September 2013 - Prep Essentials





College & Post-Grad

College & Post-Grad
College & Post-Grad

Essentials of the Week(s)

I seriously don't know how I have been surviving this week or if I am even going to make it to Tuesday...I have (count them) FOUR exams on Tuesday. I'm sorry...WHAT?! Yes, four. That is more than we are even allowed to have in 24 hours during finals week but NOPE I get a little hell week preview, just for me! 

I had to drive home to Louisville today just to get myself away from any and all potential distractions - my parents and dog aren't even here! It's just little old me in this house by myself, which is both eerie and lonely, but it has some benefits too! One of my best friends from high school is a field hockey superstar at Depauw and she is playing in Louisville on Sunday afternoon! So I get to go watch her play with my other friend who goes to University of Louisville. I think it will be a very much needed study break before I head back to Oxford and lock myself in the library.

 The fact that I am even writing this post right now should show all of you how much I need to write just to maintain some semblance of sanity! What has really been getting me through this never-ending week though is, of course, my weekly essentials! As you can imagine, they are a little bit study-themed...

1. Insomnia Cookies: How have I never heard of this?!? This delightful little shop just replaced Pita Pit on my campus (a sad goodbye but definitely worth the replacement!) and it could not have chosen a more perfect week to open! They deliver warm. cookies. and milk. until 3 am! Goodbye skinny, hello fat and satisfied! I would be lying if I said I haven't already ordered this to the library twice this week and it was totally worth it. Nothing says study snack like some fresh baked cookies and a glass of milk!

2. Caramel Apple Cider from Starbucks: As you can imagine, studying for four exams at once on top of other assignments can be seriously overwhelming and definitely exhausting. Top it off with the fact that I don't drink caffeine? I feel like an anomaly sometimes...But this drink has been my savior! It tastes like fall in a cup! And I have to imagine it has a fairly high sugar content judging from the energy bursts I have been getting from my daily 4 cups I have been consuming at the library...

3. Nail Polish: Confession Time: I paint my nails whenever I study. I mean obsessively. I get extremely bored when I do flash cards, which is pretty much the only way I can study, so I try and find random ways to entertain myself while I drudge through the endless sets of terms and definitions. I have probably changed my nail polish color 4 times this week! Some people look their worst after late nights studying, but come exam time I tend to look my best! My nails are always done, my hair is styled (I do flashcards while I dry and straighten my hair too...), and I'm even such a nerd that I do flashcards on my phone while I work out! (Some of you may remember the app StudyBlue that I recommended last month!)

4. Assortment of Snacks: Confession #2: I snack constantly when I study. I don't know what it is, but something about being at the library and studying for hours and hours makes me want to eat, even when I'm not hungry! When I realized I would literally be studying for 9 days straight, between 7-10 hours a day I decided to invest in some healthier alternatives like my favorite string cheese, grapes, laughing cow light creamy swiss cheese, and of course my never-ending favorite, dark chocolate covered pretzel crisps! (Okay fine, those aren't healthy but come on, everyone needs a chocolate fix when they study! I've totally earned it).

What gets you through a particularly rough study week? Wish me luck! I'm going to need it...


Krass & Co. New Fall Line!

I am beyond excited right now! Krass & Co just released their new fall line and I am totally in love!! For those of you that don't know, I am a brand rep for Krass & Co and I think everything they make is perfect! 

They make amazing athletic apparel with a classy, preppy twist. Their women's shorts are amazing - the material is similar to under armour and the style is similar to norts, but of course preppier! They're super comfortable and I actually like the way they fit much better than norts. 

This new fall line is perfection. I can't even choose a favorite so I will let all of you decide for yourselves but I know I am definitely going to be buying a pair or two! 

And the best part is I have a discount code for all of you! 
Type in the code "oxford15" to get a 15% discount on whatever you order! 
(Because who doesn't like discounts?!)

Happy shopping!!


The Rules of Leggings

Alright y'all. I am addressing what is apparently a "serious" issue on my campus right now. I don't know if it just freshmen who don't know what they're doing, or if everyone somehow managed to lose their minds over the summer, but I am in shock. For how well-dressed the student body typically is at Miami, I am horrified at some of the ridiculous things I have seen this week. Was there some sort of memo that said "please disregard any sort of fashion rule you've ever heard??" My biggest pet peeve that's been evident all over campus is leggings as pants.

