for a chance to see my adorable baby niece, Kendall, and my brother and sister-in-law. I don't get to see my family very often so any opportunity to is always exciting!

I even "lucked" out, because my niece was asked to stay home from daycare since she is coming down with a cold, poor thing, but that hasn't stopped her from playing with me nonstop since I have arrived! She's started crawling since I last saw her and she is always on the go! She even knows how to take selfies on my iPhone now, so needless to say we've had a bit of a photo-shoot...or twelve.

I absolutely love Chicago - it is by far my favorite city! I definitely want to live here when I graduate from Miami. Driving up to the city last night with all of downtown lit up made me so excited - I don't want to leave! I always feel overwhelmed whenever I leave Oxford, because no buildings in Oxford are even allowed to be more than three stories high! It can make entering a big city feel very intimidating...I never quite realize what a bubble I live in until I leave!

Since it is such a short trip, I don't have many exciting stories to report, but I did get a couple good pictures while I was here!

I think this selfie with my niece is my favorite - she is too adorable!
And of course I had to get one last shot of the city on my way back out of town...sigh


Saks Gets Spirited

As if Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City wasn't already one of the happiest places on Earth, this video of their super-festive and ever-so-popular Carol of the Bells lights show is incredible!! If you're as holiday-obsessed as I am, things like this really get you into the spirit and put a smile on your face.

I have never seen it in person, but it has just climbed up the ranks of my bucket list. I thought I would share it with all of you to help you get into the holiday spirit!

This video puts my paper snowflakes and miniature Christmas tree to shame.
If this video didn't get you excited for the holidays, then perhaps you need to take some advice from one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies!

What's your favorite holiday season tradition to visit?

Happy Holidays!


Krass & Co. Holiday Sale!

I know every single blogger is posting about their favorite sales and black friday deals, but I just couldn't resist endorsing this amazing sale by Krass & Co! You already know how much I love all of their products, especially their new fall lineand how thrilled I am that for this past semester I have been a brand representative for the company, but I seriously can't get enough of these shorts! 

With the cold weather officially in full swing, I am daydreaming of my upcoming trip to Naples and how excited I am to essentially live in these shorts! Don't miss out, or they will be all gone!

And remember, you can get a great discount anytime on their website using my special brand rep discount code: 

Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays!


Holiday Gift Essentials

Holiday season already?! Someone please put life in slow motion for a few weeks, I swear I was sweating it out in the August heat only last week! Oh, who am I kidding, no one loves the holiday season more than me! 

My roommate last year always joked that living with me during the holiday season was like living with Buddy the Elf - something I happily take as a compliment - hello, he's awesome! With all of my favorite things about the holidays, one of the chart toppers is without a doubt giving gifts. I get more excited about seeing the look on my friends and families' faces when they open their gifts than I do for my own wonderful presents!

There is no better feeling than finding the absolute perfect gift for someone - the one you know will make them smile and will leave them totally surprised. Here are just a select few of the gift ideas I have my eye on for my loved ones - (and maybe myself, too!) - this holiday season!

With these holiday gift giving selections, whether you're searching for stocking stuffers, the perfect gift, or even a wish list item for yourself, there is a little something for everyone!

Could those red bow gloves be more adorable? And the Kate Spade drop earrings are to die for, I couldn't settle on just one color!

What's on your holiday gift list this season?


Sparkle in Spade

I know I've already told you all about my intense obsession with all things sparkle, but Kate Spade's new arrivals combined with the upcoming holiday season has kicked my addiction into overdrive! I absolutely love how everything with the holidays is always twinkling, pretty, and sparkling, and Kate Spade's new arrivals are definitely adding to the festive glitzy vibe.

I am especially coveting that small wallet, considering mine got stolen and has yet to be replaced! I've been taking my time considering my options for a replacement because I think this is a good opportunity for change. Once I narrow down my choices I will be sure to show you and get some input!

Sparkle in Spade!


Giveaway Winner!

Thank you all so much for entering my amazing giveaway with Zoe from What's In A Name on Etsy!!
It was a super successful giveaway, and though it pains me to see this adorable monogrammed koozie go to anyone but me...



You are the winner!! I will contact you separately to go over the details of how to get your beautiful prize to you as soon as possible! Thank you again so much to everyone who participated! If you didn't win this time, don't fret! I am planning BIG things for Prep Essentials coming up over the holidays to get everyone into the giving spirit!

And a HUGE thank you again to Zoe for helping me out with this giveaway and being so generous! Don't forget to visit her Etsy Shop to look for some amazing gifts for the upcoming holiday season!

Congratulations again, Dakota!


My Tradition of No Traditions

I would love to be able to write a post about my annual Thanksgiving traditions and rituals that I am looking forward to as Thanksgiving break rapidly approaches, but the truth of the matter is there is just no such thing. My Thanksgiving is different every single year, which is exciting on some level but also mildly disappointing.

Having divorced parents, holidays are always a bit topsy turvy as you try and split your time evenly. It's hard enough to share your time with your parents during regular days of the year, but when holidays roll around it becomes a whole different animal. Especially if your parents are re-married, something I was fortunate enough to have on both sides of my family. That meant I have not one, not two, but four families to share my holiday seasons with! Talk about frantic!

This year, I am doing something entirely new, and spending Thanksgiving with my closest friends in the entire world back home in Louisville, and escaping away to their lake house with their family. This might sound odd to some people, but I feel as close (possibly even more close at times) with my friends Lyle and Layne and their family. I have known them all literally since birth - their grandparents feel like my grandparents, and half of the time I catch myself calling their mother, "Mom!"

Judging from what I know about previous Thanksgivings, mine will probably spent with a few days in Louisville catching up with old friends over dinners and wine nights, possibly a few parties, and then a trip off to the lake house for amazing meals and fun outdoor activities like their annual football game in the front yard with their neighbors. I can't wait!

If I have any tradition for Thanksgiving, it's a bit of a silly one. I always without fail watch all of the Gossip Girl Thanksgiving episodes, every single year. I love watching Blair and her obsession with her traditions like her father's pumpkin pie recipe. I think I was always a little bit jealous that her Thanksgivings always carried traditions, but I found familiarity in the fact that no matter what, the Gossip Girl Thanksgivings always ended up being just as chaotic and ever-changing as mine are! (Plus Blair's Thanksgiving dresses were always to die for!)

Who can forget the Thanksgiving where the truth reveals itself - about seven times - at Thanksgiving dinner in this episode?

And I can never stop laughing at this glimpse of the "old" Serena and her insistence that her drinking was meant to keep lonely people company during the holiday season?

Do you have super traditional Thanksgivings, or are yours different and changing every year like mine?
What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?! I'd love to hear all about them!


Monogrammed Koozie Giveaway!

Some of you may remember my very first giveaway from a few months back, when I paired up with the fabulous Zoe from the Etsy shop 'What's In A Name"! Well, good news! Zoe is amazing and has agreed to do another giveaway with me, this time for the world's cutest monogrammed koozies!!

Glitter? Yes. 
Monograms? Yes.
Koozies? Yes.
FREE?? Absolutely. 

I seriously wish I could just keep the koozie for myself, but instead I am going to give one away to one of you, my lucky followers!

They come in 19 different colors, and she can even do greek letters and the shape of your school's state! They can be personalized with any font color, glitter or regular.

Zoe has also added a TON of amazing new products to her Etsy shop since last time I did a giveaway so be sure to head over there and check that out. I'm personally partial to the monogrammed wineglass and the personalized tumbler! My poor bank account...

What do you need to do to enter this fabulous giveaway? It's pretty simple!


Essentials of the Week(s)

I finally survived my midterm madness and I think I managed to do alright! Unfortunately, my health took a serious toll from the inevitable sleep deprivation and sudden cold weather that has reached Ohio!
Nevertheless, I am LOVING this fall weather! Mostly because there are few things I love more in this world than fall clothes...leggings, boots, and sweaters, oh my!

These are the essentials that have been making daily appearances in my life these past two weeks.


1. Blister Band-Aids: If you read my post about my battle with my Hunter Boots, you'll know that my feet are absolutely covered in blisters. Nothing says Fall is here like boot-induced blisters as you try to break your feet back out of sandals and into the stiff confines of boots! These things are total lifesavers - I swear without them I think I would talk myself out of ever even showing up to class!