Leggings are pants - I have relented on that in recent years but HELLO there are rules, people!

Is it just me, or is it pretty much agreed upon that if you wear leggings your shirt needs to cover your butt?? I don't really consider that an optional feature of wearing leggings as pants - maybe sometimes I push the limits but I certainly don't wear crop tops with leggings and think its alright. (Yes, I seriously saw someone do this today)

Even when I am shopping I'll see long shirts and think "that would go GREAT with leggings" specifically because of their length. Maybe I'm just being a stickler about a silly fashion rule but I think it looks so bizarre when people do this!

Does anyone agree or have some other fashion pet peeve you've seen people disregard lately?
Rant it out in the comments, I'd love to hear that I'm not the only one!


Happy First Day of Fall!

Today is the first official day of fall, and I could not be happier. Fall is by far my favorite season of the year, I love everything about it! The clothes, food, colors, smells, activities...I wish I could live in Autumn year round! It feels like every year fall gets shorter and shorter and we skip straight from blazing summer heat to frigid winter temperatures.

I love the crunch sound fallen leaves make when you step on them, the comfort of soft sweaters without being freezing, the childhood memories of pumpkin picking and haunted houses, hot chocolate and a movie with friends, fuzzy socks tucked into adorable new boots, halloween costumes and parties, tailgates and the smell of food grilling, bonfires and s'mores and the crackling sound the fire makes, vanilla and cinnamon candles, baked pumpkin seeds with sea salt, jumping in leaf piles...I could seriously go on forever and ever. And ever.

I made a little collage of some of my favorite things about fall because I was having way too much fun listing it above!

Even though I'm in college and supposed to be an "adult" I am definitely still going to a pumpkin patch and a haunted house with all of my housemates and leaf piles will be a daily occurrence in our front yard. I don't think I'll ever grow out of some of my favorite pastimes! 

What are some of your favorite things about fall?


Casual Glamour

How have I never noticed this trend before?? Maybe this is a super outdated thing (I'd hardly call myself a trendsetter), but to me this is brand new and I am LOVING it! I absolutely adore the way neutrals and metallics complement each other. It can totally transform an outfit in so many different ways! I first saw this while browsing Pinterest, so naturally I launched into a four hour search trying to find more ways people have experimented with this charming combo.

I just love this look because it is such a perfect way to make an outfit go from casual to slightly dressy, transferring from a day of shopping to dinner and a drink (or two) with friends. Plus I think its a great transition from summer to fall because you can pair it with so many pretty cardigans and shorts, or even white jeans.

I have already searched my closet relentlessly dreaming up new combinations of clothes to fit this trend and I can't wait to try them out now that the weather is finally permitting it! (Although I may need to buy a cute little sparkle clutch or some shoes...)

For more sparkly accessories that I am seriously coveting check out my post All That Glitters!

What do you think about this trend?


Home Away From Home

As promised, I have finally unpacked and organized my room enough that I am ready to share some pictures with all of my amazing followers! (Granted, these were taken with my iPhone and the lighting was a bit of a struggle but I hope they still show up okay!) I love my new room, it was so much fun to decorate it and start from scratch now that I am finally out of the dorms and living in an amazing house with some of the greatest people I've ever met.

I knew living with 7 of my closest friends would be fun, but I never could have imagined it would be like this! It's wild, crazy, and definitely messy but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I literally feel like I spend more time sitting on my front porch with my housemates than any other spot; we're averaging like 6 hours a day at this point, and even more on the weekends! Thank god for our new porch swing!

Oxford is an adorable college town, and one of its most well-known quirks is that all of the student houses have fun names. Some of them play off of the street they sit on, such as "Spoiled Beeches" on Beech Street, and others are just fun party names like "Fraturdays" (one of my favorites because it has a Vineyard Vines whale on the house sign). There's been a lot of debate about the origins of my house name, but its been that way for as long as we can remember - my house is over 70 years old! (The sensitive plumbing and lack of central air serve as proof for that).