2. Apple Cider: I can't resist buying a jug of this every time I go to the grocery, it just feels so festive! All day in class all I look forward to is heading home, putting on something comfy, grabbing a blanket and heating up a mug of apple cider to sip on from my porch swing. (I fear fairly soon it will be way too cold for the porch swing and this event will be relocated to my bed). I've even found a couple recipes on Pinterest that use apple cider to make some pretty delicious cocktails! Be on the lookout for a post of my favorite fall cocktail recipes pretty soon.

3. Boot Socks: Anything that is comfortable, warm, and cute gets my vote! I love layers, and boot socks are no exception. I think its such an adorable little detail to pull an outfit together, and its fun to match with my scarves sometimes! (Plus it certainly doesn't hurt with the whole blister situation to add an extra layer of defense!)

4. Infinity Scarves: I think I have developed a bit of a problem collecting these. Regular scarves always confuse and strangle me until I get annoyed and stuff them back into my bag. I love infinity scarves because I don't feel too constricted, and its such a cute accessory to throw on top of a sweater to make you look a little more put-together! I especially love this waffle infinity scarf from J.Crew factory - I want it in every single color! Good thing Christmas is right around the corner...

What are your essentials right now as we move into colder weather and holiday seasons?


Putting On My Face

I've been hesitant for a while about whether or not I should do a post about my makeup routine. The truth is, I don't really wear much makeup. Every time I say this I either get eye rolls in disbelief or angry glares that I don't "need" makeup.

It's not that I think I don't need makeup, but growing up my dad always pushed that the prettiest look any woman can go for is a natural one, and I guess somewhere along the road that logic started to make sense to me. I don't like the idea of spending 45 minutes "putting on my face" because it feels too much like a charade - eventually the mask has to come off, and I don't want people to be surprised by what they see.

The other reason? I really don't know a thing about makeup.

Smoky eye? Couldn't do one if my life depended on it. (Eyeshadow as a whole concept is honestly pretty foreign to me.) I don't trust myself with mascara because whenever I wear it I seem to end up crying or smudging it down by rubbing my eyes, so I swore off of it early on in high school. My makeup routine is pretty simple, but I like to think it works for me.

I do the same thing every day: 
1. Put a dash of pressed foundation on any redness on my cheeks (I have perpetually pink cheeks)
2. A light layer of bronzer all over my face
3. A thin layer of black eyeliner on the inside of my lower lid. 

Hardly an intensive makeup regimen, I know. On a "heavy" makeup day, I might use Garnier under-eye de-puffer, and a tiny swipe of Laura Mercier metallic creme liquid eye color in Gold to lighten up my dark circles. 

For going out, I do the exact same routine except I add some shimmery light gold E.L.F. mineral eye shadow and a thin line of dark brown eyeshadow along my upper eyelid.

Here is where people really think I'm crazy - I don't wash my face. It may sound gross, but hear me out! I am blessed with very clear skin. The closest thing I ever get to a "breakout" is a small blemish every month or two. (This is the part where most of my friends decide they actually hate me). I realized in high school that when I do wash my face, I immediately break out! I have no explanation for this phenomenon, so I just leave it alone! If necessary, I wash off my minimal makeup with Neutrogena Makeup Removing Wipes, and for those few times a year when I do "break out" I use Clean & Clear Acne Spot Treatment and it's gone by the next morning!

Nothing exciting, and possibly even a little bit plain, but this is what works for me. If you're ever going for a natural look that keeps you from looking like a zombie, this is what I recommend! 


November, Already?

When did it become November?? I swear I woke up today and felt like I was missing four days of my life...where has the time gone? I love November, its one of my favorite months of the year...but woah. I'm not ready for it yet!

I have been all-too-aware these past few weeks of how quickly this semester has gone by. Soon all of my close friends that are seniors will be in their last semesters in Oxford - something I absolutely refuse to say out loud. And apparently we only have one week between Thanksgiving Break and finals this year...what?! Needless to say, its time that I wake up and smell the winter air, because Hello November, you have definitely arrived. 

I really do love November though. To me, November is the start of the holiday season. I'm already dreaming of Thanksgiving meals, pumpkin pie, warm apple cider, and beautiful twinkling holiday decorations. 