Still, you can't beat this house. We live literally a one minute walk from uptown and all of the bars, and a two minute walk from the library. Our house is situated as close to the center of campus and Oxford as you can be!

So, without further ado, my adorable home away from home, "Slow Idaho"!

Front of our house, but it goes WAY back!

 My room is actually much bigger than it looks in this picture, this is really just my side!

My dresser - I'll get some better closeups of this and my desk in another post soon!

My desk and dresser area - finally got my pictures and paddle all hung up!

My bed and nightstand - I love my christmas lights and monogram painting!

Not the best picture of my bedding but I love it!

I painted this this summer and its hanging in my closet! I love seeing it when I start my day.

Me with (some) of my housemates and a couple other friends hanging out on the stoop like always! 
See if you can guess which one I am! - I'll tell y'all in a week or two!

That's all I have for now, but once I can figure out how to get better lighting and finish up some more final touches I'll post pictures of my closet and some closeups of my desk and dresser/vanity!

Hope you liked it! How did you decorate your room/apartment/dorm?


Conquering My Fear

I LOVE heels. I think they are absolutely gorgeous and I am so jealous whenever my friends wear them out. I'm 5'10" and way too much of a baby to wear heels when I go out. I feel like an absolute amazon!! Sure that works if I'm a supermodel, or if I'm dating an NBA player but I don't exactly have either of those opportunities knocking down my door....and let's face it Miami is hardly well-known for its sports so I can't even date a guy from my school's basketball team. I got seriously ripped off here..

I even own a couple pairs of absolutely gorgeous heels! I have this pair of metallic wedges that would look amazing with probably half of my outfits, but I always chicken out! My friends tease me constantly because I only wear pretty sandals and flats when we go out - even in winter, which leaves me looking like the girl who doesn't know better than to wear open-toe shoes in the snow. 

HELP! I really need to get over this fear. I'm 20 years old, its a little sad that I'm still too intimidated to wear heels to bars just because I don't want to tower over people (especially guys - awkward!) I would love to say I'm super confident and that I throw on heels and own it like I am a supermodel, but I'm not. I've made a junior-year resolution (yes that is a real thing, you can set goals without it being January 1st, people!) to conquer my fear of heels. I've even set ground rules that kitten heels don't count. I've tried to hide in those for way too long. I decided on a 3-inch minimum which may still sound small but I would be 6 feet tall in those! Baby steps...

In honor of this new resolution, here are some heels I have been trying to talk myself into buying. PLEASE comment with suggestions if you know of any good (small!) heels that will help me conquer this irrational fear of mine!

Here's to hoping my resolution works... Does anyone else have any bizarre fashion fears?



What makes a person inspiring? We all have people that we look up to; people that we strive to live up to or people that influence us in some way, whether its in the goals we set or simply the things we hope to achieve throughout our lives. But everyone wants to achieve different things; everyone derives his or her inspiration from something unique. So what makes a person truly inspiring? And how widely can that label, 'inspirational' be applied?

People inspire us for different reasons depending on what we desire most in life. Fashions icons like Audrey Hepburn or Coco Chanel may inspire those who are interested in fashion and style, while entrepreneurs and technological innovators like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates may inspire those who are captivated by creation and design. However the one thing that these people have in common is that they are all trailblazers of their domains, setting new standards and accomplishing the previously unthinkable.

I think that to be inspiring a person needs to have accomplished something in a way that is new or distinct. They need to be a pathfinder, a trendsetter, and pave the way for something new to replace the old. If you are not moving forward you are moving backward, and without these influential and pivotal persons in the various fields of society, we would be nowhere.

These people we often find inspiring have a certain air about them. They breathe life into everything around them, filling their surrounding environments with an electrifying energy that is positively contagious. Simply being in their presence inspires people to believe in something, to expect more of themselves, and to strive for the impossible.

I can't say I have a set list of people that I find inspiring, nor do they all derive from one single category or field. Too many things attract and fascinate me to be able to focus on one characteristic or quality that I find inspiring above all others. To name a few, however:

I find the confidence and conviction of Jennifer Aniston to be inspiring, and something that all women should strive for.

I find the elegance, poise, and grace of Kate Middleton to be something that everyone should aim for, even in their unhappiest of moods. True grace comes from remaining poised in even the most uncomfortable or awkward situations.

I find the energy, warmth and happiness of Blake Lively to be infectious and I am constantly wishing I could enjoy life half as much as she seems to be.

And I find the success, artistry, and pure innovative talent of Lilly Pulitzer to be the most inspiring of all. She gives new meaning to the phrase 'when life gives you lemons (or citrus), make lemonade (or adorable shift dresses!)' 

Who inspires you and why? Something to think about if you really want to know what you should be working towards in life!


Fall Favorites: Outerwear

One of my favorite things about fall is the clothes. I know most people seem to be in love with spring and summer clothes, with the sundresses, sandals, and Lilly Pulitzer galore, but I absolutely adore fall clothing. Give me oversized sweaters, leggings, boots and scarves any day of the week. 

What my closet is seriously lacking is outerwear. Beyond my staple north face jacket and J.Crew puffer coat (a must for those miserable walks to class in the Ohio winter), and one or two cheap little vests I have picked up in the past year, I really don't have any jackets to speak of. I think I always shy away from them because they are typically a more costly purchase, but you get so much more use out of them than typical items!

That is why I have been seriously coveting some of these fall favorites for outerwear. J.Crew is definitely a go-to for outerwear - its not too expensive, they have a lot of variety, and they always throw in some perfect versions of the classics. I see a purchase in my near future...

*I honestly love this jacket in both colors, but I am leaning towards the mossy brown*

The Quilted Tack Jacket from J.Crew, $158
(A perfect take on a classic look. The gold buttons are a nice touch!)

(So adorable, and when I tried it on at the store it was actually very warm and comfortable!)

(hello beautiful...I am so in love with this color! And the gold buttons are perfection!)

Clearly J.Crew is going to love me after this winter season! And my wallet and I will probably break up forever... What are your favorite fall outerwear pieces?


Shades of Fall

You already know about my severe obsession with nail polish, but it takes a turn towards a legitimate addiction once fall rolls around. To be honest, in high school I absolutely hated the dark nail polish trend. It struck me as gothic and depressing and just downright ugly. 

Then once I got to my senior year it was like someone flipped a switch, and a new obsession was born.
I LOVE fall nail polish!!
There, I said it.

Even more than in the spring and summer, I really feel like having your nails painted fall colors really pulls your outfits together. These are just a few - because there are about a million - of my absolute favorite fall nail polish colors for this season!

1. Essie Cottage and Vine
2. Essie Bahama Mama
3. Essie Wicked
4. Essie Bobbing for Baubles
5. Essie Rose Gold

(Can you tell I have a severe Essie obsession?)

What nail colors are you loving for this fall?


Playlist: Unwind

Lately I have been trying to incorporate a nightly routine to help me relax and take better care of myself. I turn off all electronics 15 minutes before I go to bed besides my i-Pod speakers, light a lavender and vanilla candle, drip just a drop or two of lavender essential oils onto my wrists, and kick back with whatever book I am currently reading. It is definitely tough to get myself to really turn everything off and just focus on unwinding, but I am getting better at it every day! 

To help myself along I have created the perfect playlist for unwinding at night and just letting go of all of my daily stresses so I can have a peaceful and restful sleep. (I have had terrible insomnia since the beginning of high school and I have tried just about everything to make it go away! All tips are welcome and highly encouraged!)

So sit back, relax, and enjoy this playlist while you unwind from a long day of hard work.

What is your favorite way to unwind?


Uses & Benefits of Coconut Oil

It seems like no one can stop raving about this new super-product, which has seemingly endless benefits and uses. Coconut Oil has been making its rounds as the most talked-about product in health magazines, talk shows and celebrity style secrets.

I finally caved and bought a jar just to see if I could actually notice any of the about a good investment! I've somehow managed to get myself using it for a couple different uses every day for the past three weeks, and there really is a difference!

These are (in my opinion) the best and most practical uses and benefits of coconut oil for your body.