More than anything, when I think of the holiday season the first thing that comes to mind is warmth. Warm crackling fires, warm holiday-flavored drinks, soft fuzzy blankets huddled up with close friends, and some of my fashion favorites wrapped up in warm layers of scarves and sweaters.

Despite all of the stress this month will inevitably bring, those are the thoughts that will get me through it until I finally reach the salvation of Christmas Break.

What are your favorite things about November?


November Lilly Pulitzer Calendar!

Sorry for the delay with this one, it seems I got a little wrapped up in all of the Halloween madness and didn't even realize it was November already! I'm so scatterbrained lately with school, my internships, and all of the other organizations I'm involved in. Thank god for the reminder app on my phone!

Download and use to keep yourself organized all November long, just in time for finals week! 

To download this free printable, click here!


Happy Halloweekend!

Trick or treat my fabulous followers! I am so sorry I haven't posted in - *gasp* - a week! I'm genuinely appalled with myself, I have been insanely busy with exams and being sick and just life in general.

I'm such a bore, after all the madness of the past two weeks I stayed in tonight, Friday night of halloweekend, to just gather myself and get my life together. Best decision of my life! I cleaned my entire room, did my laundry, read my book, watched some movies, and now I am finally catching up on my blog posts! I feel like a new person, something I definitely needed after my official Halloween celebrations didn't go quite as planned. It Someone stole my wallet! Goodbye credit card, debit card, favorite wallet -moment of silence please- and my license! What a mess. 

Luckily I still managed to have plenty of fun, although I think I had my most fun getting ready! Something about costumes makes the getting ready process an event all on its own. 

I was a flapper, true to my Great Gatsby obsession, of course! I bought some champagne, put on a playlist of my best 20s inspired current music (and the Gatsby soundtrack of course), and took my time primping and pampering myself all afternoon! 

I had an amazing selection of costume jewelry from my mom to choose from which was really the icing on the cake - or the bubbles on the champagne, whichever!

(I love ANY excuse to wear my BCBG dress - it always makes me feel like Blair Waldorf in the episode where she kisses Chuck for the first time at the speakeasy!)

So all in all, despite slight mishaps and some seriously soggy shoes, it was a blast! Perhaps not up to Jay Gatsby standards, but how could it be?

How were your Halloweekends? Anyone have any super creative costumes?


Tory Burch Elyse Booties

Tory Burch is a genius. This is not the first and definitely not the last time I will say this, but it has been proven once again.

I think I am having a legitimate love affair with the new Tory Burch Elyse Bootie. The gold zipper, the low heel, and the detailing on the heel? Perfection. This is most definitely my biggest lust-worthy item of the season and a must-have. I'm legitimately considering taking up a part-time job for these beauties.

My closet is crying for these adorable booties to become a part of my daily wardrobe - I don't think I would ever take them off! I spend at least half of my time in class daydreaming about the outfits I would pair these with. True obsession.

*Hint Hint, Dad, Christmas is just around the corner...*

Ahh...I wish.

I'm off to go continue dreaming about these...Maybe if I wish hard enough I'll wake up to find them in my closet from the shopping gods.


Bean Boots vs. Hunter Boots

*For a new-and-improved version of this post, click here!*

That's it. I have officially converted. 

I am D-O-N-E done with hunter boots. Yes, they are adorable and there are a million cute ways to wear them and outfits to pair them with, but after an 8-minute walk to class the other day I was rewarded with the worst blister I have ever experienced in my life. No exaggeration, y'all - I had to beg one of my friends for a ride home because my boots were filled with blood. I literally carried them home and walked through the business school holding a boot and limping. (Potentially a new low...)

I really don't know why this happened, considering I've owned my Hunters for over a year and I've never had such a bad experience with them (note: plenty of bad ones - just none this extreme). Maybe my feet have become deformed from all of the sprains and breaks I've experienced lately, but I am officially terrified of those boots.

My roommate received her pair of bean boots in the mail that very same day, and I couldn't help but think it was fate. I am ordering my own pair ASAP and kissing (*kicking*) my Hunter boots goodbye. Unless my heels become reinforced with steel I don't think I can ever face a blister like that again! (Maybe someday when I buy thicker socks I'll give them one more chance, but as of now we are on a definite break).