*I focused more on beauty tips from this little miracle worker, but there are about a million health benefits from consuming it in your food on a daily basis, like improving your immune system!*

1. In your hair! This is my favorite way to use it - my hair has been growing much stronger, healthier and longer since I started putting a little bit in the roots of my hair before bed. Just be sure to rinse out in the shower in the morning! (Its oil, people - its going to make your hair oily. But it looks great later!)

2. It absorbs into your skin really quickly, leaving you with a healthy glow and silky soft skin. (And a coconut smell - but who doesn't love smelling like the beach?!) Surprisingly, after a few minutes of soaking in, it really doesn't leave your skin feeling oily.

3. Can be used 100s of different ways when cooking for a healthier alternative to things like butter and cooking oil, and it really doesn't change the flavor. We used it in our pancake mix a few weeks ago at the lake and it still tasted amazing! (Do pancakes ever not taste amazing?)

4. Great eye makeup remover. Wipes right off, doesn't sting or burn your eyes, and its way cheaper than anything else I have found.

5. Rubbing a tiny bit on your cuticles will help your nails grow stronger and healthier too.

6. A tablespoon melted into a cup of warm tea can help soothe a sore throat. (I personally haven't tested this yet since its the peak of summer, but I am definitely keeping that in mind for sorority recruitment in January. Not that I don't totally love screaming cheers and losing my voice for two weeks straight!)

Have you tried using coconut oil for anything? What did you think?!

PS This coconut oil from Trader Joe's is what I use - great value and its a really large jar, I don't see how I could possibly run out for months!


Inside My Purse

Truthfully, I don't really carry a purse when I'm at school. I carry my longchamp, but I use it as a backpack more than anything. No matter what I'm using it for, however, there are some items that will never ever leave the inside of my tote. 

I'm totally paranoid and have a natural gift for convincing myself that I should keep things lying around just in case. (I tried to break this habit last summer and every time I took something out, I naturally needed it the very next day for some sort of emergency and ended up pinching myself). 

The best I could do was narrow it down to the absolute essentials, for the sake of my shoulders and my sanity. Here is what you can constantly find inside my purse no matter what the occasion!

Preppy Purse
1. My Lilly Planner. Even if I am not at class I constantly find myself needing to check a deadline or the date of an event. 

2. My sunglasses/kroakies. Yes, I even do this during the grey-sky winter of the Midwest. I could be wearing rain boots, snow shoes, and sandals all in one week with the unpredictable Ohio weather!

3. My phone. (No explanation necessary).

4. Extra hair ties. I have a gift for losing hair ties. For most people I think this is the case with bobby pins but I somehow manage to hang on to those for dear life! Plus you never know when a friend will need one. 

5. My keys (duh!)

6. A water bottle. Somehow in college I have become one of those people who makes sure to drink 7 bottles of water a day, which probably isn't a bad thing considering the average weekend activities that occur in Oxford.

7. Nail polish. Hardly seems like an essential item to some people, but I go absolutely crazy when my nail polish is chipping! (Real talk - I am definitely guilty of touching up my nails in the back of more than one ultra-boring accounting lecture. Oops!)

8. Eyeliner. I really am not big into makeup - at all. At absolute maximum I wear eyeliner, bronzer, and some shimmery nude eyeshadow. Pretty daring, I know. Out of all of those, eyeliner is my absolute must-have.

9. A butterfly hair clip. One of the hazards of straightening my hair every day is in the uncomfortable humidity of the Midwest it has a tendency to curl and wave by lunchtime leaving me looking like a hot mess. Thank god for hair clips!

10. My infinity ring. Okay, technically this isn't in my purse but I absolutely never ever take it off. I bought it in Charleston with my best friend over spring break and it has become one of those things that I just feel naked without. (Even if I am wearing gold jewelry I keep it on, which is something I am usually a huge stickler about).

11. Hand lotion. The dry classrooms at school make this an absolute essential or my hands crack and look like an old woman!

12. My mint eos lip balm. Can't live without it!

13. And last but certainly not least, I never ever leave without my i-Pod and a pair of headphones. You never know when you're going to get stuck waiting around somewhere or need a good distraction.

What are your absolute essentials for your purse?