If you are one of many who is trying to decide which boot is right for you - look no further!

Here are my official reviews of each:
Bean Boots: These boots are extremely comfortable, have great traction (especially in snow) and you can walk incredibly long distances without any rubbing, bleeding or blistering. They're still fashionable and look adorable with skinny jeans, leggings, and cute boot socks. I have zero complaints!

Hunter Boots: I have heard complaints from an extremely high number of people (and, as I just explained, I'm not very happy with these boots either...) They are very stiff, can cause a lot of blisters despite the thick socks they come with, and are frankly a little bit awkward to walk in. My advice is that if you really need a height of rain boot such as this, simply order the taller bean boots. Your heels (and pedicurist) will thank you! 

I am going to order the 6" bean boots because I think they are the perfect length to wear with skinny jeans or leggings and I can't wait for them to get here! 

I remember when my Dad insisted before I went to college that these things were his salvation in college and I thought he was insane. No way was I going to wear those "hideous" things - believe me, I have learned to love them and see how adorable they really can be now - I literally laughed in his face! Typical stubborn me. The more I have seen them on Pinterest and various fashion blogs the more they have grown on me, and my experience the other day was definitely the last straw.

Don't forget to order your Bean Boots as early as possible in the year - they tend to be backordered by several months and you don't want to be waiting until January to get yours!

If you need any advice with sizing, heights, socks, or other questions about either style boot please comment or feel free to email me!

Which rainy day boots do you prefer, Hunters or Bean Boots?


Stop Complaining, Start Solving

I'm not a huge fan of resolutions. I prefer to set goals and map out what I need to do in order to accomplish those goals. Setting resolutions, in my opinion, is a little bit like giving something up for Lent. (I am in no way mocking the idea of Lent, I just don't personally practice it). I feel like when you set a resolution, you're implying that a person can change overnight. "I resolve to work out every single day from now on". "I will give up desserts for Lent". Once you break your resolution, it seems like the entire thing falls by the wayside. It brings about the logic that you've already broken it once and failed, so you might as well call the whole thing a wash and consider a new resolution next year.

When you set a goal, you expect there to be complications and setbacks. Missteps and failures in your path towards accomplishing it. But there is still a finish line that you can set your sights upon. You have steps mapped out that make your goal seem more achievable. It allows time for you to change, rather than relying upon the silly notion that because a party full of people counted down to midnight you can suddenly change a habit you've likely had your entire life with the snap of your fingers. Change takes time.

In honor of the fall season, I have decided to set a new goal for myself. (Actually, it is a goal I have set in the past but never truly dedicated myself to, so I am re-dedicating myself to this goal by actually setting out plans to accomplish it).

This was brought on by a quote I found while perusing Pinterest (as per usual) the other day. 

Perfectly said. 

If I'm being honest with myself, I complain way more often that I mean to. I don't even realize I am doing it sometimes, and later on realize what a downer I was being. I often mistake complaining for venting - and I totally believe venting is important and normal behavior; to an extent - but I always end up kicking myself and realizing what a pain I must be when I go on one of my rants.

I live an extremely blessed life. While that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to have problems or pains that upset me, many of the things I find myself complaining about are completely within my control. Whether they are troubles with my grades, boys, or friends, there is always something, no matter how small, that can be done about it. If I spent the time I use complaining about these issues actually resolving them, I think my life would be a lot less stressful and a lot more satisfying.

So that's it - my new goal for myself. Anytime I find myself complaining about something, I am going to take however many minutes I spent complaining and use the same amount of time trying to work towards a resolution for my problem. I think it will be a long process, but in the end very cleansing and refreshing.

What are your goals you're currently working towards?


Pick Pink

In honor of all of the amazing Breast Cancer Awareness products that have been popping up everywhere lately, I have decided to do a feature on some of my personal favorites! Breast cancer is something that has affected many friends and family very near and dear to my heart, and anytime I see a great product that is for this cause I instantly feel so much more compelled to purchase it.

Companies with social responsibility instantly gain brand loyalty from me as a customer - I don't think that there is a single business, company, or industry that shouldn't be in some way socially responsible and charitable. (There is a reason one of my majors is sustainability...) I refuse to even consider working or interning for a company that doesn't demonstrate that social responsibility and philanthropic activities are not a top priority for them, and I'm hardly in a position to be picky in the job market. 

There are so many products that have been some of my favorite purchases lately that have also been for such important causes. That is why I was so excited when I saw Nordstrom's new "Pick Pink" campaign, and all of the amazing products they are selling in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness.

To see the rest of the amazing products included in Nordstrom's "Pick Pink" campaign, check out the Pinterest board here!

Evelyn Candle Holder, $44 - 10% of every sale will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

North Face Pink Ribbon Down Vest, $99 - Made in support of Boarding for Breast Cancer

Bobbi Brown Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer  - $10 donated to Breast Cancer Research with every purchase

Sara Happ Lip Scrub, $24 - 20% of profits donated to Breast Cancer Research

Marc Jacobs Daisy Hot Pink Limited Edition, $79 - Portion of proceeds goes towards Breast Cancer Research

Nest "Passion for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation" Candle, $28 - Portion of proceeds goes towards Breast Cancer Research

Deborah Lippmann Breast Cancer Awareness Nail Color, $17 - Collaboration between Deborah Lippmann and Shape Magazine to raise Breast Cancer Awareness

Clairisonic Pink Sonic Skin Cleansing System, $150 - contributes to "Look Good, Feel Good" program

All of these products are going towards such a great cause, and they are all incredible products! I already have Marc Jacobs Daisy, and I definitely recommend you buy it now while the limited edition contributes towards charity!

Pick Pink!


Taking A Sick Day

Another fun fact you guys get to learn about me...I am always sick. I know everyone says that, but I truly am. I'm pretty sure that's what I'm known for by most of my sorority sisters - being the girl that always always always has something wrong with her. I'm constantly sick or injured or randomly waking up with mysterious and unexplainable illnesses that take weeks to diagnose and treat. 

I have broken more bones in college than I would like to admit...contracted a bizarre stomach disease that caused me to lose 25 pounds last year and I couldn't keep a single thing down for months (safe to say I have a new appreciation for food and will never again go on a diet - ever), and wind up on antibiotics way more than is probably healthy. If there is a bacteria or virus within 10 miles of me I promise you it will find me. My "medicine cabinet" has turned into more of a fully functioning pharmacy!

Confession #2: I am a 4 year old when I am sick. Seriously. I have kept all of my same sick habits since I was a little kid and I don't intend on ever changing them. The only difference is I don't have my parents waiting on me hand and foot. (First world pains much? I have to heat my own soup. Tough life, I know). I love nothing more than curling up with my favorite childhood movies, my fuzzy blankets I've had forever, and eating some chicken and stars soup. (The shapes make a difference, I'm convinced).

Being sick for more than half of the time, including right now, it's safe to say that I have developed quite a routine for what makes me feel better when I can't seem to shake a sickness. These are some of my favorite sick day comfort items to get me through the winter (and all those times I just need a "personal day"...)

Nothing says comfort to me like curling up in bed with a stack of blankets, an overdose of vitamin C and my favorite soup, and a never-ending stack of Disney movies and magazines to pass the time between NyQuil doses.

What are your favorite comforts to turn to when you're feeling under the weather?


What I Wore Today

It's official...I've found my new favorite fall outfit! My new J.Crew sweater came in a few weeks ago and I have been dying for it to finally be the right temperature to wear it, and today was the day! It is perfect for these crisp but sunny fall days we've been having on campus, and the best part is - I have never been so comfortable! 

Seriously, this sweater is the softest thing I have ever worn. I loved that I could take my marketing midterm today while looking cute but still being comfortable after a very late night of cramming. Naturally, per my study habits, I managed to find time to paint my nails while I was cramming last night and it pulled the whole look together. 

This is my new favorite fall outfit!

1. Olive Green Large Longchamp Le Pliage - My stepmom brought this back for me from Paris and I have been so excited for fall weather so I could finally show it off! The color is actually called Slate, not totally sure why but I love it!

5. J.Crew Merino Swing Sweater - totally obsessed!

8. Black Leggings from White House Black Market (I seriously recommend these - very durable, pretty cheap ($33 and on sale right now!) and beyond comfortable!)

What's your favorite fall outfit this season?